NATIONAL FISHING MONTH has just ended after a highly active six weeks to promote angling.

Main coordinators, the Angling Trades Association, revealed that National Fishing Month 2019 encouraged over 5,000 people to try the sport this summer.

They took part in a nationwide schedule of over 100 special National Fishing Month events held across six weeks during July and August.

It all kicked off at a showpiece outdoors event, The Game Fair, staged this year at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

Coaching teams from the Professional Anglers Association and the Game Angling Instructors Association gave free coaching sessions to hundreds of youngsters and adults alike.

Many whole families had a go at casting a fly line or catching a fish on the lake. First-time anglers caught some outstanding fish, including carp and pike.

Jeremy Wade backs National Fishing Month

TV star Jeremy Wade, best known for River Monsters, joined the PAA coaches at the riverbank to offer his support.

He said: “National Fishing Month is a great way for people to learn the angling basics and appreciate the outdoors.

“By introducing newcomers to the sport, you pass on a gift that stays with them throughout their lives.”

As well as targeting the general public and their families throughout the promotional period, specialist groups took advantage of the opportunities to have a go at fishing across the country.

Organisers at Albrighton Moat, South Cerney AC, Goldsworth Park AC, Firtree Fishery, Barford Lakes and Gipping Valley AC helped to bring big smiles and first-catch memories to a mix of people.

Coaching groups such as Watford Angling Coaches and Angling Cymru staged a series of their own localised events in support of National Fishing Month, enabling thousands of families to enjoy their first angling experience.

National Fishing Month got off to a lively start at The Game Fair.

National Fishing Month got off to a lively start at The Game Fair. This carp was one of the bigger fish landed.

John Loftus, chairman of the ATA, which owns the National Fishing Month brand, commented: “I’m reassured with the results from this year’s events but know that we have an even greater opportunity to grow these events exponentially in the future.

“We continue to owe a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic, loyal support of the voluntary organisers and coaches who actually plan and deliver the events every year.

“It’s down to their hard work that so many people are introduced to angling, and they are the ones who help build initiatives like National Fishing Month to recruit the next generation of anglers to our wonderful sport.

“We are particularly appreciative of the involvement of the PAA who arranged the National Fishing Month initiative this year.”

“Thanks also go out to Angling Direct for their generous financial support, to Dinsmores and Fladen for their product donation support and to the Environment Agency for their fishing licence waivers. We are extremely grateful to them for helping us catch so many new anglers. “

3,000 more hooked on canals this summer

The Canal and River Trust are amongst those reporting impressive summer take-up of the sport via their own Let’s Fish introductory sessions.

Fisheries manager John Ellis explained: “We have held over 100 events on the canal network over the school holiday period and over 95 per cent of participants have caught their first fish.

“Over 3,000 people will have tried fishing during this period.

“We will be carrying on our good work all-year-round with another 30 events scheduled for the half-term period.

“BBC Midlands Today TV programme actually came to film one of the events, which is possibly an angling first.

“The Let’s Fish campaign isn’t a formal partner in National Fishing Month but we are actively looking at how we can work with the trade to best develop the next generation of regular committed anglers,” John added.

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