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What is it?

  • Fishing, also known as angling, is a long established activity, originally designed to provide food for the table.  

  • Many of the people fishing for pleasure still eat the fish they catch;  this is especially true of what is called game fishing (for salmon and trout) and sea fishing.  

  • Fishing for other types of fish in rivers and lakes is known as coarse fishing.  

  • All types of fishing can be done as a casual activity just for fun, but there are also competitions, especially in coarse fishing.  

Find out more


National Federation of Anglers 
National Federation of Sea Anglers  01626 331330
Salmon & Trout Association 


Angler's Mail 
Angling Times 
Fishing in Britain 
Sea Angler 
Trout and Salmon 
Trout Fisherman 

Getting started

  • Find a local fishing group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if your local group has introductory sessions or other special events.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of fishing.

  • Check in your local library/paper for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Fishing is easy to learn and can be done by people of all ages and abilities, and both sexes.

  • You can fish on your own, and many people do, but others choose to join fishing groups or angling clubs. 

  •  This can give you access to particular stretches of water (see below) or a share in a sea going fishing boat.  

  • Except in competitive fishing, there is no need for the people you fish with to be of the same standard or physical ability as yourself.

Equipment or clothing
  • You can go fishing with a wooden pole and a string, but a fishing rod (of the type required for the sort of fishing you want to do) plus hooks and bait or "flies" are more normally the essential.  

  • Many fishermen accumulate a large quantity of additional gear, ranging from boxes to nets and including wet weather clothing and shelters of various kinds.  

  • Serious game fishing involves special clothing to allow wading into the water.

A place or facilities
  • A piece of water with fish in it is essential.  

  • You generally need permission from the owner of the fishing rights for the water you are using;  in some cases an angling licence is required and some stretches of water are reserved for the use of members of special groups or clubs.  

  • If the fish caught are to be eaten, care is needed to ensure that there is no pollution in the water being fished.

Have a go - get started now


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