Since it began on 22nd July, National Fishing Month (NFM) 2017 has proved to be a major attraction at events throughout the country. One of the first took place in Northlands Country Park, Basildon, on a typical British summer’s day (glorious sun and then showers) where nearly 70 people tried angling for the first time. The event was staged in partnership with Basildon Carnival Festival, and it allowed visitors to explore a variety of aspects of fishing - including bait techniques and pond dipping - to inspire them to become more active and try angling.
The highlight of second weekend of NFM was the traditional showcase event which took place at The Game Fair, held this year at Hatfield House, Hatfield. Over 500 riverside coaching sessions were delivered by members of the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) and the Game Angling Instructors’ Association (GAIA). There were many joyous, smiling faces as first-time anglers caught some outstanding fish, including carp and pike. The National Fishing Month display tent area included demonstrations of fly tying, rig building, lure fishing techniques and cooking your catch, all aspects of which were crowd pulling and highly entertaining.
The stand was also visited by a number of dignitaries and celebrities including Nigel Farage MEP and JB, from band JLS. They both thanked everyone for their hard work in raising the awareness of the health and social inclusion benefits of angling, and expressed their belief that initiatives like National Fishing Month which help get more kids and their families into fishing were fabulous.
The ‘Lets Fish’ campaign, run in conjunction with NFM by The Canal and River Trust, has already recorded a number of successful events at the start of their fishing programme. John Ellis, Fisheries Manager said: ‘We’ve had a cracking start to this year’s events with some great attendance figures.
Feedback from people taking part has already clearly indicated the joy of participants at learning the angling basics under expert guidance: ‘What a brilliant session, which my son really enjoyed – his first experience of fishing and he will definitely try it again’; ‘The girls enjoyed it so much we actually went the next day too! We have bought the girls some simple rods and hope to take them again over the next few weeks.’ ‘Many thanks to you all to making their time so enjoyable- they were thrilled and now are even keener to take it up properly.’
Thanks to the headline sponsorship support from tackle manufacturers Daiwa, Pure Fishing and Leeda – all members of NFM organisers the Angling Trades Association – National Fishing Month continues to be an overwhelming success. Along with the support received from the Environment Agency, the Angling Trust, the Canal and River Trust, Angling Cymru,
the PAA and GAIA, NFM 2017 is continuing to attract thousands of new people to the sport of angling.
There are still hundreds of other events across the country throughout August, and they are open to everyone. To find a NFM event near to you, visit www.nationalfishingmonth.com
With less than a month to its launch, National Fishing Month (NFM) 2017 is on target to match the success of previous years. More than 300 events (running between 22nd July and 3rd September 2017) have already been registered on the official NFM website (www.nationalfishingmonth.com). Each entry details when, where and how anyone who wants to learn more about fishing can take part locally at events run by angling coaches licensed with the Angling Trust.
Tackle manufacturers Daiwa, Pure Fishing and Leeda – all members of NFM organisers the Angling Trades Association (ATA) - have been generous with their headline sponsorship. Their contributions are significant as is the support received from the Environment Agency (EA), the Angling Trust (AT), the Canal and River Trust, Angling Cymru, the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) and the Game Angling Instructors Association (GAIA).
There are a huge number of local events organised under the NFM banner, and this year also heralds several showcase initiatives. These include an NFM launch event at Northlands Park Lakes, Felmores Road, Basildon, Essex on the 22nd July. Organised in partnership with Basildon and Pitsea Carnival Festival, it should be a great day out for everyone. There will also be pond dipping, equipment displays and first aid demonstrations by a Qualified First Aider.
NFM will be showcased at the Game Fair, held this year at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire (28th, 29th and 30th July). It will feature Riverside coarse coaching sessions organised by members of the PAA alongside junior and adult fly coaching organised by GAIA. The Game Fair team has been busy ensuring that the new look ‘fishing village’ area at the Game Fair will be a fabulous attraction for the hundreds of thousands of people who attend the three-day event. The National Fishing Month coaching area will form a central attraction for anyone interested in having a go at fishing under expert tuition and, for children, there is no cost. Tickets for the Game Fair can be purchased at https://thegf.yourticketbooking.com
Everyone who participates in an NFM event across the country will receive a ‘goodie bag’ containing a ‘Get into Fishing’ booklet full of information on how to get started, advice on different types of fishing, stickers and a fishing log book. Participants will also be presented with certificates of participation as lasting mementoes of their introduction to angling.
The showcase schedule ends with the hugely popular Evesham Festival (26th, 27th and 28th August) on the River Avon in Worcestershire.
There are hundreds of other events across the country, open to everyone. To find an NFM event near to you and book your place, visit www.nationalfishingmonth.com
Did you know that just about anybody can learn to fish? Fishing really is a four-season leisure pastime, and one of its joys is that in each season there are different and exciting fish to catch.
Fishing transports you to the heart of nature and the many, intriguing plants and animals that live there. By attending an organised event this summer during the National Fishing Month Silver Jubilee, you could experience the joys of fishing yourself.
Angling takes you into the fresh, unpolluted air, promoting healthy lung function and a sense of well-being. Recent research clearly shows that getting out on the bank can be good for you and the family. These health benefits also extend to the mind, and angling is well-known for its therapeutic, mental effects. It really is a perfect hobby to get you away from the daily stresses faced by both time-poor adults and children growing up in the twenty first century.
Dean Macey, Olympian and Big Fish Off presenter has no doubt about why he is an enthusiastic angler: “I have been fishing for as long as I can remember and wherever I go in the world, I will always bump into someone who also loves fishing. It’s such a great hobby - you get to spend time outdoors, appreciate Mother Nature, meet some great people and, if you’re lucky, witness some marvellous creatures at close hand.”
Dean continued: “When I was a kid, I found it hard to get my head around school work or any kind of discipline. If it wasn’t for fishing and athletics I dread to think where I would be right now. Between them, they gave me something to focus on and kept me off the streets.
“Throughout my athletics career, fishing helped me unwind mentally and I’m sure without it, I would have burnt myself out. Whether it’s a day on a river, sleeping under the stars on a stillwater for a few days or jumping on a plane to fuel my passion abroad, I don’t mind, I love it all. That’s why I support National Fishing Month and urge everyone to get involved and take part. Everyone I have ever taken fishing has fallen in love with the sport. Give it a go - you owe it to yourself!”
It doesn’t matter what age you start. Children can take part on equal terms with their grandparents. You can fish alone, with friends or in an organised group for an hour or two or for a whole day – you have the freedom to choose.
Enjoy yourself this summer, get outdoors and get healthy - take part in a National Fishing Month registered event and follow thousands of young people, parents, grandparents and friends who enjoy quality family time together at the waterside over the holiday period. Book your place now at www.nationalfishingmonth.com.
For 25 years now, National Fishing Month has helped introduce nearly 300,000 people into the incredible sport of angling. It’s a hugely satisfying way to strengthen relationships and get active together, and it often leads to lasting participation in and a passion for angling.
National Fishing Month 2017 runs between 21st July and 3rd September.
Angling is still searching for its position in the mainstream sports arenas. Although it is a participatory sport, hugely popular on a world-wide basis and practised in virtually every country, general acceptance by those that follow sports is largely absent. There are no Olympic angling medals at stake in Rio.
There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, most of them related to a lack of understanding about the sport and what makes anglers ‘tick’. In a competitive framework, there is not the direct or indirect contact between participants that occurs with bat or ball sports; competitive angling pits the competitors against the course – a river, lake, canal or the sea – although this is also true of other outdoor Olympic sports as diverse as golf, archery, rowing and marathon running.
For casual spectators, angling is difficult to understand or follow because the degree of success is rarely visible. In golf, one can see how close to the hole the ball lands, whereas in angling, fish are usually invisible until captured. This ‘all or nothing’ outcome can be dismissed as mere luck by the uninformed, yet – consistently – the same top match anglers win national, European and World competitions. Skill is a requisite of good anglers.
Within the sport there has been speculation that some of the niche competitive activities, such as distance casting, could form the basis for entertaining televisual coverage. Moreover, there are a growing number of angling-related programmes which focus on contrived competitions between small numbers of people or ‘man against monster fish’ contests, usually in dramatic or picturesque surroundings around the world.
Although some of these programmes have elicited a range of responses from anglers, there is no doubt that they have raised the sport’s profile and inspired non-anglers to try the sport for the first time or to consider doing so. There is no shortage of opportunities for would-be anglers to get started and to maintain their participation to competition levels if they wish – through school fishing projects and the Angling Trust’s Talent Pathway, for example.
Development costs money but, despite its popularity, angling has struggled historically to attract major sponsors or lucrative advertising support. More than 4 million people fish in the UK, an audience sufficiently large to attract serious interest by any business selling goods and services.
The first step to making this a reality is for forward-thinking leaders within angling and from the corporate world to foster relationships that can develop into partnerships of huge mutual benefit. As a general rule, anglers are do-it-yourselfers, and DIY chains, insurance companies and car manufacturers have started to explore giving their support to fishing.
It is a major advantage that angling is so broadly-based, with few boundaries. There are no barriers raised by age, gender, race, social class or physical ability, and an angling session can last for as little as an hour or as long as several weeks. Anglers can fish competitively, seek specimen-sized fish or merely to catch whatever fish happen to come along. Many anglers are accompanied by family or friends, while others choose to fish alone.
This is where initiatives like National Fishing Month can help. Created over 20 years ago by the Angling Trades Association and now supported by partners such as the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust, Angling Cymru and the Professional Anglers Association, National Fishing Month provides an annual focus on fishing activities where anyone of any age can have a go at hundreds of NFM events across the UK.
If you don’t fish right now, there is still time to give it a chance by booking a place at an event near you through www.nationalfishingmonth.com. It could lead to a life-long passion that is as rewarding as any Olympic Gold medal.
National Fishing Month 2016 runs between 22nd July and 29th August.
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