Fishing in Germany within angler’s reach

by Michael J. Meese

Contributing writer


Germany’s seas, rivers, lakes and streams are home to a multitude of fish that aren’t only a challenge to catch, but also a tasty main dish.

Such fish include brown, brook, lake and rainbow trout and lake char, taimen, grayling, pike, walleye, perch and carp.

Like most anything in Germany, you need a license to fish. Though obtaining a license is not as easy as receiving one in the states, it is still accessible for military members serving in Germany.


Generally, in order to legally catch a fish in Germany you need two important documents: a “Fischereischein,” or fishing license, and a “Tageskarte,” or permit. The fishing license confirms that you attended and passed a special course and exam. The license allows you to obtain a permit for fishing a specified body of water for a specified period of time.

Obtaining a German fishing license is time consuming and pricey. Its process entails taking a 30-hour course followed by a comprehensive fishing exam that tests what students learned. A good understanding of the German language is a must. The cost of obtaining the license is around $200. The license needs to be renewed annually for about $22.

But anglers and their family members who are part of the U.S. military in Germany have another option to complete the German fishing course and exam.

Rod and Gun Clubs are located on almost every major U.S. installation in Germany, and these guys are the ones to hook up anglers with a fishing license. They offer the course and exam in English and help military members get their standard German fishing license once they have completed the exam.

Another method of legally fishing in Germany is getting a 90-day visitor’s license called a “Besucher-Fischereischein.”

This method involves anglers presenting a valid stateside fishing license accompanied by an official German translation of the license to the local German government agencies in the desired location for fishing. These agencies are called “Kreisverwaltung,” or Ordnungsamt, which can be found in the “Rathaus,” or city hall. You must also present identification such as a passport or driver’s license and one passport photo for placement on the fishing license card. No course or exam is necessary, and the cost of a visitor’s license is around $28; the license needs to be renewed for the same cost every 90 days.

Once a fishing license is obtained, the next step is getting a permit, which can be purchased for a day, week or month. These permits are available from a variety of private businesses and organizations that own or lease the rights to favorite fishing holes in a desired angling area. These businesses and organizations are usually regional fishing clubs called “Angelvereine,” private landowners, campsites, hotels or tackle shops. Permits generally cost around $15.

Within and around the KMC, there is an abundance of lakes and streams for fishing with a license — either permanent or a visitor’s. Also, the Rhein, Neckar and Mosel rivers are close by for fishing opportunities.

In France, there are artificial lakes where anglers can fish without any license at all. These small lakes are filled with trout and other species, and the cost of dropping a line in its waters is around $10.

These privately owned lakes even rent out fishing lines and sell bait; they are located throughout France, but there is one across the border from Germany just outside the French town of Bitche. Bitche is a little more than an hour drive from

the KMC.

There are many options for the American angler stationed in Germany to cast out their lines and reel in some of Europe’s finest fish. The options vary in price and time needed to accomplish them, but nonetheless, fishing in Germany and in France is not out of reach.


There are many options for the American angler stationed in Germany to cast out their lines and reel in some of Europe’s finest fish. The options vary in price and time needed to accomplish them, but nonetheless, fishing in Germany and in France is not out of reach.