Coarse Fishing Guide
For at least the last few hundred years, angling in the UK been classified by two types of quarry: either the "sport fish" of trout and salmon or the many different species that are collectively known as "coarse fish." Though the several different kind of carp found in the UK are arguably the best known type of coarse fish (often warranting their own category), there are quite a few other species found in both rivers and still-waters that are enjoyable to catch and plentiful.
In fact, coarse fishing has been popular among the hungry since time immemorial. However, as the sport of angling, it has enjoyed something of a surge in popularity, especially since the 1970s when the use of home-made "boilies" baits became very popular. Since that time, technology has continued to improve the sport so there are unique methods, tackle and baits for nearly every single coarse fish.
Coarse fish are widely varied, and include both native and introduced species in just about every UK water. Some of the most common or popular species targeted by UK anglers include.
Barbel, Carp, Chub, Bream, Eel, Pike, Perch, Rudd, Zander
With the exception of the popular barbel, which thrives in cool, clear and fast streams, most coarse fish are found in both rivers and lakes, alike. This gives anglers a big advantage, since nearly everyone lives within a reasonable distance of their nearest fishing area.
Many of the coarse fish are also far less sensitive to pollution than either trout or salmon. This is certainly the case with carp, which are known to thrive in waters made unsuitable for other fish by industrial or municipal discharge and agricultural run-off. This is partly due to their being bred in close contact with human beings for countless generations. Other coarse fish are similarly tolerant.
Part of what makes coarse fishing so enjoyable are the many different styles of fishing that one may employ, depending upon the species they're after. This can take the form of camping out all night and tossing in dead fish for eels or, taking a float and grubs to the local lakes on a bright, summer day. While most coarse fishing is best accomplished with the use of some sort of bait, still others can be snagged on lures.
Increasingly, coarse fish caught in the UK are destined for the dinner table. However, it is increasingly common for anglers to toss them back as game fish in their own right, regardless of regulation. This is best accomplished by using barb-less hooks, which present an additional challenge when landing the fish. Streams where taking the fish is not recommended for health reasons are marked with warning signs. Otherwise, one of the major benefits of coarse fishing is the good eating you're likely to enjoy as a result.