Coarse fishing? Actually, its rather fine….
Tags: 'class' barriers, 1794, Abramis bjoerkna, Abramis brama, Alnus glutinosa, anadromous, Arvicola amphibius, Atlantic Salmon, bait producers, beautiful surroundings, Black Alder, book publishers, British Isles, British Waterways, Bronze Bream, canal, Carassius carassius, carbon fibre pole, coarse and game fish, coarse fish, coarse fishing, Codnor Park Reservoir, Common Bream, Common Carp, Common or Bronze Bream, Common Roach, Cromford canal, Crucian Carp, Cyprinus carpio, Derbyshire, Derbyshire Wildlife Site, DVD sales, egalitarian age, England, Esox lucius, Europe, European countries, European Perch, European Water Vole, fish farms, Fish species, fishing in the UK, fishing match, fishing pegs, fishing spot, flourishing specialist press, four million anglers, freshwater, game fish, game fishing, Germany, Goat Willow, Golden Valley, Great Britain, greatest weight of fish, keepnet, magazines, match angler, match anglers, most popular sports, multi-million pound industry, National Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species, newspapers, Northern Pike, numbered pegs, official website, Perca fluviatilis, plant species, pleasure angler, pleasure anglers, pole fishing, Pussy Willow, research programmes, reservoir, roach, rod and reel, rubber shock absorber, Rutilus rutilus, Salix caprea, Salmo salar, Salmo trutta morpha trutta, salmon, salt water, sea trout, Silver Bream, specialist press, species, specimen hunters, tackle manufacturers, Tench, Tinca tinca, TV programmes, venue management, Water Vole, websites, working man
Coarse fishing is one of the most popular sports in the British Isles and Europe. It has evolved over the years until now it is a multi-million pound industry, involving tackle manufacturers, venue management, fish farms (and research programmes), bait producers, a flourishing specialist press (newspapers and magazines, book publishers) as well as many websites, TV programmes and DVD sales. Over four million anglers go fishing in the UK (both coarse and game fish) and the sport is nearly as strong in Germany and other European countries.
Game fish (in the UK) consist of Sea Trout (Salmo trutta morpha trutta) and Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) – both of which are anadromous, that is they spend part of their lives in salt water, part in fresh water. All other species are classed as coarse fish, and it used to be coarse fishing was an activity that was the province of the working man; in this egalitarian age, the ‘class’ barriers have broken down, and rightly so.
There are pleasure anglers, who just go out for the day, enjoy the outing and are delighted to catch anything, specimen hunters who are completely dedicated to a single species and sometimes take days pursuing a single fish, and match anglers, who compete for cash or prizes either as a team or individually, the winner taking the greatest weight of fish in a given time. Here we can see a fishing match taking place at Codnor Park Reservoir, Derbyshire, with the anglers fishing at numbered ‘pegs’, each a regular distance apart (anglers draw their peg numbers before the start of the match). Codnor Park Reservoir was built in 1794, to feed water to the adjacent Cromford Canal (now disused), and is still owned by British Waterways. It is available for both pleasure and match anglers, who enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The Reservoir is designated as a Derbyshire Wildlife Site, and is home to the increasingly threatened European Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius) which is one of the National Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species. There are also over 160 plant species in the area; local trees include Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and Goat or Pussy Willow (Salix caprea).
Fish species caught in the Reservoir include the Common or Bronze Bream (Abramis brama), Silver Bream (Abramis bjoerkna), European Perch (Perca fluviatilis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Tench (Tinca tinca), Common Roach (Rutilus rutilus), Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), but match anglers hope to make contact with a shoal of the Common Bream (up to about 5lb in weight) to boost the haul in their keepnet. You can see that pole fishing is popular amongst match anglers. I never really took to the ‘fixed line’ method with its short length of rubber shock absorber at the tip of the lightweight multi-section carbon fibre pole, and partially dismantling the pole to get the fish into the landing net was difficult for me. I prefered the traditional rod and reel combination!
For more details of this delightful fishing spot, their official website is given below.