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. Salma Yaqoob, psychotherapist, activist and proud Mum who is passionate about social justice and mental health issues, joined us at one event and later tweeted ‘I didn't know we could go fishing in Brum canals. It's been a great experience, would definitely recommend!’’.
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