First Day!

In England it’s the first day of the fishing season – coarse fishing season that is.  If it’s not a game fish (salmon, trout, grayling it’s a coarse fish).  Coarse fishing is the side of fresh water angling that has the biggest following here in the UK.  It is effectively catch and put back.

Whilst there is a close season, many lakes which are privately owned allow fishing right through the year.  But on my local river, for instance, I can expect a smattering of keen anglers dotted about the banks relieving the tension of close season – nothing quite like it, if I recall.

Like most popular pastimes, angling has a strong commercial presence, this image was taken at a country fair, where they were demonstrating a comparison between match fishing techniques.  (Match fishing, as you can guess, is a competitive fishing session where anglers are ‘pegged’ along a bank, have to fish for a set period and the fish are weighed at the end.  There may be prizes for biggest fish too.  Matches can be at a simple club level, right up to international competitions.)

The guy on the right is what you might consider using a traditional method used in the UK – fishing rod about 12 feet long running line to a reel.  The bloke on the left is using what used to be called a ‘roach pole’ though nowadays it’s simply referred to as ‘a pole’.  This type of rod is rapidly becoming a preferred method for speed fishing.  A pole can be 10 metres and has a fixed length of nylon, usually tied to an elastic to act as a shock absorber for larger fish. These poles give superb bait/float control as the tip of the pole can be right over the float.  What happens if you’re only fishing in 5 foot of water?  Well, the pole is shifted back and sections are removed until the length of the pole is somewhere near the length of the nylon.

Can’t go anywhere for a bit of peace and quiet!

Fishing on my local river.

His first fish!

His first Barbel.

His biggest Perch

Coarse fish we might expect to catch in England.
Carp, Chub, Dace, Eel, Roach, Rudd, Perch, Pike, Bream, Silver Bream, Gudgeon, Barbel, Bleak and Tench – there are others but these are the main target for anglers.  Of course, the pastime has been around for so long that there are techniques for catching different species and not all species are in all waters – if I went fishing today, I wouldn’t try to catch Rudd, Roach or Bream there aren’t any, but I would try for Barbel and Chub.

I haven’t been for a couple of years now, but I’ve got all the gear in the garage ….. but I would have to buy an licence to fish and a permit for the water……..


11 thoughts on “First Day!

  1. Used to work with a bunch of guys that do this on the weekend. Not competition but just go out in the lakes and do some catch and release. Great photos! Especially like the last three photos with the young and older gentlemen proudly showing off their catch. Also, that picture with the guy with the microphone made me laugh and go, “wow”.

    • When I was a youngster I used to spend so much time fishing I was banned by my parents, who took my fishing rods away from me – my solution was to have a hand line which I left with a friend! Nowadays, my fishing is sporadic, but nothing relaxes the mind like sitting by the river watching the wildlife and waiting for the alusive ‘bite’.

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