Angling Trust

Take A Friend Fishing – get into fishing this festive season

Take a Friend Fishing adds yet another window of opportunity to its 2023 campaign making TAFF23 the most extensive campaign yet, offering more weekends, and more opportunity to create long-lasting friendships and memories fishing with a friend.

Take A Friend Fishing registration will go live from 9th December, so you have plenty of time to plan that fishing trip with a friend.

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. Find out which fisheries, retailers, trade brands and other organisations are running special offers for Take A Friend licence applicants

A new experience for your winter holidays
To access the Take a Friend Fishing initiative this winter between Friday 22nd December and Tuesday 2nd January (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 Winter
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 over the Christmas holidays. 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.

Take a Friend Fishing has extended its annual programme to give 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 and with a free one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency worth £6.50 (coarse and non-migratory trout) it’s even easier to do.

A Collaboration for Angling

Andrew Race, Chairman of the Angling Trades Association (ATA), added

“The TAFF23 campaign has been a great success this year and we wanted to reward registrants with another opportunity to go fishing with a friend over the festive period”. “TAFF 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. During these colder months, an hour or two fishing is a great way to clear your head and reconnect with your friends and family”.

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.’

Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust, commented:

“Getting outside in the countryside is such a great way to relax and can reduce stress levels during what can be a busy time of year for many people. Taking a friend or family member for a winter fishing trip over the festive break is the ideal opportunity to catch-up, keep active, get outdoors, and fish safely together when most fisheries, lakes, stretches or river and canal are still open and are perfect to visit even in colder weather.”


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Angling Trust: [email protected]

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 Facebook:

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.

The Canal & Rivers Trust No other charity brings so much free, open, and accessible blue and green space to the doorstep of so many. With your support, we can continue our work.

We care for a 2,000-mile-long, 200-year-old network of canals, rivers, reservoirs, and docks because we believe that life is better by water. Our story as a charity is rooted in the history of the waterways themselves. Our vision is to have living waterways that transform places and enrich our lives, for today and generations to come.

The Trust was launched in 2012, taking over the guardianship of British Waterways’ canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks in England and Wales – and heralding the next chapter in the renaissance of the waterways. We work hard to maintain their legacy, and, together with our volunteers and communities across England and Wales, we’re also transforming them into spaces where anyone can come to feel happier and healthier. A back garden for almost nine million people across the UK, today our waterways provide opportunities for boating, angling, cycling, walking, paddling or simply surrounding spending time in nature. Visit

The Angling Trust is the National Governing Body in England, representing fishing, one of the country’s largest participation sports. We are a not-for-profit organisation with a mission is to fight for fish, fishing and the environment, creating opportunities for all within society to experience fishing in a healthy aquatic world. It is joined in a collaborative and co-operative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. 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. To find out all about the Angling Trust visit

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.

It is currently the closed season for salmon and sea trout and also brown and rainbow trout on rivers. To get further information, look at the 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.

Logos For Take A Frend Fishing:
There’s a registered Take a Friend Fishing logo available from [email protected] in various formats with some simple guidelines on how to use it in your promotions and social media.

Images for Take a Friend Fishing:

Suggested captions:
An angler can Take a Friend Fishing during the any of the Take a Friend Fishing campaigns – enjoy a break from everything and experience the health and wellbeing benefits of fishing – register FREE at

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