Have you ever wondered what types of fish you can catch in Scottish waters? From the exhilarating battle with the mighty Atlantic salmon to the elusive and colorful rainbow trout, the Scottish waters offer a diverse range of fish species that will delight any angler. Whether you prefer casting your line from the rocky shores or venturing out into the deep sea, Scotland’s pristine waters are teeming with opportunities for a thrilling fishing experience. So grab your gear and get ready to explore the bounty of fish waiting to be caught in the picturesque Scottish waters.


Salmon is a highly sought-after fish in Scottish waters, and for good reason. The Atlantic salmon, specifically, is abundant in the rivers and streams of Scotland. With its distinctive silver body and sleek shape, the Atlantic salmon is a sight to behold. It is known for its incredible strength and leaping ability, making it a thrilling catch for any angler.

Atlantic Salmon

The Atlantic salmon, also known as Salmo salar, is an anadromous fish, which means it spends part of its life in freshwater and part in saltwater. These magnificent creatures are born in freshwater rivers, then migrate to the open sea, where they mature and grow. When it’s time to spawn, they return to their original freshwater habitat.

Atlantic salmon can be caught using a variety of fishing methods, including fly fishing, spinning, and bait fishing. Many anglers prefer fly fishing for salmon, as it allows for a more interactive and engaging experience. The thrill of seeing a salmon rise to take your fly is truly exhilarating. Whether you choose to fish in a river or from the shore, the opportunity to catch an Atlantic salmon is an unforgettable experience.

Brown Trout

Brown trout, or Salmo trutta, is another popular fish species found in Scottish waters. They are known for their stunning coloration, with brown and gold markings that perfectly blend with their environment. Brown trout can be found in both rivers and lochs, offering anglers a diverse range of fishing opportunities.

These fish are known for their elusive nature, making them a challenging yet rewarding catch. Fly fishing is a common technique used to target brown trout. However, spinning and bait fishing can also be effective, particularly in smaller rivers and streams. With their cunning behavior and strong fighting ability, catching a brown trout is an achievement that any angler can be proud of.

Sea Trout

Sea trout, also known as Salmo trutta trutta, are anadromous fish similar to Atlantic salmon. They are closely related to brown trout but have adapted to spend a longer time in saltwater. Sea trout are known for their silver coloration and can grow to impressive sizes.

Fishing for sea trout can be a thrilling experience, especially during their migratory runs. Fly fishing and spinning are popular techniques used to target these fish. Many anglers enjoy the challenge of stalking sea trout in the estuaries or casting a perfectly presented fly in a river. With their strong fighting ability and acrobatic jumps, sea trout provide an exciting challenge for any angler.

Rainbow Trout

Although not native to Scotland, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) can be found in many Scottish lochs and fisheries. These beautiful fish are known for their vibrant colors and can provide an exhilarating fishing experience.

Rainbow trout are often stocked in fisheries, allowing anglers to enjoy the thrill of catching these impressive fish. Fly fishing is a popular method for targeting rainbow trout, with a variety of flies and techniques that can entice these fish to bite. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, landing a rainbow trout is always a rewarding experience.


Trout is a general term used to refer to various species of fish in the family Salmonidae. While we have already covered the brown trout, sea trout, and rainbow trout individually, it’s worth highlighting their common characteristics and attributes.

Trout generally have streamlined bodies, allowing them to move effortlessly through the water. They possess sharp teeth and a keen sense of sight, making them skilled predators. Depending on the species, trout can vary in coloration, ranging from subtle earth tones to vibrant hues.

Fishing for trout often involves techniques such as fly fishing, spinning, and bait fishing. The choice of method depends on the specific trout species and the fishing location. Whether you’re targeting brown trout in a river or rainbow trout in a loch, trout fishing in Scottish waters is a captivating endeavor that offers both relaxation and excitement.


Moving on from the trout family, let’s dive into the world of mackerel. Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a pelagic fish that can be found in abundance off the Scottish coastline during the summer months. These fish are known for their silver bodies, streamlined shape, and distinctive tiger-like stripes.

Fishing for mackerel is a popular activity for anglers of all ages and experience levels. These fast-swimming fish can be caught using various methods, including spinning, trolling, or even with a simple handline. Mackerel are known for their voracious appetite, eagerly biting on a wide range of lures and baits. Anglers often congregate on piers, rocks, and boats to test their skills and catch a delicious haul of these flavorful fish.


Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) is a cold-water species that thrives in the North Atlantic, including the waters surrounding Scotland. These deep-sea fish are prized for their delicate white flesh and mild flavor. Haddock can grow to impressive sizes and are highly sought after by both recreational and commercial fishermen.

When it comes to fishing for haddock, deep-sea fishing is the key. These fish inhabit the depths of the sea, typically around 40 to 200 meters below the surface. Anglers use specialized bottom-fishing rigs, baited with squid, mackerel, or other tempting offerings, to entice haddock to bite. The feeling of a haddock tugging on your line and the anticipation of reeling it up from the depths make for an exciting fishing adventure.


Cod (Gadus morhua) is an iconic fish species that has played a significant role in Scottish history and culture. These cold-water fish are abundant in Scottish waters and have been a staple of the country’s culinary tradition for centuries. Cod are known for their white flaky flesh and mild, delicate flavor.

Cod fishing can be pursued in various ways, including shore fishing, boat fishing, and even from piers and jetties. Bottom fishing with baited rigs is a common method employed by anglers targeting cod. Using baits such as squid, mackerel, or sandeel can attract these large and powerful fish. The thrill of hooking a cod and the satisfaction of landing it make this species a favorite among many Scottish fishermen.


Herring (Clupea harengus) is a small, silver-colored fish that forms large schools and migrates along the Scottish coastline. These fish are highly important from both an ecological and economic perspective, providing food for a range of predators and supporting Scotland’s fishing industry.

Fishing for herring often involves large-scale commercial operations due to the vast schools these fish form. However, anglers can also target herring from piers or boats using small, shiny lures that mimic their prey. The challenge lies in finding the schools of herring and presenting your lure or bait in a way that entices them to bite. Catching a herring can be a rewarding experience, with the added bonus of their delicious flesh, perfect for pickling or smoking.


Pollock (Pollachius pollachius) is a member of the cod family and can be found in abundance in Scottish waters. These fish have distinctively elongated bodies with a dark coloration on their backs and a silvery-white belly. Pollock are known for their aggressive feeding habits and can provide an exciting fishing experience.

Anglers targeting pollock often use a variety of methods, including spinning, jigging, and even fly fishing. These fish can be found near rocky shores, wrecks, and reefs, where they eagerly take lures and baits. The thrill of hooking a pollock and feeling its powerful runs and dives is an adrenaline-filled experience. Whether you’re casting from the shore or from a boat, targeting pollock is a dynamic and engaging pursuit.


Ling (Molva molva), also known as European ling, is a species of fish that inhabits deeper waters off the Scottish coastline. These fish are famed for their impressive size and strength, making them a highly coveted catch among experienced anglers.

Fishing for ling often involves deep-sea bottom fishing, as these fish reside at depths of 100 to 400 meters or more. Anglers use heavy rigs and large baits, such as whole squid or fish, to target ling. The sheer thrill of reeling in a ling from such depths is an experience that tests an angler’s skill and determination. With their powerful resistance and muscular build, landing a ling is a testament to an angler’s prowess.


Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) is a small fish species that can be found in Scottish waters throughout the year. These fish are known for their elongated bodies, silver coloration, and large eyes. While not as widely sought after as some other fish species, whiting can provide an enjoyable angling experience.

Anglers typically target whiting using bottom fishing techniques, either from the shore or a boat. These fish can be found in various habitats, including sandy seabeds and around wrecks. Whiting have a voracious appetite and readily take baited rigs, making them a popular species for anglers looking for consistent action. The simplicity of fishing for whiting, combined with the excitement of feeling a bite on your line, makes it a great choice for both novice and experienced anglers.


Skate, or commonly known as common skate (Dipturus batis), is a large flatfish species that can be found in Scottish waters. These fascinating fish have a unique appearance, with their broad wing-like bodies and a rough, sandpaper-like skin. Skate are renowned for their incredible size and strength, making them a true challenge for any angler.

Skate fishing often involves deep-sea fishing, as these fish inhabit deeper waters. Anglers use heavy tackle and large baits to target skate, with baits such as whole fish, squid, or mackerel being popular choices. The process of baiting, casting, and waiting for a skate to bite can be a true test of patience. Once hooked, the sheer power and resistance of a skate will leave you in awe. Successfully landing a skate is an achievement that few anglers can boast, making it a highly prized catch in Scottish waters.

In conclusion, Scottish waters offer a diverse range of fish species that cater to all types of anglers. From the thrilling pursuit of salmon and trout to the exciting challenges of catching mackerel and skate, there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer the tranquility of freshwater fishing or the exhilaration of deep-sea adventures, Scotland’s abundant fisheries provide endless opportunities to indulge in the joy of angling. So pack your fishing gear, embrace the beauty of Scotland’s waterways, and embark on a fishing journey that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a sense of fulfillment.

By anglinginscotland.com

I am anglinginscotland.com, and I am here to take you on an unforgettable fishing adventure in the stunning country of Scotland. With an immense passion for angling, I have dedicated myself to providing you with a comprehensive resource for all things fishing in Scotland. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Scotland's pristine waters, from tranquil lochs to rugged coastlines. As an experienced angler or a novice seeking thrill, my website offers a wealth of information on diverse fishing locations and even top-notch accommodations to enhance your overall experience. Let me help you unleash the thrill of angling and make your fishing dreams come true.