So you want to have a go at fishing?
Where to start?
Decide which type of fishing you would like to try.
Coarse fishing offers all year round (stillwaters and canals), easily accessible fishing throughout South West England and can be pretty ‘easy’. You will (almost certainly) have to return any fish you catch.
Game fishing requires a little more skill, certainly with fly fishing, and offers seasonal fishing on rivers and all year round on most private reservoirs, lakes, canals and ponds. Whether you can keep your catch will depend on where you fish but small stillwaters are a good place to start and will allow you to keep your fish. Taking home fresh rainbow trout is usually well received!
Note that coarse and game fishing requires the purchase of an Environment Agency rod fishing license. Sea fishing requires no license and is free from the shore pretty much everywhere (we have an awful lot of coast in the south west). There are also dozens of Sea Fishing charter boats around the Westcountry coast. This is a more costly option but an experienced skipper can supply tackle and bait and put you right on the most productive marks. You can keep your catch, with a few limitations on certain species.
Undoubtedly the best way is to start fishing is to go with someone else.
Ideally borrow some tackle, go in good weather and pick somewhere you are very likely to catch. I know Lots of people (me us included) bang on about how ‘it’s not just about catching fish’ but if you are just starting out that is pretty high on the list of requirements!
If you don’t know anyone who goes fishing get in contact with your local club, you will find most are listed on this web site [link to clubs]. Some clubs may have a waiting list for membership but the vast majority are very keen to encourage new anglers.
Perhaps the most tailored way you can also learn to fish is with a professional angling coach, in either a small group or on a one to one basis. A certified angling coach can give specific tuition on your chosen type of sport and you will be assured of very high quality instruction. Professional coaches/guides are also a popular way for anglers to advance and take their skills to a higher level.