Coarse angling as a sport rather than as a necessity originated in the United Kingdom over 200 years ago. All fish other than the game species (mainly salmon and trout) are classified as coarse fish. On the whole, game fish are more palatable than coarse species.
The preferred techniques for coarse fishing are float and ledgering.
Ledgering involves the use of a large weight which sits on the bottom. this sinks the bait and hook and holds it in one place. Rods are usually placed on rests rather than held in the hand.
Various methods are used to detect bites, the most common being the electronic bite indicator, otherwise known as bite alarms.
One bite alarm that we have used is the Gone Fishing RY295 Bite Alarm. This little device performs well, we reckon that it performs as well as some more expensive makes. It’s bloody loud, certainly loud enough to wake you up should you nod off during a night fishing session! We also know of some keen carp anglers who use these too. But if you run several rods, it is probably cheaper to invest in a set of 3 bite alarms such as these these which come in a protective waterproof case with places for the batteries. It is a very convenient way of carrying them around. Slightly more expensive sets are available, for example, if you want to play it safe with a known brand, Shakespeare produce one at a very reasonable cost.
Float fishing is more more versatile than ledgering as it is not limited to catching bottom feeders. The bright tip of the float disappears under the surface when the fish takes the bait. Split shot or other forma of weight are used to set the float. The types of float are waggler, stick float and pole float.
The waggler float is attached only at the bottom of the float which makes it very sensitive. We have produced a post about waggler floats and dhotting patterns elswhere on the site.
An extended version of float fishing is pole fishing. Fishing poles are made of Carbon fibre and fire glass to keep them light and flexible, the line length is fixed.
For beginners, an excellent book is The Coarse Fishing Handbook: A Guide to Freshwater Angling. This is written by Tony Miles, has more than 40 years’ coarse fishing experience and has fished all over Britain and France, specialising in specimen hunting. Tony was a leading feature writer for various coarse fishing magazines so he knows what he is on about.
The book gives expert tips and professional guidance on what to fish for, how to fish, the different techniques of coarse fishing and the best locations to choose. The book includes a visual A-Z guide and detailed information about all the major species of coarse fish, including Carp, Pike, Perch, Roach, Rudd, Barbel and Bream. There is essential advice on recognition, size potential, behaviour and feeding habits. All types of natural, artificial and groundbaits are discussed, with instructions on the best methods of using them. The various techniques of coarse fishing are then covered in depth, including float fishing, freelining, legering, pole fishing and lure fishing. Reading the water, whether it is running or still, is an important angling skill that the author, an expert in this field, teaches in detail. This is an essential and informative guide, written and designed to increase every angler’s enjoyment and sporting ability whether just starting out or at a more advanced level.
The instructions in the book are clear and visual and it knocks the spots off other books for coarse fishing beginners. The type is a bit small but other than that, no complaints. Much better than many other beginners guides.