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VISpas Hotspots: Prinses Margrietkanaal (Friesland)

VISpas Hotspots: Prinses Margrietkanaal (Friesland)

The almost 65 kilometre-long Prinses Margrietkanaal – running from the IJsselmeer at Lemmer all the way to the provincial border with Groningen – is an excellent angling spot for numerous reasons.

This entire water has been included in the VISpas for years.
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Since its construction in the 1930s, the Prinses Margrietkanaal has been an important shipping route. The waterway is about five metres deep, and sometimes still three metres deep alongside quays and retaining walls. The shore zones with reeds and stone deposits, by contrast, are much shallower. The clean, hard bottom consists of clay with gravel and boulders at the embankments. It only flows during wet periods, when pumping stations pump excess water from the adjacent polders into the canal. In many places, the canal is beautiful to behold, running as it does right through the Frisian lakes area with all of its ponds, canals and ditches.

Coarse fish

That the Prinses Margrietkanaal is a favourite competition waterway comes as no surprise, given its healthy coarse fish population that includes plenty of roach and silver bream. The available bream – including real specimens – can best be caught in spring, when the fish gather to spawn. Both a feeder rod and poles are suitable, with the latter often not needing to be any longer than five metres or so. Do however make sure to use heavier bait due to the waves caused by passing ships and wind.


The Prinses Margrietkanaal is a challenging water for most carp anglers. Those who fish there regularly often do so for several days at a time to increase their chances of a catch. The fact that the canal has an open connection with almost all of the surrounding waters makes for a varied and surprising carp stock. Heavy fish are caught on a reasonably regular basis, so anyone who puts in the effort can be rewarded with a nice catch. The best idea therefore is just to go along and see what you catch.

Predatory fish

There are ample perch and pikeperch in the Prinses Margrietkanaal, with dropshots and jigs mainly being used to catch predatory fish from the shore. Vertical fishing and trolling techniques from the boat have proven successful, and there are good trailer ramps for launching boats every few kilometres along the waterway, often free of charge. The pike stock has increased noticeably after the past few years due to the increasing clarity of the water, with fish well over a metre in length no longer being an exception. The adjacent Burgemmermeer is a real hotspot for pike. Boat anglers beware: due to the busy shipping traffic, avoid fishing under bridges and always keep to starboard when fishing or sailing – that way you will stay clear of commercial traffic.

Pikeperch and other predatory fish are easy to catch along the Prinses Margrietkanaal.

Plenty of jetties

If you prefer to fish comfortably from a jetty, there are more than 150 near Koostertille, thanks to Sportvisserij Fryslan, the owner of the fishing rights there. The federation has laid 15 concrete slabs at Suawoude, and there is an angling spot for disabled anglers at Burgum. All of these are co-sponsored by Sportvisserij Nederland (the Dutch angling association).

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