A RECORD number of events helped National Fishing Month get 14,000 novices fishing this year.

Some 326 special NFM events were held across the six week ‘month’ helped by the Canal And River Trust getting onboard this year.

Naidre Werner, chair of the Angling Trades Association which runs NFM, enthused: “I’m over the moon that our NFM participant numbers continue to reflect how important NFM is in creating awareness of angling to the general public. We really do fly the flag for fishing and people love it.

“But the Angling Trades Association isn’t solely responsible for making this participation initiative such a success.

“We continue to enjoy funding support from the Environment Agency, regional and national support from the Angling Trust and the Professional Anglers Association and, in 2016, outstanding support with over 30 of their own events organised by our new partner, the Canal and River Trust.

“They have all been instrumental in helping us achieve such fantastic results.”

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Naidre added: “The real key to NFM’s ongoing success is without doubt attributable to the enthusiastic, steadfast support of the voluntary organisers and coaches who actually plan and deliver the events every year.

“It’s down to their hard work that the sport is exposed to so many people – and they deserve our greatest thanks and gratitude for helping recruit the next generation of anglers to our wonderful sport.”

John Ellis, fisheries manager for the Canal and River Trust revealed: “We are already planning a larger programme of events on our canals and rivers in 2017 to make sure that even more people get the fishing habit.”

Paul Forman, NFM organiser and owner of Watford Angling Coaches who coached at events, said: “It was a very busy NFM period for us, but the 500 youngsters who came along loved the experience and wanted to know where they could continue fishing near to where they lived.”

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