Sunday, 09 January 2011 12:12

A beginners guide to coarse fishing


Coarse fishing is angling for freshwater fish other than those denoted as "game" fish, such as salmon and trout. Newcomers to the sport should be aware that a valid Environment Agency licence is a legal requirement for anyone aged 12 or above, fishing for coarse fish in England, Wales, the Border Esk and its Scottish tributaries. Fishing without a licence, which can be obtained from Post Offices, by `phone or via the Internet, can attract a hefty fine. An annual licence is likely to prove most economical, although for those seeking to try out coarse fishing, single day and 8-day licences are also available.

In addition to licensing requirements, a "close season," in which no fishing is allowed, runs from mid-March to mid-June, applying to all streams and rivers in England and Wales, although most ponds, lakes and canals have no close season.

Where to Fish?
Selecting the correct venue at which to fish is a crucial decision for novice anglers and can often make the difference between success and failure. Joining an angling club is an excellent way to find the locations of the best fishing spots. In general, anglers tend to be a friendly bunch and most will be only to willing to share their knowledge, provide fishing tips and advice, or even accompany a beginner on a fishing trip. Staff at fishing tackle shops are also a valuable source of fishing information, with regard to the better places to fish and the correct tackle to use, dependent on the type(s) of fish sought.

For more information on where to fish in the UK, check out our UK Fisheries Guide

Basic Fishing Tackle
For novice anglers, "float" fishing using rod and line is the most straightforward method of coarse fishing and the basic tackle required should prove relatively inexpensive. For a beginner, a rod with a "through" action, i.e. bending from handle to tip, about 12` in length, should prove suitable. This should be combined with a "fixed spool" reel, 4-5lb monofilament line and a size 14, barbless hook, attached to nylon with a breaking strain of about 3lb.

There are many types of fishing bait and the choice will often be a matter of personal preference, although maggots, which can be cheaply obtained from most tackle shops, are a good starting point. Bait can be kept in an inexpensive or even homemade bait box. The floats and weights required will vary greatly dependent on the type of water being fished, but for a novice, a few "waggler" floats, along with a dispenser of mixed split shot should prove adequate. A tackle box is likely to prove a good investment, as anglers are notorious for accumulating vast amounts of accessories.

In the interests of fish welfare, all responsible anglers should own or have access to a safety mesh landing net, a disgorger to remove the hook from the fish and an unhooking mat.

Park Holidays UK New Beach offers in Dymchurch, Kent, may prove ideal for anglers with families, offering a suitable base for a fishing holiday in the southeast of England

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