Fishing requires patience and stillness, but also skill and strength. It can be done in rivers, seas, ponds and lakes, and most anglers do it not to see how many fish they can catch, but rather as a way of enjoying the natural setting. Generally you can fish in any body of water where it is not explicitly prohibited. Nevertheless, a distinction is made between free waters, in which anyone with a fishing licence can fish, and controlled fishing areas, for which a special permit is required. The Fishing Council of Catalonia proposes each season´s regulations, which are then approved by an order from the Ministry of the Environment. Inland fishing, or fishing in hinterland waters, lakes, rivers, etc., is one of the most popular recreational and leisure activities. If you want to fish you must have a licence, which can be obtained from the regional services and offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action, Ministry of the Environment and Housing or the Catalan Sport and Fly Fishing Federation. You can also obtain a provisional licence from the fishermen’s guilds by paying a fee. A licence is also needed for recreational sea fishing, which can be done individually or in groups. This licence is good for surface fishing from land or from a boat. The federation´s licence for recreational fishing entitles you to participate in competitions organised by the clubs and associations. One of the most popular fishing styles in Catalonia is catch-and-release fishing. The technique is based on the conservationist philosophy that helps maintain the sea population. There are many species that can be caught, but it is important to bear in mind the limitations as to the minimum legal size for each one. If you are interested in getting started or in taking a course, the best thing to do is to go to one of the many associations, clubs or societies that exist throughout Catalonia. The Esparreguera Anglers´ Association (in the Baix Llobregat region), the Pineda de Mar fishing club (in Maresme) and the Sport Fishing Association in Barcelona are some examples.