I don’t do a lot of angling nowadays, (photography rules), but I spied this spot while crossing a local pedestrian bridge over the River Wharfe. As it happens, it’s the close season for coarse fish at the moment. (Coarse fish? – everything that isn’t a ‘game fish’ – game fish (apart from those that take my bait ;)) are trout, salmon.)
In the open season, I might expect to catch Chub, Barbel, Pike, Perch, Grayling, Trout, Eel – whether Roach and Dace are present, I don’t know. Whilst sitting there I might see Kingfisher, Goosander, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Wagtails, Hirundines, Heron, the odd Wader, Mink, Otter, Voles and Rats.
Most coarse fish are returned after capture, although they may be kept in a large keepnet for the period of the fishing session. This allows a final weight and assessment of the catch to take place before returning them – without retention it’s likely that any returned fish will scatter any shoals or put them off the feed.
I’ve had the good fortune to do a bit of fishing in the US and I would judge that coarse fishing in the UK tends to be a much more genteel affair – in some specialisms we think nothing of using lines with a breaking strain as light as 1lb, fixed lines and poles that approach, well put it like this, you can buy a pole that is 16m long (over 50ft!) and use hooks as small as size 24 – though personally I’ve never used anything less than a 20. Of course, that’s not to say that we don’t ‘tool-up’ for larger fish – carp and pike, in particular.