Coarse fishing is a hugely popular pastime and something that is not as difficult to get into as some might expect. It can be a relatively expensive hobby when done right and makes for a relaxing afternoon or just as much of a challenge as you might seek in equal measure. If you’ve never tried it before but would like to get started, these 10 tips will ensure that you get off to the perfect start without breaking the bank.
1. Decide on a Budget and Stick to It
As with anything that you do for the first time that requires specialist equipment, it can be tempting to go overboard on costs to ensure that you get the very best equipment available to you. That temptation never goes away for those with expensive tastes, but we would recommend adopting the same approach to starting out with coarse fishing as you would to golf.
Specifically, in the latter case, you don’t need to go out and buy the same clubs used by Tiger Woods when you’re yet to set foot on the course. In this case, you don’t necessarily need professional rods and bait. As you might expect, better equipment does often lead to superior results, but you need to ensure you enjoy the hobby and see a future in it before you commit too much cash. The last thing you need is a garage full of professional-grade fishing equipment that will probably never see the light of day ever again!
2. Still, Go for the Best You Can Afford
While the first tip is crucial, we must remember that it is important not to head too far in the other direction. Once you’ve decided how much you can afford, ensure that you make full use of that budget so that you don’t handicap yourself while fishing. As noted, better gear will make for better results, and you can get some good stuff if you shop around. You can also take advantage of those that didn’t take heed of the first tip and potentially pick up some fantastic gear second-hand.
3. Check Out the Water You Plan to Fish Beforehand
Heading out coarse fishing for the first time is enough of an adventure into the unknown as it is, without the need to overcomplicate things. Get a feel for the waters you plan to fish and, when you visit, see if you can speak to people that are already there. Fishermen tend to love to talk about their hobby so pick up on some tips and tricks that are unique to that body of water to guarantee yourself good results when you return.
4. Educate Yourself on Fish
One of the best things about fishing is that you can devote as much time as you like to the hobby, and you don’t have to be at the water with all your gear to get better. Look into the kinds of fish you can expect to catch in your local area and adapt your approach and equipment accordingly.
5. Dress Appropriately
Depending on where you live, we could say that the weather is unpredictable and that might even be an understatement. You can fish in just about any weather as long as you’re wearing the correct attire. Don’t rely solely on weather forecasts to predict how and when you should approach the fishing trip, and ensure that you’ve packed enough for any occasion to avoid having your session cut short due to conditions.
6. Remember Personal Comfort
Many fishers take up the hobby for the opportunity for some alone time and to relax. However, it’s impossible to relax properly if you’re uncomfortable. You should take the equipment you sit on and under just as seriously as the fishing gear, especially if you foresee yourself sitting and waiting for hours on end for the perfect catch. Invest in a good quality portable chair, and don’t forget a decent umbrella too, which can come in handy come rain or shine.
7. Try to Pick Up General Equipment
Coarse fishing is a broad term that covers a lot of different activities. You won’t know until you try which of these activities suits you best. It is therefore recommended to avoid the more specialist fishing equipment until you’ve established yourself within the hobby. If you eventually decide to specialise based on local conditions or your own enjoyment, you can always sell on old equipment for something more relevant in the future. At the same time, specialising too early may see you missing out on some of the more enjoyable aspects of the hobby.
8. Plan Your Bait Around the Fish You Intend to Catch
As you might expect, different fish respond well to specific kinds of bait. If you like to stay stocked up, you might run into space issues if you try to be a jack of all trades in this regard. It might be better to do your research first and make your purchase decisions accordingly. There are some general-purpose baits, like maggots, which should serve you well anywhere, but there is no harm in drilling down further into specifics for the best results.
9. Don’t Forget Your Net
Ideally, you don’t want to injure your fish and you don’t want them to get away either. It’s a bad idea to go big on your rod but small on your net, as the latter item can be every bit as important to good fishing results. Indeed, you might want to make the net a priority, as a good one will serve you well for years to come.
10. Be Open to Company
Many consider coarse fishing as a solitary experience, and that might be part of the appeal for you. However, it is also something that can easily be enjoyed in pairs or groups, so consider fishing trips with your friends as well as heading out on your own to enhance the experience even further.