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Game fish are so-called because they are edible, although some coarse fish are edible too. In the UK, game fish are trout (brown – native, and rainbow – non-native), salmon, char and sea trout. The edible grayling is hunted by both game and coarse anglers.

In game fishing, a ‘fly’ is cast into the water from a long line on a rod and reel. Dry flies sit on the surface of the water, with the aim of mimicking a real insect. Wet flies sink below the surface of the water, with the same aim. ‘Lures’ are also used, and are designed to mimic small fish that larger game fish prey upon. ‘Spinning’ is a technique that is not permitted on all game angling waters; spinning uses metal objects in order to attract a fish’s attention.

Salmon and sea trout only enter rivers to spawn, and are difficult to catch – and sought-after. Trout may be found in rivers, lochs and lakes all year round, although regional fishing seasons limit when they may be caught. Grayling are subject to by-laws in England and Wales, and although there is no official close season in Scotland individual waters are likely to implement a close period. Char fishing can be more difficult to track down since they are less common than the other species.

cock salmon

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you need a rod licence before going game fishing.

Follow these links:

And for Northern Ireland:

SACS works tirelessly to promote and support all forms of game fishing. In particular, the ongoing and increasing threat to the future of the Atlantic salmon is of great concern. SACS lobbies government and works across the sector.