Fishing on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals
Rods and reels at the ready! A day’s fishing on the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals might land you roach, bream, rudd, gudgeon, carp or tench, with the occasional perch, pike, trout or eel thrown in for good measure.
Head along the Forth and Clyde or Union Canal for a spot of canal fishing. Roach and Perch are the most common species throughout the canal, and can easily be caught using maggots, pinkies, worms or bread as hookbait. A great beginners’ fishing experience.
The Forth & Clyde Canal is best known for its tench, though there are some prize carp in there too, especially around Firhill Basin in Glasgow. In fact, the current Scottish Carp record of 34lb 12oz was captured on the Forth & Clyde Canal, in May 2010. For the Union Canal, roach and perch are your most likely catches.
Know before you go!
- All fish caught must be returned to the water alive and unharmed.
- Fish mustn’t be removed from or introduced to the canals.
- Only fish from the towpath side of the canals.
- Stay at least 25 metres away from any lock or swing bridge and don’t fish at designated moorings where so signed.
- Maximum of two rods (or three for pike fishing), with rods spaced no more than five metres apart.
- Don’t leave any litter, bait or groundbait on the canal towpath. All line must be removed and disposed of safely.
- No fires.
- Don’t block the towpath with any fishing equipment.
Lastly, it’s worth checking our Canal Works & Updates pages before you go, just in case any maintenance work is scheduled.
- Try using a small hook, such as a size 20, and a fine line of 2lbs breaking strain.
- Tackle shops and angling clubs are a good source of local knowledge and can often help you get the best out of your fishing.
Canal season tickets
You’ll need a season ticket to fish the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. To get yours, simply join the SFCA (Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling).
Annual membership runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year and costs:
- Adult annual membership – £8.00
- OAP/Disabled annual membership – £5.00
- Junior Annual membership* – FREE
*Junior membership is open to everyone aged 18 years or under on 1 April of the year you’re applying for.
Your local waterway office
1 Applecross Street
T: 0141 332 6936