With the World Cup now over and the school holidays looming, many parents face the prospect of finding ways of keeping their restless youngsters occupied over the long six week break. The message from the Angling Trust and other organisations is to “take your kids fishing” this summer.
To highlight the appeal of fishing to young people, Angling Trust Campaigns chief Martin Salter invited his old colleague Charles Walker MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group, to bring his sons on a special day out with himself and Will Barnard, Angling Development Manager at Thames Water. They went to College Lake – a fish-filled water in Hampshire – where the youngsters had a great time catching some beautiful carp, bream and roach on a variety of methods.
Best fish of the day was a lovely 11lb mirror carp caught by Charles’ son Alistair on method feeder.
Charles Walker MP, said: “My sons James and Alistair, and their friend Jack, had a fantastic time catching fish with Will and Martin. I just wish more parents would realise that there are very few things that can compare with taking your children fishing and helping them learn about wildlife and nature.
“There are a plenty of safe and friendly angling schemes and projects run by the Angling Trust and its partners for beginners, so it really couldn’t be easier.”
Martin Salter added: “Nowadays young people have a lot of other distractions which means we have to work harder to get the fishing message across and to give our sport a future. Not only is fishing great fun – it is also good for you. Outdoor pursuits like angling have been proved time and time again to be good for mental and physical health and well-being, and for gaining a greater understanding of the countryside and the environment. This is why we pressed hard to bring in free rod licences for under 16s.”
Will Barnard said: “Thames Water strongly believes in promoting angling on its waters and offers a number of ‘Try Fishing Days’ throughout the year at our angling academy at Walthamstow Reservoirs in London as well as at our popular fly fishery at Farmoor near Oxford. Angling is a great way for young people to learn about the importance of looking after our rivers, steams and lakes.”
This summer there are hundreds of events which offer opportunities to discover the joys of fishing, including the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign, Get Hooked on Fishing’s ‘Family Fishing’ initiative, Canal & River Trust’s ‘Let’s Fish!’ sessions and National Fishing Month, run by the Angling Trades Association.
You can find them all at Get fishing Near You. Children aged between 13 and 16 can get a FREE Environment Agency fishing licence to fish in stillwaters, canals, rivers and streams so it’s now even less expensive for families to start fishing.