Often called freshwater fishing, coarse fishing is a more exact description of fishing for fish such as carp, roach, bream, pike, perch etc. The other part of freshwater fishing is referred to as game fishing and that involves fishing for the salmonid family of fishes, notably trout, salmon and char.
Coarse fishing is a term used in the UK and Ireland, everywhere else in the world it seems to be referred to as freshwater fishing. The term coarse fish seems to have originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1800’s. At that time, recreational fishing was a sport of the gentry, who angled for salmon and trout and called them game fish. Other freshwater fish did not make such good eating, and they were dismissed as coarse fish. Once the term coarse fish had entered our language it was a simple step to make those people who fished for such fish to be coarse fishermen or coarse anglers. There is absolutely no truth in the idea that coarse anglers got their name because many of them came from Northern Britain, working in the factories and mills during the week and then catching a coach, bus or train to go fishing at the weekend, although I’m certain that’s how match fishing came about since all of the great anglers from bygone years came from north of Watford !.