The Danish fishing lakes

In Denmark, we have a long-standing tradition for put and take fishing, and over 2 million fishing cards are redeemed at the Danish fishing lakes annually. The trout lakes offer exciting fishing, where you can really experience often fun and intense moments of angling with good fights and bites from strong fish. The lakes are primarily privately owned and range from natural lakes, gravel pits, or something akin being purposed as a fishing paradise.

The fishing in these lakes mainly consists of rainbow trout, but several lakes include species like brown trout, spring trout, golden trout, and various trout hybrids (tiger trout, brook trout, etc.). Specimen lakes also exist where you are allowed to fish for species like sturgeon and carp.

The put and take lakes are good places to start your fishing career and develop your fishing skills. They are often easily accessible, and you rarely find too much vegetation and scrub getting in the way of your fishing. Thus the lakes present the perfect opportunity for novice anglers, as the focus can be on learning to cast and moving around without having to worry about weeds, waves, currents, etc.

The fishing also applies to children on their first fishing trip. As the fish are found in a limited area, there is no time wasted on finding fish and no risk of the child losing interest before it gets started on fishing.

But put and take fishing can also be quite hard as well as a type of fishing you can really explore. There are excellent anglers all over the country who have specialized solely in put and take. These experts know their fishing lakes like the backs of their own hands and are often seen sneaking along the bank with their very own technique.


P&T fishing – open for everyone

The put and take lakes are good places to start your fishing career and develop your fishing skills.

The fish

Rainbow trout

The rainbow trout is the most prevalent species, and it excels at being a relatively easy catch, even though it can sure be a struggle if you use light gear. You can catch it year round, and you can even gain permission for ice fishing in select put and take lakes during the winter season.

The Danish record for rainbow trout in put and take lakes is no less than 16.25 kilograms.

Golden trout

The golden trout is the same species as the rainbow trout, although an older version where the gold color of the fish has been a focus in breeding. Golden trout almost light up the lake, and for that reason they can be difficult to get to bite, as every angler around the lake can see the golden trout move about in the water. And when they see it, most try to catch it by casting for it a few times as it swims along, which is something that the golden trout sees right through.

The largest golden trout caught in Denmark weighed 9.4 kilograms.

Spring trout

Spring trout also go by the names mountain trout or brook trout in the context of put and take. There are various trout hybrids in the Danish put and take lakes. True about all of them is that they taste absolutely delicious, and many put and take anglers consider them the most coveted fish to eat. These trout are also known for being a bit harder to catch than the rainbow trout. They are shy and are often found lower in the water column than the rainbow trout. Small spinners and small nymphs (fly) are good lures for these shy fish.

The Danish put and take record is 5.430 kilograms.

Brown trout

The brown trout is also a staple in many Danish put and take lakes. It is a cunning fish and can be quite the struggle to catch. As with the spring trout, small lures and sneaky fishing are preferable for this fish. In trout lakes, you rarely find a brown trout above 4 kilograms.

The Danish put and take record is 9.770 kilograms.

Seasons and rules

Fishing in put and take lakes is available all year round, but some trout lakes choose to close in the coldest months where others also offer ice fishing. 

Common to these waters is that all fish are bred and released by the owner of the lake.

Take care of the scenery

Many fishing lakes are located close to natural lakes and watercourses. It is important to take care of the lakes and surroundings by cleaning up after yourself and refraining from littering trash, powerbait, or anything else.

The put and take lakes are furthermore the only fishing waters where the national fishing license is not required.

As put and take lakes are privately owned artificial fishing lakes, the national closed seasons and minimum size limits do not apply. But there may be special rules specific to the put and take lake, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with these regulations at the fishing lake before fishing.

As an example, there are bred and released species like grass carp, sun bass, and the like in many put and take lakes, and their job is keeping the lake clean from algae and parasites. Thus it is often not allowed to fish for these species.

Nor is it allowed to practice “catch and release” fishing in many put and take lakes, and thus you are not allowed to release your fish after it has been caught. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to know how many fish you wish to bring home to the dinner table. And if you’re lucky to catch your intended number, keep it at that. In some lakes you’ll even find a “bag limit” limiting the number of caught fish to e.g. 5 trout. If this is the case, these special rules have to be honored.


The classic

The spinner is the preferred lure among many put and take anglers and has delivered many a beautiful trout. A small spinner that runs deep and slow is often a rewarding method.

Method and gear

Explore the put and take lakes

On our map of fishing spots, you can select put and take lakes to stand out. Get a good overview of the lakes near you, and watch them via satellite by choosing “map”.

As the fish are caught on relatively few thousands of square meters, the fishing can sometimes be rather hard. On days with many other anglers by the lake, the fish may have seen many hundred lures already and thus may not really care about your lure.

That’s why it’s important to think outside the box and vary your fishing according to the conditions.

Talk to other anglers by the lake. Some put and take anglers are really good at finding and catching the fish of the lake and are often happy to share tips and tricks if you as a rookie have any questions.

Satellite maps and aerial photos are good tools for clear water lakes, as you can glean the different depth conditions from them and plan you fishing accordingly.

Rainbow trout

Spinner, spoon, jigs, bobber/float, bottom rigs, bombarda, and fly

Rainbow trout bite on most lures. Sunny and hot days require small lures in dark, natural color nuances. Bottom rigs have to be just above the bottom. Cold and cloudy days require somewhat larger lures in rather provocative and white color nuances.

Golden trout

Spinner, spoon, jigs, bobber/float, bottom rigs

The technique is the same as with the rainbow trout. But the golden trout likes even smaller lures and thinner snood. These trout also notoriously like lures in the same color scheme as the golden trout itself.

Spring trout

Spinner, jigs, spoon, bombarda, and fly

These trout are far more predatory fish than the sometimes lazy rainbow trout. Active fishing with spinner, spoon, and jigs is thus preferrable to bottom rigs.

As these fish swim close to each other, it can be hard to fish decidedly after one species, as they often go for the same lure or bait as the other fish of the lake.

Brown trout

Spinner, jigs, spoon, bombarda, and fly

As is true for the spring trout/mountain trout/brook trout, the brown trout is far more actively seeking food than the rainbow trout. They are best caught along the banks and rush of the lake. The brown trout are easier to catch with imitation insects and small spinners than with other common lures. At times, they can seem impossible to connect with them. Try different lures, and see what works on any given day.

Spin fishing gear

For put and take fishing, we recommend an 8-9 ft. spinning rod with a casting weight of 5-30 grams. The line has to be relatively thin, and thus many put and take anglers prefer braided line over the traditional nylon line. A braided line with a diameter of 0.08-0.14 millimeters is perfect. Use nylon line of 0.20-0.25 millimeters as an alternative.

The good gear

  • 8-9 ft. rod 
  • Casting weight of 5-30 grams
  • Braided line of 0.08-0.14 millimeters

If you wish to use a line-thru lure, a fluorocarbon line of about 0.30 millimeters is recommended.

A good tackle box with lures and bait in all the colors of the rainbow is often what you find with put and take anglers. Spinners in sizes 1-3, floating and sinking wobblers, jigs as well as small spoons are successful in seeking and finding the fish.

Bombarda fishing has also become quite the rage in trout lakes. The bombarda float is advantageous, as is facilitates fishing with light and small bait without sacrificing the casting power. Bombarda fishing with powerbait, worm, and fly (fished very slowly) also works phenomenally for catching the lake trout.


Stationary fishing with float or bottom fishing is very popular and is a type of fishing most families partake in at the put and take lake. With this type of fishing, you have to locate the fish and then let it decide the pace. Float fishing is brilliant for children, as it’s quite easy, and the children can run around and play while waiting for the fish to bite. Fishing with float or fishing the bottom is all about knowing the water. The lure or bait has to be served right above the bottom, so it falls right on top of the trout’s head as it swims by. Lower your spinner or lure all the way to the bottom to find out how deep the lake is where you are fishing, and adjust the depth of your float accordingly.

Fly fishing gear

Fly fishing in put and take lakes can be magical. On days where no fish are caught, you can often see the fly angler sneaking along the reeds and rushes, picking trout with a small nymph or even a dry fly.

Fly fishing enables the angler to imitate some of the trout’s food found around the lake. A small nymph may succeed on days where all else fails.

The good gear

  • 9 ft. fly rod
  • Class 4-6
  • Floating line for dry fly
  • Intermediate or sinking line for windy days

A 9 ft. fly rod between #4-6 is ideal for the trout lake. The prevailing wind condition of the day will often be the deciding factor for how light a fly rod you can successfully use. Most rookie fly anglers start out with an all-round rod of 9 ft. #5-6. A floating line is good on windy days and for fishing with dry fly. On days with no bites and only some wind, an intermediate or even a sinking line are good choices. They have the advantage of not dragging tracks across the surface, thus making them harder to spot for the fish.

Flies like Red Tag, black Wolly Bugger, and Cat’s Whiskers are all good flies for put and take with many trout on their conscience. Common to them all is that they have easy patterns to bind for yourself, if you want to undertake binding your own flies. Then you can also add a personal touch and make them just the way you like them.


Nymphs and dry flies are always good to carry around with you. Preferably some that imitate the insects found by the put and take lake of your choice. Classic insects like spring flies, dragonfly nymphs, grasshoppers, and mayflies are found by many Danish put and take lakes. The better the water quality, the more insects are usually found by the lake.

Boobie flies is a concept many anglers use at the trout lake. A boobie nymph is a wet fly with eyes of floating foam. The idea is fishing with a floating fly on a sinking line. Many insects rise from the bottom to the surface by way of an air bubble. As they rise toward the surface, they become easy prey for the trout. It’s this journey you imitate with a floating fly on a sinking line. It’s very effective but also a type of fishing which requires a bit more experience than just traditional fly fishing in a trout lake.


Fiery colors

 Always remember to have a solid selection of flies in fiery colors in your tackle box.

Geography and conditions

The rainbow trout is found in most Danish put and take lakes. It has been bred in Denmark since the 1800s and is quite popular in trout lakes, as it’s very resistant to sickness and parasites and doesn’t demand much from water quality. And is thrives in lakes, streams, salt water, and brackish water. The rainbow trout hails from North America and Asia and is thus not native to Danish nature, but it can be found along the Danish coasts as well as in Danish rivers as having escaped from fish farms.

If you catch escaped fish, you should take them home, as they don’t belong in Danish nature. During the winter months, the rainbow trout can even be seen migrating upstream together with the sea trout, where it tries to spawn on equal terms with the native trout. However, the rainbow trout is sterile and only accomplishes to ruin the spawning chances of other trout.

Special conditions

Many anglers make the mistake of thinking that fishing put and take is easy-peasy, as the fish swim around right under your nose. But the fishing can actually be next to impossible if you don’t know when to fish or what technique to use.

A good rule of thumb

A good rule of thumb is that the warmer and more quiet the weather, the smaller your lure should be. In warm lakes, the fish are less active, just like yourself on a hot summer’s day.

It’s often a good idea to keep an eye on other anglers. When they catch fish, it can pay off to notice what type of lure they use. It’s often the weather conditions that dictate what kind of lure will be most successful on a given day.

One of the most important tools for put and take fishing is experience and familiarity with the fishing water. If you have had a successful fishing trip with several catches, do yourself a favor, and take a mental note of the weather conditions, and check for the same when planning your next fishing trip. If you go again under the same weather conditions as last time, there is a good chance that the fishing will be successful once again. And by the same logic, it’s a good idea to make a mental note of the weather conditions when the trout have been almost impossible to catch.

Inspiration and further reading