You don’t need to like eating fish to enjoy fishing. In fact, fishing today focuses more on the experience than the end result, and many fishing enthusiasts throw their fish back .
So if you’re looking for a new, relaxing hobby, fishing could be for you. All around the UK, you’ll find plenty of fisheries and fishing sites to enjoy. But where exactly are they, and how can you find out more? Read our list of great fishing websites to get your journey started.
Getting started with fishing
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the best sites for novice fishermen is the online home of the UK’s Environment Agency. Here, you’ll find a variety of information on where to go fishing and what to do to prepare for your fishing trip, as well as details on angling and conservation. There’s also angling news on their website, and a portal through which you can report fish in trouble and any illegal fishing.
Most importantly, the Environment Agency also has vital information on how to get your rod license, which is essential for anyone over the age of 12 fishing in freshwater in England and Wales. You can buy a rod fishing license from the Post Office. For information on fishing in Scotland and Northern Ireland, see guidelines from Gov.uk.
Once you’ve got your license and your equipment, it’s time to decide where your fishing trip will take place. GoFishing.co.uk is a fantastic place to start your research. Here, you’ll find a wide range of details on coarse fishing, sea fishing and game fishing. So whatever kind of fishing you want to take up, there’s information here to help you.
Online fishing inspiration
Still not sure where you’re going to go? Fisheries.co.uk has even more information on fishing in the UK. Scroll down to the bottom of their homepage for a handy map of Scotland, England and Wales. Simply click on a region to see its available fisheries. There are over 100 listed so you’re sure to find one that appeals – whether you’re heading out for a morning of local fishing or you’re planning a longer trip away.
Fishingtrips.co.uk and Fishingbreaks.co.uk are two more great sites with comprehensive fishing locations listing. Fishingbreaks.co.uk is particularly well-loved by anglers, though it includes only fishing sites in England. Simon Cooper, the fishing expert who runs the site, has a dedicated special offers page and even runs a monthly newsletter for angling enthusiasts.
Alternatively, Spotfish lets you search for fisheries by city, town or post code. You can also become a member of the site to post “catch reports” and recognise your fishing achievements. Where to Fish is another site which, although lacking Spotfish’s community base, has a bigger directory of fisheries.
And if you want to venture further out onto the water, take an organised deep sea fishing trip with a reputable operator like Norfolk Fishing Trips. This sort of organised fishing trip is especially recommended for inexperienced fishermen, who should avoid venturing out into the open sea without an expert in tow.