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Few holiday activities are as relaxing as fishing. With the typical allure of a holiday being to relax and unwind, fishing holidays offer all this and more.

While you may be unlikely to catch brill whilst fishing in your private trout lake or carp pond that comes with self-catering cottages in the New Forest, these ‘brill-iant’ tips are sure to make your next fishing holiday the best yet. Whether you are going alone or with a few friends or the family, there are fishing experiences to be had on holiday for beginners and keen fishermen alike.

1. Download the app

Technology has transformed many areas of daily life and fishing is certainly no exception. The Go-Fish app from angling venue and catch directory Go-Fish can truly revolutionise your fishing experience.

Here are just a few reasons to download the ‘fishing’ app:

  • You can submit your own catches …
  • Search by term such as 'carp'
  • Set area to limit the catches to your required destination
  • It will keep a diary of all your fishing expeditions
  • Post your catches to Facebook or Twitter
  • Automatically be entered into the month's fishing contest
  • See the weather and air pressure at time of any catch
  • The 'Fishing' version is Free!
  • Great if you're going on holiday or moving somewhere new
  • Because there are thousands of catches to view!

The website has even more information than the app, including angling holiday ideas, tips, photo of the week and events.

Download the iPad and iPhone app here.Download the Android app here.

2. Know your rivers

FishPal provides an online booking, advice and information system for all types of rod fishing. As an English fishing specialist they have provided Hideaways with some great information for some of the South West’s best fishing rivers.

For Devon and Cornwall Fishing Holidays

The Tamar is one of the best salmon and sea trout rivers in the South West. Their Tamar Fishing page has everything you need to know for a successful day’s fishing for salmon, trout, grayling and sea.

For New Forest and Hampshire Fishing Holidays

Similarly, the Hampshire rivers Test and Itchen are regarded as two of the finest chalk streams in the world. This link provides a wealth of information about trout and salmon fishing along with coarse, grayling fishing in these rivers.

Their website provides further information on the River Test, including the length of the trout season and where is best to fish. They also provide further information on the River Itchen, including its popularity among fly fishing fans the world over, the migratory fish that travel the stretch of the river and its high quality habitats that make it a designated SSSI.

They also have extensive information on booking a fishing experience, where customers can purchase day tickets online. Permits are issued online via email or can be posted. Offices are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and their customer services team are all anglers who enjoy fishing for all species. Customers can also purchase gift vouchers that can be redeemed against a day’s fishing.

3. Make like the pros

Many of the pros visit the lakes at Lechlade and Bushyleaze Trout Fisheries, such as top stalker Malcolm Hunt, whose stalking adventure at Lechlade featured in Total Flyfisher in March 2013. The fishery supports a fishing school as well as corporate days and offers plenty for those staying nearby.

For coarse and trout fishing opportunities in the South West, the South West Lakes Trust has all the information you could need to mix with the pros during your holiday. There are 14 coarse fisheries in total across the region, with their still water rainbow and brown trout fisheries known for being among the best in the West.

For a break from the fishing you can also enjoy some other great activities with the South West Lakes Trust. Their Tamar Lake offers a range of hire equipment, including pedaloes, rowing boats, windsurfers and dinghies, and there are some beautiful walking and cycling opportunities too.

4. Wear an apron

Once you’ve caught your impressive haul then you have to be sure to cook it just right if you are taking it home to your rental cottage for supper. Famed chef and fishmonger Mitch Tonks has a host of exquisite fish recipes in his seafood recipe books, as well as a couple of tasters on his website.

If this holiday has seen a good haul of mackerel, give this underestimated fish a new lease of life with his cheap and easy (yet divine!) Baked Mackerel with potato and thyme.

Ingredients:

  • onions 700g, peeled and finely sliced
  • olive oil 50ml
  • potatoes 1 kg, peeled and finely sliced
  • fresh thyme
  • mackerel 500g, filleted and pinboned
  • Knorr chicken stock pot 1

Cook the onions slowly in a pan with the olive oil for around 30 minutes until golden and caramelised. Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of a roasting dish, then lay half of the onions on top, season with salt and pepper, add some fresh thyme, then lay the mackerel on top, then the remaining onions, then the remaining thyme and finish with a final layer of potatoes.

Mix the stock pot with enough water to half fill the dish, then bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180C/gas mark 4.

5. Choose the perfect cottage

Finally, the Hideaways portfolio may offer a great range of cottages to suit different holidays, including properties that are perfect for a romantic break, pet friendly cottages and options for those wanting their own private pool, but their holiday cottages with private fishing such as Undercastle Cottage on the Hampshire Avon (see image below) are among the most popular.

What could be better than a holiday away in beautiful countryside staying in your own holiday cottage with private fishing facilities and other top fishing locations nearby? Choose from cottages in Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and the New Forest and much more – just click on the link above to find a holiday cottage that will make your fishing holiday.

Image Credits: Fish Pal, Go Fish, Lechlade and Bushyleaze Trout Fisheries, South West Lakes Trust, Mitch Tonks