Coarse fishing: totally dumb newbie question....

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bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
944
369
North West Somerset
Hi All,

I ask this as a recent total newcomer to coarse fishing, so please bear with me :)

I started fishing in August, almost always lake fishing in paid for venues. I have been lucky enough to catch some great fish, and have very much enjoyed catching, photographing and returning all manner of coarse fish. I only really float fish as I'm not a fan of bite alarms and all that tech - I prefer to be a bit 'pro-active' I suppose.

At the first real frosts round here (Surrey) at the start of November, my catches dropped right down in number and size. I understand that this is completely normal due to the seasonal changes in fish behaviour, and i can still catch plenty of smaller roach and perch, so fishing is still fun. My real question is: does fish behaviour switch back or catch up again before the start of the closed season in mid-March?

I suppose that I need to adapt my approach to fishing in Winter/early Spring, and perhaps
I should join an angling club to get this kind of advice......

Cheers, Bob
 

Kepis

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 17, 2005
6,302
1,179
Sussex
Hi All,

I ask this as a recent total newcomer to coarse fishing, so please bear with me :)

I started fishing in August, almost always lake fishing in paid for venues. I have been lucky enough to catch some great fish, and have very much enjoyed catching, photographing and returning all manner of coarse fish. I only really float fish as I'm not a fan of bite alarms and all that tech - I prefer to be a bit 'pro-active' I suppose.

At the first real frosts round here (Surrey) at the start of November, my catches dropped right down in number and size. I understand that this is completely normal due to the seasonal changes in fish behaviour, and i can still catch plenty of smaller roach and perch, so fishing is still fun. My real question is: does fish behaviour switch back or catch up again before the start of the closed season in mid-March?

I suppose that I need to adapt my approach to fishing in Winter/early Spring, and perhaps
I should join an angling club to get this kind of advice......

Cheers, Bob
probably easier to explain over the phone, i'll pm you my number happy to talk to you about it, btw, im a fishery manager & look after six ponds and lakes and have fished at National level.
 
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dave89

Nomad
Dec 30, 2012
438
7
Sheffield
Baits tent to change over the seasons in winter i use maggots and bread, also one of mate swears by spicey peanut juice
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
944
369
North West Somerset
Thanks fellas. Kepis, I will reply to your pm, and maybe give you a call. I suppose i should also read up on river fishing as there is a fair bit of free river angling access close to me.
 

Oats-1983

Member
Sep 23, 2017
13
6
N.Ireland
Think about using a swim feeder. Colder weather could be potentially pushing fish deeper. Also the benefit of a bit of extra bait around the hook bait can encourage feeding.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
Do y'all not eat perch? Or any similar species? They're the sort that would be classed as "pan fish" here.
 

Oats-1983

Member
Sep 23, 2017
13
6
N.Ireland
No perch would not be a table (pan) fish. Most people fishing for coarse fish would fish catch and release but there are always the exceptions. Unlike with yourselves our sea specifies are not called game species but a number of them would be table fish when caught.
 
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bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
944
369
North West Somerset
Here in England I have worked on the basis that coarse fish are all freshwater fish minus all game fish (salmon, all types of trout, char, and possibly also grayling). Given that in the places where I fish I very unlikely to see a game fish my description of 'coarse' allows me a fairly wide range :)

As a followup to my original question, I have modified my waters for fishing, and my kit with some advice from Mark (Kepis). The change of location has been necessary due to my local fishery (Apps Court Farm lakes) having closed until 1st May for some reason, so I have been looking around for an alternative. I have now found two: The Frog Island fishery at Tillingbourne Trout farm, and a very local stretch of the Ember river. Frog Island is a day ticket water fairly nearby and although it needs a fair bit of maintenance work (IMO), it seems to have plenty of coarse fish in good condition. The local stretch of the Ember river is in a section of the original river which has been mainly bypassed by a flood relief scheme channel, and now only exists as a narrow winding stream in a very unloved piece of woodland. It is however stuffed full of hungry small coarse fish! So far they seem to range up to about a half pound, and include roach, perch, chub, dace and gudgeon. I will be going to these places until then end of the coarse season, and then trying some other places again at the start of the new season.

Cheers, Bob
 
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Mesquite

Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
24,134
987
59
~Hemel Hempstead~
No perch would not be a table (pan) fish. Most people fishing for coarse fish would fish catch and release but there are always the exceptions. Unlike with yourselves our sea specifies are not called game species but a number of them would be table fish when caught.
I don't know who told you Perch here isn't a table fish as it's extremely tasty and perfectly legal to take from rivers so long as you obey local bye-laws and have the landowners permission.
 

Oats-1983

Member
Sep 23, 2017
13
6
N.Ireland
Majority of people coarse fishing accept that it is catch and release for coarse species. At no point did I say it can’t be tabled just that people tend not too.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
No perch would not be a table (pan) fish. Most people fishing for coarse fish would fish catch and release but there are always the exceptions. Unlike with yourselves our sea specifies are not called game species but a number of them would be table fish when caught.
Thanks, but I was asking about freshwater perch and sun fishes. Not sea perch. To be honest, I don't know if I've ever even seen a sea perch.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
I don't know who told you Perch here isn't a table fish as it's extremely tasty and perfectly legal to take from rivers so long as you obey local bye-laws and have the landowners permission.
Perch, Bluegills (like these form a trip last summer) Crappie, Bream, and assorted other sunfish species.

Before



After

 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
1,629
McBride, BC
Same old, same old, tangle with locally popular common names = useless.

The freshwater perch that we speak of in North America is Perca flavescens, to the entire world.
In the Jindabyne reservoir in Australia, they are just as tasty but called "Red Fin."

Blow the dust off your 'fish books' and trot out the real names.
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
944
369
North West Somerset
The info I use lists UK perch as:

PERCH Perca fluviatilis

Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record

5lb 15oz 2006 Les Brown, Stillwater at Crowborough, Sussex

Nickname ‘Stripey’. The perch has a flat-sided greenish body graduating down to a white belly. It has bright red/orange pelvic fins, two dorsal fins with five or more broad black vertical stripes down the sides. It has a row of sharp pointed spines along the dorsal fin so be careful when handling the perch.

The real name would seem to be correct, but I'm not sure if the catch record weight is up to date.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
Wiki has this pic of Perca Fluviatillis and it resembles most of our perch species as well (though not exactly)



I expect it should be just as tasty as ours. It's certainly much larger.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
By the way RV, perca flavascens (yellow perch) isn't the common one here either.



Speckled perch is more common here:



Or Red Ear Perch (better known locally as Shellcrackers)