Grantham Journal angling correspondent Coster offers advice to novices
This week, Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster gives some advice to novice and would-be anglers.
Dave says: "Angling equipment can be expensive with state-of-the-art rods and reels costing several hundred pounds, but don’t let this put you off because it doesn’t cost a fortune to buy enough basics to get a good taste of what coarse fishing is all about.
"A simple starter pole with a couple of ready-made rigs and a few other essential bits and pieces should see change out of 50 quid. But don’t be tempted by some of the ridiculously cheap fishing kits you might see on the internet. Even experts are likely to struggle with some of this gear!
"Far better to visit a proper fishing tackle shop, where experienced anglers will put you right. After all, it’s in their best interests for you to become a regular customer.
"Why a pole to begin with?
"Well, it’s the easiest and less tangle prone way to learn and to catch a few fish. All you have to do is bait up and swing a ready-made rig out into the water.
"Whereas, if you try starting with a rod and line set-up, that’s where big problems arise with all sorts of tangles while learning to cast, which takes considerable time and patience. This is where many youngsters fall at the first hurdle, eventually getting bored because constant tangles don’t catch fish!
"Once kitted out, there are two main choices where you can wet a line. Rivers, canals, drains and lakes are classed as wild venues, or there are commercial fisheries.
"The big difference here is wild or natural venues can be very difficult for a beginner. There are usually less fish to target and they can be extremely shy, requiring expert tackle presentation and a lot of watercraft, which can take years to learn.
"Far better to visit a well-stocked day ticket lake, where fish stocks are maintained at artificially high levels, meaning if you can bait a hook you are going to catch something!
"The good news here is the Grantham area is rich with day ticket waters, such as Woodland Waters, Portland and Willow Lakes. Day ticket prices are £6 for adults and normally a bit cheaper for youngsters and senior citizens. You will also need a rod licence, which can be purchased from your local post office.
"If you do get a taste for fishing, there are many short cuts you can take in learning how to catch consistently and from all types of venues.
"Some commercial fisheries have angling coaches you can book a day with, plus a lot of top UK anglers do special coaching, or guiding days as they are called. The latter can cost a couple of hundred quid, but fast tracks you into becoming a competent angler."
+ Check out Dave Coster’s Fishing Diary on the Angling Direct website: www.angling-direct.co.uk/community