Coarse fishing has a long and proud history in the UK and is one of the most popular types of fishing. Rather than catching fish for food, they are usually released back into the water once caught.
It is often popular with those new to the sport as it is easier to get started than it is many specialist forms of game fishing.
The UK’s rivers, canals and lakes are home to many fine species of coarse fish, including:
- Wells catfish
When is coarse fishing season?
You can enjoy coarse fishing for most of the year. In order to protect the UK’s fish stocks and allow them to spawn successfully, there is a close season in the UK that runs between 15th arch - 15th June each year. This affects the UK’s rivers and specific canals.
Do not be tempted to break the rules and fish during the close season, if you are caught, you can expect a pretty big fine.
Do you need a licence?
To coarse fish in the UK, you require a rod licence, even if you are planning to catch and release. The cost of a fishing licence is £30 (12 months), £12 (8 days), £6 (1 day). A coarse fishing licence allows you to use up to two rods to fish. If you are planning to use more then you will need additional licences.
- Fishing licences for those aged 13-16 are free, but they will still need to register and under 13s do not require a licence at all.
- Fishing licences can be purchased on the GOV. UK website, by phone or at the Post Office.
- Failure to buy a licence, or show it when asked can result in a fine of up to £2,500
Though you might see coarse fisherman with a lot of expensive-looking equipment, it is relatively cheap to get started with a few key pieces of equipment. There are many specialist online fishing stores that will be happy to give you advice on how to get started.
- Rod and reel
- Fishing line - and 8-10lb breaking strain should be sufficient for coarse fishing in the UK.
- Floats and split shot weights
- Bait - there are many different types to choose from depending on where/when you are fishing
- Hooks - beginners may wish to start with pre-ties hooks
- Landing net
- Plummet - use to measure the depth when setting up the ideal float position
- Unhooking mat - to protect the fish while you unhook them. It is important that they go back into the water with as little damage as possible to ensure they survive.
- Scales - how will you know if you have broken any records if you do not weigh them.
An experienced fisherman is also a great source of knowledge when it comes to recommending equipment and fishing techniques. They are usually more than happy to help a new angler out and pass their knowledge on to a new generation of fisherman.