A new year can mean finding a new hobby or rediscovering an old one. Fishing is often near the top of the list for outdoorsy types and country folk, due to the equipment bought sitting there unused. It‘s not the cheapest hobby but once you have all the gear, you’re set for a while. Fishing can be a relaxing activity and it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and into the fresh air.
Coarse fishing is fishing for any type of fish, other than trout, salmon and any that live in the sea. The idea of coarse fishing is that you catch the fish and then release it back into the water, as opposed to game fishing where you keep the trout or salmon caught. Usually, you would set up your base and feed a swim to attract fish throughout the duration.
To get started
Before you get started, anyone over the age of thirteen needs to apply for a licence with the Environment Agency but it is free for those aged between 13 and 16. For those over 16, you can get a daily, weekly or annual licence so think about how often you’ll go fishing to determine which licence to get. The annual one offers the best value for money but if you only plan on going once or twice a year, it’s probably not worth it.
Getting a licence doesn’t mean you can just fish anywhere. You’ll need to research the local spots to go to by doing a quick online search or asking local fishing clubs or shops. Tell them you are a beginner and they will recommend the best places for you to start off with.
This also means you need to be aware of the coarse fishing season. This is until 14th March 2021 for the current cycle and then from 16th June 2021 to 14th March 2022 for the next cycle. Fish anytime outside of these dates in certain rivers and lakes and you will be fined heavily. Again, make sure to check with your local branch of the Environment Agency for more details.
Once you’ve got your licence and venue sorted, now it’s time to gear up. Not only do you need some equipment, you’ll need an outfit that is practical and comfortable. Read on to know more.
Equipment needed for coarse fishing
Fishing is an activity that requires some know-how when it comes to buying equipment. Make sure you do lots of research online before purchasing or renting any items and try to go to a specialist shop as they will be able to give you thorough advice right there and then.
Alternatively, ask around family and friends who you know are keen anglers. Many of them might have spare equipment or bits that they don’t use anymore. Most people are happy to loan out items if they’ll get used! They’ll probably be able to give you more tips and tricks and potentially might come along for a day out!
We’ve rounded up a few essentials, a starter pack if you will, that you will need to have a successful and relaxing fishing trip.
There are multiple types of rod so we’ve broken down a few of the more popular ones. Again, always do your research before purchasing or loaning.
- A match/waggler rod - Used for float fishing, usually about 10ft-13ft in length. The longer the rod, the further you can fish in general.
- A quiver tip - used for ledger or feeder fishing on the bottom of a lakebed. More sensitive than a match or wrangler rod. Consider the size of the fish and the weather conditions before deciding on which type of quiver to use.
- A specialist rod - This is a hybrid of the above two, a great starter rod. The tip can be removed to be replaced by a quiver tip.
- A 12ft carp rod - A more heavy duty rod as compared to the others above and has a bigger test curve, from 1.5lb to 4lb test curve.
- A small front drag reel - Tension at the front of the spool
- A small rear drag reel - Tension at the back of the spool
Other essentials include: a fishing line, floats, a plummet, hooks, a disgorger, bait and a bait box, an unhooking mat, a landing mat and pole, a fold-up chair and a seat box or luggage to store everything.
Items to wear when coarse fishing
Dressing for a fishing trip isn’t particularly different to everyday country wear but there are a few items that are considered a necessity for a day out at the lakes.
Even during the winter, the first item you will need is a hat. Obviously, during the summer, it will be for heat protection whereas during the winter, it’s purely for warmth! Anything from tweed flat caps to baseball caps to fleece beanie hats is designed to keep the sun off your head and the heat inside on a winter’s day.
Waterproof jacket or coat
Even if it’s the middle of summer, the likelihood of rain in the UK is very high so investing in a waterproof jacket or coat is a smart move. Our Esk fishing jacket is the perfect option as it was designed with fishermen in mind. With eight pockets, a foldaway hood, adjustable cuffs and a drawstring hem, you won’t find a jacket more suitable for fishing. Our favourite part about this jacket is that you can wear it all the time. Our pieces are designed for maximum versatility so this can be your go-to waterproof outer layer for any occasion.
Sturdy, comfortable footwear
A decent pair of trainers might seem appropriate for sitting down and fishing but they will soon be impractical. A favourite of ours has to be a pair of wellington boots, inexpensive and also handy to have in your car boot anyway! Whilst they aren’t the most comfortable footwear, you can easily change that with socks. A pair of boot socks in a funky pattern will soon change that and you’ll forget you even have a pair of wellies on!
Coarse fishing is becoming ever more popular, with younger generations also keen to join in. it’s the perfect activity to get outdoors without being too arduous. The most important advice is to make sure you do your research. You need to make sure you have your licence, the proper equipment and are fishing in an appropriate place at the appropriate time of year.