Pike and carp are the most important coarse species here, but there are a myriad of other fish which are pursued by coarse anglers. Some are fished for in purpose built lakes, others in natural lakes/lochs and others in canals.
The pike, Esox lucius is one of the most readily identifiable species of fish. With its green and cream mottled markings, elongated body and a tooth-filled mouth. It is designed to deal easily with all manner of prey.
Pike can be found throughout Northern Europe. We are fortunate that pike can adapt and survive within a multitude of waters, which means there are always going to be more waters available than anglers fishing. The visitor will more than likely have the water to themselves or maybe just one or two others.
Much of the pike fishing is either free or available for a modest cost, but is always wise to approach the landowner or local angling club to ask for permission before fishing.
Pike fishing in Ireland.
Of all the freshwater fish in Britain, the carp is the most sought after by anglers. Variations include crucian carp, mirror carp, leather carp and common carp but all normally muscular with a large rudder-like tail giving them power and acceleration. Carp can grow to a great size but normally lakes have fish up to around 20lbs in weight.
Carp anglers are renowned for being fixated on their prey and died-in-the-wool fishermen will hunt for nothing else. They travel all over the country, to Europe and beyond in search of that once in a lifetime specimen. Tackle is specialised and can cost many thousands of pounds but for the beginner equipment can be far less complicated and relatively cheap.
The great majority of carp populations have only been established in the last thirty years or so. In a few places they were introduced as barometer species to monitor water quality or in the mistaken belief that they will control rampant weed growth; but most have been stocked - sometimes along with other coarse fish - to create sporting fisheries.
Alongside that, angling clubs and syndicates have played an important part by leasing and stocking their own waters or enhancing the stocks in waters available to the public. All these developments have served to fuel further expansion in the sport.
Other coarse fishing
Aside from the two species above there are a myriad of other coarse fish which are pursued by coarse anglers. Some of these are fished for in purpose built lakes, others in natural lakes and others in canals.
The main species are barbel, bream, chub, dace, gudgeon, ide, orfe, perch, rudd and tench. As with carp and pike fishermen there are anglers who will only target one species to the exclusion of all others.
Match fishing is extremely popular and match anglers will happily catch any of the aforementioned species, preferably in great numbers as results are based on total weights caught.