In the first part of our fishing for beginners guide Freshwater Fishing for Beginners Part 1 we looked at the basic kit that you will probably need for fresh water fishing. Now we’ll look at the different types of fish and bait used to catch them.
Common lake and pond fish
Common river fish
Common fishing baits
- Maggots: Maggots are probably the most common all-round fishing bait that is used. Most fish love maggots, they are easy to handle, pretty easy to attach to a hook and sold in most angling stores.
- Bread: Both Carp and Chub love bread. It is very easy to come by, is a great way to re-use old stale loaves and can be torn into small chunks and fitted to a hook in a matter of seconds.
- Luncheon Meat: I will let you into a secret here. I adore luncheon meat, I take a full tin and use half for my bait and eat the other half throughout the day. Chub, carp and barbell all love luncheon meat and with good reason. The firm consistency of the meat makes it perfect and very easy to attach to a hook and it holds its consistency well in the water, while others baits often disintegrate.
- Smelly cheese: We aren’t talking expensive stilton here, any mature cheddar cheese will do. Chub absolutely love it and will go mad for it.
- Sweetcorn: Again, another readily available supermarket staple and one that is effective at keeping its consistency when in the water. Tench, Carp and Barbel will all appreciate sweetcorn.
- Lobworms: Lobworms are our wiggly earth worms, most commonly found in the garden. They are often sold in angling stores, however not all will stock them. Look out for shiny, healthy looking worms that have a glossy look to their base, they unfortunately do not live for very long without the perfect conditions so to start with buy in small quantities so as not to waste them. Perch and Barbel like the ‘live’ factor that lobworms possess and will bite at any opportunity.
What you need to consider before fishing
Before going out fishing for the first time there are a couple of things to take into consideration. To fish anywhere in the UK you need to purchase a rod licence; rod licences come under 2 categories, Coarse and Salmon or Sea Trout. A licence can be purchased from nearly every post office in the country. Licences can be bought for single days, on an 8 day ticket or for a full season. A licence for an adult angler for coarse fishing will cost just £27.00 a year with concession rates available, although any child under the age of 12 does not need a licence. Every licence expires on the 31st March every year. The fines for not owning one are harsh with penalties reaching £2,500. Pay on the bank charges also need to be considered. Most clubs and private water will charge a small amount for you to fish on their premises. Again, the charges are not huge and cover all the amenities on offer, such as re-stocking a lake with new fish, maintenance and insurance.
Although there are a few thing to consider and prepare before the fun stuff starts, remember it is just supposed to be fun. Fishing is a great way to relax and watch the world go by. Finally to say that while most of our native fish are hardy enough to live though our winters without additional support and will grow to a fairly decent size if allowed to do so, please encourage sustainable angling in your area for the benefit of future generations.