Discover The Relaxing Hobby Of Angling (Fishing) At

The Hobby Of Fishing / Angling

Fishing has always been one of my favourite hobbies. When I was very young, my Dad taught me how to fish and to this are some of my fondest memories. He used to take me to a small local river where there was a place just next to a narrow foot bridge where we would float fish.

Dad and I would spend hours dangling (I couldn’t really cast very well back then) our lines in the water and catch beautiful perch, roach and for me…minnows! Lots of them. All of them returned safely to the river. Happy days 🙂

I still go fishing when time and weather allows, usually opting to float fish on a lake, near a feature (lily pad, reed bed or over-hanging tree), waiting in eager anticipation for the float to dip and to see which species my bait has attracted.

If you are looking for a hobby that combines relaxation with nature, fishing may be perfect for you.

So, What is Fishing / Angling?

The hobby of fishing / angling is a recreational activity of attempting to catch fish with a hook, line, and bait or lure and is a popular hobby enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

The primary goal of fishing is to catch fish for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes (you return the fish to the water, unharmed, rather than keeping it to sell or eat).

Anglers, also known as fishermen or fisherwomen, typically use a fishing rod and reel to cast their line into the water and attract fish. A hook is baited with natural or artificial or natural lures which mimic the prey of the targeted fish species.

Anglers employ various techniques and strategies to entice fish to take the bait, including casting and retrieving, trolling, spinning, fly fishing, and ice fishing, among others.

Fishing can be pursued in different environments, such as freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as in saltwater bodies like oceans, seas, and estuaries.

The choice of fishing location depends on the type of fish you would like to catch. Each fish species may have specific preferences for water temperature, habitat, prey and food sources.

Apart from the joy of being in nature and the thrill of catching fish, fishing also promotes relaxation, patience, and an appreciation for the outdoors. I love being outdoors and especially love being by water.

Many anglers practice catch-and-release (which I would encourage you to do), where fish are carefully unhooked and returned to the water unharmed, ensuring the sustainability of fish populations and conservation of the ecosystem.

Fishing is usually regulated by local fishing authorities to manage fish populations, set fishing seasons, and establish catch limits to maintain a healthy and balanced aquatic environment.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations and obtain the necessary permits or licenses before engaging in fishing / angling activities.

Coarse Fishing

Coarse fishing is a type of angling that specifically targets freshwater fish species other than trout and salmon.

It primarily involves fishing in still or slow-moving waters such as lakes, ponds, canals, and rivers.

The term “coarse” refers to the rougher texture of the fish’s scales, as opposed to the smooth scales of trout and salmon.

Coarse fish species commonly sought after in coarse fishing include:

  • Carp
  • Bream
  • Tench (one of my absolute favourites)
  • Roach
  • Rudd
  • Perch
  • Pike, and
  • Barbel

The fish listed above are typically found in freshwater bodies and are known for their strength, size, and fighting abilities.

Coarse Fishing Techniques

Coarse fishing techniques can vary depending on the species being targeted and the specific fishing environment.

Common methods include float fishing (my favourite), ledgering, feeder fishing, pole fishing, and specimen angling.

Anglers may use different baits such as maggots, worms, boilies, pellets, and artificial lures to attract the desired fish. Most often I will use a size 10 hook with a cube of luncheon meat and a grain of sweetcorn.

Coarse fishing is often seen as a relaxing and social activity, where anglers can spend time outdoors, enjoy the natural surroundings, and engage in friendly competition.

Coarse fishing is a popular form of angling in many countries, particularly in the United Kingdom, where there is a rich tradition and a wide range of dedicated coarse fishing venues.

Similar to other forms of angling, coarse fishing is subject to local fishing regulations, permits, and licenses. These regulations may include restrictions on fishing seasons, catch limits, and certain fishing methods to ensure the conservation and sustainable management of fish populations.

Overall, coarse fishing provides anglers with an opportunity to target a diverse range of freshwater fish species, appreciate nature, and enjoy the challenges and rewards of angling in different aquatic environments.

Game Fishing

Game fishing, also known as sport fishing or recreational fishing, is a type of angling that focuses on catching large and often challenging fish species. Unlike coarse fishing, which primarily targets freshwater fish, game fishing typically takes place in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

The main objective of game fishing is the pursuit of highly prized and often migratory species, such as marlin, sailfish, tuna, tarpon, salmon, trout, bonefish, and many others, depending on the region and the available fish species.

These fish are known for their strength, speed, and acrobatic fighting abilities, providing anglers with exciting and adrenaline-pumping experiences.

Game fishing is often associated with offshore or deep-sea fishing, where anglers venture into open waters in pursuit of large pelagic fish. It involves the use of specialized boats, equipment, and techniques to handle the challenges of targeting these powerful fish species.

Common game fishgin methods include trolling, live bait fishing, fly fishing, and casting lures.

In addition to offshore fishing, game fishing can also be pursued in rivers, lakes, and estuaries. In these freshwater environments, anglers may target species like trout, salmon, muskellunge, pike, zander or large catfish, employing techniques such as fly fishing, spinning, or baitcasting.

Game fishing often emphasizes catch-and-release practices to preserve fish populations and ensure the sustainability of the sport. Anglers strive to handle the fish carefully, minimize stress during the fight, and release the fish unharmed back into the water.

Game fishing has gained popularity worldwide, with various tournaments and competitions held for different fish species and regions. These events provide opportunities for anglers to showcase their skills, compete for prizes, and promote conservation awareness.

It’s important to note that specific regulations and guidelines govern game fishing activities, including fishing licenses, bag limits, size restrictions, and closed seasons. Anglers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local fishing regulations and follow ethical angling practices to protect the fishery resources and ecosystems they enjoy.

Sea Fishing

Sea fishing, also known as saltwater fishing, is a type of angling that takes place in marine or saltwater environments such as oceans, seas, bays, and estuaries. It involves targeting a wide range of fish species that inhabit these waters, offering unique challenges and opportunities for anglers.

Sea fishing encompasses various methods and techniques depending on the targeted species and fishing location. Some popular forms of sea fishing include:

  • Shore/Beach Fishing: I have many happy memories of beach fishing with my Dad. We never caught anything worthy  of note but the happiness of being by the sea, with my Dad, excitedly waiting for a fish to take the bait more than make up for not catching very much. Beach fishing involves fishing from the shoreline, such as beaches, rocky shores, piers, or jetties. Anglers may cast their lines into the surf or target fish near structures like rocks or submerged features. Shore fishing can be productive for species such as surfperch, striped bass, snook, or flounder.
  • Boat Fishing: Fishing from a boat allows anglers to access deeper waters and explore different fishing grounds. Boat fishing methods can vary widely, including trolling, bottom fishing, jigging, and live bait fishing. It offers opportunities to catch larger species such as tuna, marlin, sailfish, dorado, grouper, snapper, or cod.
  • Deep-Sea Fishing: Deep-sea fishing typically involves venturing into offshore waters, far from the coastline, where anglers target pelagic fish species. It requires specialized boats and equipment capable of handling the challenges of fishing in deep waters. Deep-sea anglers often target billfish (marlin, sailfish), tuna, sharks, mahi-mahi, and other large game fish.
  • Reef Fishing: Reef fishing involves targeting fish species that inhabit coral reefs, rocky outcrops, or artificial reef structures. Anglers may use baits, lures, or bottom fishing rigs to catch reef-dwelling fish like snapper, grouper, wrasse, or mackerel.
  • Fly Fishing: Although commonly associated with freshwater fishing, fly fishing can also be practiced in saltwater environments. Saltwater fly fishing often targets species like bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish, or striped bass. Specialized equipment and flies are used to imitate the prey of these fish.

Sea fishing provides anglers with opportunities to explore vast marine ecosystems, encounter diverse fish species, and enjoy the thrill of catching powerful and often larger fish. It requires knowledge of tides, currents, fishing seasons, and the behavior of saltwater fish. Local fishing regulations and restrictions should be followed to ensure sustainable fishing practices and the protection of marine resources.

Fishing – Getting Started

Getting started with fishing / angling can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here are some steps to help you begin your angling journey:

  • Research and Learn: Start by educating yourself about fishing basics. Read books, watch instructional videos, or explore online resources that provide information on fishing techniques, gear, fish species, fishing locations, and local fishing regulations. Familiarize yourself with the equipment and terminology used in angling.
  • Decide on the Type of Fishing: Determine the type of fishing that interests you. Consider whether you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing, and whether you’re drawn to specific fish species or fishing environments. This will help guide your choices in terms of gear, techniques, and fishing locations.
  • Obtain Fishing Gear: Invest in appropriate fishing equipment based on your chosen type of fishing. A basic fishing setup typically includes a fishing rod, reel, fishing line, hooks, weights, and bait or lures. Visit a local fishing tackle shop, seek advice from experienced anglers, or research online to find suitable gear within your budget.
  • Learn Casting Techniques: Casting is a fundamental skill in angling. Practice casting techniques in an open area, such as a park or backyard, to improve your accuracy and distance. Learn how to cast overhead, sidearm, or roll cast, depending on the fishing situation.
  • Choose the Right Bait and Lures: Understand the preferences of the fish species you’re targeting and select appropriate bait or lures. Live bait, such as worms or minnows, can be effective for many freshwater species, while saltwater fishing often involves using artificial lures that imitate the fish’s natural prey.
  • Learn Fishing Knots: Familiarize yourself with basic fishing knots that are essential for tying hooks, lures, or connecting various components of your fishing setup. Popular knots include the improved clinch knot, Palomar knot, and the loop knot.
  • Identify Fishing Locations: Research local fishing spots in your area. These can include lakes, rivers, ponds, or coastal areas. Seek information on the availability of fish species, fishing access, and any permits or licenses required. Join online fishing forums or connect with local anglers to gain insights into popular fishing locations.
  • Practice Patience and Persistence: Fishing requires patience and perseverance. It may take time to learn the intricacies of angling and develop the skills necessary to catch fish consistently. Embrace the learning process and enjoy the experience of being in nature.
  • Follow Fishing Regulations: Ensure you are aware of and adhere to local fishing regulations, including fishing seasons, catch limits, and any special restrictions or protected areas. Obtain the necessary fishing permits or licenses required in your area.
  • Respect the Environment: Practice ethical angling by respecting the environment and the fish you catch. Use proper fish handling techniques, practice catch-and-release when appropriate, and avoid leaving any litter or fishing gear behind.

Keep in mind that fishing is a lifelong learning experience, and the more you practice and gain experience, the better angler you will become. Enjoy the process, savor the time spent outdoors, and appreciate the beauty of nature while engaging in the wonderful activity of angling.

Is Fishing A Cheap Hobby?

As with the majority of hobbies, the cost of fishing as a hobby can vary widely depending on various factors such as the type of fishing, location, gear, and personal preferences. Fishing can be relatively inexpensive for some, while it can be a significant investment for others. Here are some factors to consider when assessing the cost of fishing as a hobby:

  • Fishing Gear: The cost of fishing gear can range from very affordable to expensive, depending on the quality and type of equipment you choose. Basic fishing gear, including a fishing rod, reel, fishing line, hooks, and weights, can be relatively inexpensive and suitable for beginners. On the other hand, specialized fishing gear for specific types of fishing or targeting larger fish species may be more costly.
  • Fishing Licenses and Permits: Many locations require anglers to obtain fishing licenses or permits to fish legally. The cost of these licenses varies depending on the region and the type of fishing (freshwater, saltwater, or specific species). Some areas offer daily, annual, or multi-year licenses at different price points.
  • Bait and Lures: The cost of bait and lures can add up over time, especially if you prefer using artificial lures or specific types of bait. Live bait may need to be purchased regularly, while artificial lures can be reused but may require occasional replacements.
  • Travel and Transportation: If you need to travel to reach good fishing spots, consider the cost of transportation, whether it’s fuel for your vehicle or airfare for fishing trips to distant locations.
  • Accommodation and Meals: For extended fishing trips or fishing vacations, accommodation and meal expenses should be factored in.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Fishing gear requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs or replacements. Replacing fishing line, repairing rods or reels, and purchasing new fishing tackle can contribute to ongoing costs.
  • Optional Extras: Additional fishing accessories such as tackle boxes, fishing clothing, fishing electronics (fishfinders, GPS devices), and fishing accessories can be optional but might add to the overall cost if you choose to invest in them.

Overall, fishing can be a cost-effective hobby, especially if you start with basic gear and fish in local waters where you don’t need to incur significant travel expenses.

It’s possible to enjoy fishing on a budget by being mindful of your spending, using economical gear, and fishing in accessible areas. However, fishing can also be an expensive hobby for you if you choose to invest in top-of-the-line equipment, participate in fishing tournaments, or embark on lavish fishing trips.

The cost of fishing as a hobby is flexible and can be tailored to fit your budget and preferences. Many anglers find that the joy and relaxation they derive from fishing make it a worthwhile and fulfilling activity, regardless of the monetary investment.