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Get Fishing Accreditation

Take a Friend Fishing – more opportunity than ever to get into fishing

Take a Friend Fishing Campaign Dates:

  • Take a Friend Fishing Easter runs from Saturday 1st of April to Sunday 16th of April 2023 (inclusive) 
  • Take a Friend Fishing with National Fishing Month runs from Saturday 29th of July to Sunday 3rd of September 2023 (inclusive)

Take a Friend Fishing Key Messages:

  • Take a Friend Fishing offers more opportunity than ever to get out fishing with a friend during our extended Easter and summer campaigns in 2023.
  • Take a Friend Fishing continues to grow in 2023 with bigger campaigns, more weekends, and more opportunity for you to go fishing and create those long-lasting friendships and memories.
  • Existing fishing licence holders can register for a FREE one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency at to take someone they know fishing.

Half terms, National and family holidays all provide opportunities for us to unwind, be with friends and interact with the environment around us. Taking a friend or family member on a fishing trip is a great way to spend time outdoors. Escaping modern life to build friendships, create lasting memories and just enjoy some time next to the water, is the ultimate in relaxation.

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An angler can Take a Friend Fishing during the Easter and or summer Take a Friend Fishing campaigns – enjoy a break from everything and experience the health and wellbeing benefits of fishing – register FREE at

A new angle for your Easter Holiday  

To access the Take a Friend Fishing initiative during the Easter break between Saturday 1st of April and Sunday 16th of April (inclusive), existing fishing licence holders can register for a FREE one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency at and take someone they know fishing.

Get Involved with Angling This Summer 

To make the most of Take a Friend Fishing and National Fishing Month events during the summer holidays, between Saturday 29th of July and Sunday 3rd of September (inclusive), existing fishing licence holders can register for a FREE one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency at and introduce a friend to fishing.

With the pressures of modern life, physical health and mental wellbeing are more important than ever. The experience of a fishing trip together with a work colleague, family member, partner or just a mate, offers the ideal opportunity to unwind and recharge your battery, whilst being active at the same time. Find out more at

Getting outside in the countryside is a great way to be together with family and friends and angling is the perfect fit for staying active outdoors, especially if you are staying in England or Wales this summer. There are many fisheries near to where you live that are perfect to visit for a catch-up with a friend during a quick Take a Friend Fishing trip together. Find out about where you can fish safely at

Registering for a free one-day fishing licence couldn’t be easier

Simply visit select the date of your fishing trip, enter some basic information about you and your friend, and away you go!

The free fishing licence will be sent with a confirmation email, so please remember to have your fishing licence and both people’s email addresses plus a few other details handy when you pre-register to Take a Friend Fishing.

Take a Friend Fishing is an initiative run by Angling Trades Association in association with the Environment Agency and supported by Angling Trust, Canal & River Trust and many other angling organisations. Take a Friend Fishing opens up the world of angling to people from all age groups and communities, giving the opportunity for anglers and non-anglers alike, at all levels of ability, the chance to get into fishing or back into fishing after time away.

In 2022 over 6,000 people registered to take part in Take a Friend Fishing. Now Take a Friend Fishing is back with an extended programme that gives the biggest window of opportunity yet to anglers, non-anglers and those thinking about reconnecting with the pastime they once enjoyed.

This year, we want even more people to get their backside bankside and Take a Friend Fishing to show them just how easy it is to get into angling and experience the benefits of time out in nature. To relax and engage with nature and the outdoors is a rewarding experience especially with a friend. With a free one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency worth £6.50 (coarse and non-migratory trout) or £12.60 (salmon and sea trout).

A Collaboration for Angling

Andrew Race, Chairman of the Angling Trades Association (ATA), added “After the success of Take a Friend Fishing in 2022, I am looking forward to building momentum again in 2023 with an extended programme. Take a Friend Fishing is capable of making such a difference, not only to the long-term development of angling recruitment, but also to people’s lives. Angling is a proven therapy both mentally and physically and it knows no boundaries in terms of ability, age, sex, or background.

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Partnerships Manager, “Fishing with family members or friends is a fantastic way to spend quality time together whilst also enjoying all that nature has to offer. Take a Friend Fishing is a brilliant campaign that allows anglers of all levels of ability to improve their skills, or simply give fishing a try – and I’m proud to again be supporting this initiative that makes this great hobby more accessible for all.”

Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust, said ” We are delighted to be supporting Take a Friend Fishing 2023. There are several key-dates during our Spring into Fishing campaign between April and June when children and families can get out on our wonderful springtime fisheries. Take a Friend Fishing provides an incentive for existing fishing licence holding anglers to get back out on the bank again and introduce a newcomer giving us more opportunity to engage with an even wider community.”

John W Ellis BSc (Hons) FIFM National Fisheries and Angling Manager Canal & River Trust, said “Canal & River Trust is delighted to be working alongside the Angling Trade Association to support the Take a Friend fishing initiative in 2023. Our Trust is responsible for looking after over 2000 miles of canal fishery and over 70 reservoirs. Over 8 million people live within 1000 metres of one of our fisheries and nearly 50% of the population within 5 miles of one. We will be encouraging members of the 250 angling clubs who rent water from us to help their club grow membership by taking a friend fishing with them for a day.’



Social Media:

Media Contacts:

Angling Trades Association: Anna Santoro – [email protected] 0333 5779970

Environment Agency: Tom Sherwood – [email protected] 020 302 59782

Angling Trust: James Roche – [email protected] 07791 786 251

Canal & River Trust:  Ammarah Gordon – [email protected] 0750 399 2692

Who We Are: 

The Angling Trade Association (ATA) is the recognised body and voice of the UK angling trade aiming to unite the industry, promote and protect our beloved sport. Its mission statement “To promote, represent and protect the angling trade” ensures that the ATA is involved in all aspects of the angling industry. The ATA works to promote growth in the UK angling industry through long term investment and cooperation with all major stakeholders. If you are involved in the angling trade and want to contribute to that growth, take a look at

The Angling Trust is recognised by the Government as the National Governing Body for angling in England and a partner with Visit Wales and NRW to promote Fishing in Wales. It is a member-based organisation made up of anglers of all disciplines providing a united front to represent, grow and protect our sport. By becoming a member of the Angling Trust you are helping to protect the waterways you fish in and the fish which live in them, ensuring their health and protection for future generations.

By joining, you help us to invest in participation initiatives to introduce more people to fishing. Whether you compete in coarse, game or sea matches, on commercial or natural venues, locally, nationally, or internationally, as a member of the Angling Trust you have access to Britain’s biggest and best competitions programme. To find out all about the Angling Trust visit

The Environment Agency works to create better places for people and wildlife and support sustainable development. We are responsible for regulating major industry and waste treatment of contaminated land water quality and resources fisheries inland river, estuary and harbour navigations conservation and ecology. We are also responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, and the sea. The Environment Agency works with businesses and other organisations to manage the use of resources, increase the resilience of people, property, and businesses to the risks of flooding and coastal erosion, protect and improving water, land, and biodiversity improve the way we work as a regulator to protect people and the environment and support sustainable growth and encourage sales of rod fishing licences.

Notes for editors:
Take a Friend Fishing (TAFF) is an Angling Trades Association initiative run in association with the Environment Agency and supported by the Angling Trust, Canal & River Trust and many other angling organisations. Take a Friend Fishing makes it easy for an existing angler to take someone they know fishing. This work is supported by the Angling Trades Association and Environment Agency rod fishing licence income and helps to introduce thousands of people to fishing each year. Find out more at

About Close Seasons:

Understanding about close seasons, is like having the right fishing licence, it’s an important and essential part of becoming an angler and just like learning the rules of any sport. ‘Close seasons’ are times of the year when you can’t fish for some types of fish on certain types of water. For example, you cannot fish for coarse fish on any river in England and Wales on 15th March right up until 15th June. That means that the Easter Take a Friend Fishing dates coincide with the annual close season for coarse fish on rivers, so you need to consider a canal or stillwater for your fishing adventure in that period.

You might be able to fish for salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout on some rivers during the coarse fish close season on rivers using certain types of lures and baits – local fishing byelaws to check what you can do in your area and remember too that some privately owned bodies of water can have their own close seasons. If you are new to fishing and want to try it during Take a Friend Fishing, but are confused by this, the best thing to do is ask the angler you are going with, and make sure you both understand what the close season on rivers mean – it’s all explained here on the Environment Agency web site.

About Fishing Licences:

You will normally need a valid Environment Agency fishing licence if you are aged 13 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England (except the River Tweed), Wales, and the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland.  An annual fishing licence only costs £33.00 for up to 2 rods to fish for coarse fish & trout. For a salmon and sea trout licence it’s £86.10.

Licences are free for juniors aged 13 to 16 years of age. Concessionary, short term and three rod coarse fishing licences are also available. Visit to buy one online.

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