The closed seasons for specific types of bait and fish are a source of confusion for anglers every year. Especially because the closed season for pike starts earlier than that for fishing with artificial bait, a piece of fish or a dead fish.
The confusion usually starts in March. From 1 March on the pike
season is closed. This means that any pike caught has to be released immediately into the same water – you’re by the way almost never allowed to take pike home, pursuant to the conditions in the permit. However, in March it is still allowed to use a lure, a piece of fish or a dead fish as bait.
If you catch a zander
or a perch
that meets the size requirements in March, then you may take this fish home (if you want to), as long as the conditions of your specific permit allow it. However, if you catch a pike, then you have to release it immediately into the same water, on account of the closed season for pike that is in effect in March.
April and May
Only from 1 April on to the last Saturday of May it is not allowed to use lures (with the exception of artificial flies smaller than 2.5 cm), a piece of fish or a dead fish as bait. In addition to the closed season for these types of bait, there is also a closed season for pike, zander and perch during this period. Any of these fish you catch you have to immediately release back into the water.
National Anglings day on 26 May
On the last Saturday in May (National Angling day) the closed season for the various types of bait and pike, zander and perch end. Therefore, this year you’re legally allowed to use all kinds of baits and take home all zanders and perch (and in exceptional cases also pikes) that meet the size-requirements insofar the conditions of your permit allow you to.
Crustaceans and molluscs
The regulations surrounding fishing not only apply to ‘real’ fish. Various crustaceans and molluscs, including various kinds of lobsters, crabs, shrimps and squids, also fall under this denomination. Therefore it’s also prohibited to fish using lobsters, crabs and shrimps (including the common prawn) in inland waters from 1 April up to and including the last Saturday of May.
Those owning fishing rights to a certain body of water may include an extended closed season for specific species as a condition in their written permission.
Those owning the fishing rights to a certain body of water may also include an extended closed season for the use of specific types of bait. This happened at the Ijsselmeer and the Markermeer, which both have a closed season for specific types of bait that starts earlier and lasts longer than the legally determined period.
In the ‘Landelijke Lijst van Viswateren’ (National list of fishing waters) and the ‘Kleine Lijst van Viswateren’ (Short list of fishing waters) the closed season for these waters has been listed as running from 16 March up to and including 30 June. Therefore always check the conditions whenever you want to fish at a new water! Check the VISplanner
or the booklet for current information.