At a time when many of the areas of the UK were under water, who would believe that encouraging people to go and sit by more water could have been so successful? Well National Fishing Week did!

Over 300 events took place despite the weather between the 21st-29th July and the angling industry once again proved just how committed it is to increasing the numbers who go fishing. Neil Sellers, the project manager of fishing week was delighted with the turn out and had this to say, ‘we only lost a few events due to the adverse conditions last week, as many event holders were intent on making their day happen. Reports so far show that attendance was hit in area’s that experienced very heavy rain, but some very established events were reporting record numbers’.

National Fishing Week aims not only to introduce newcomers and lapsed anglers into the sport, but also acts to increase the awareness of angling as a pastime that offers many positives to those who participate. Sean O’Driscoll the chairman of the Angling Trades Association was delighted with the media coverage this week, and said, ‘despite the floods, we were still able to enjoy a considerable number of live TV and radio broadcasts from events up and down the country and this only goes to prove just how newsworthy angling is, and how readily accepted it is by the nation’.

Ladies Day at Blythe Waters attracted plenty of publicity.

National Fishing Week is continuing to evolve as a campaign and branch out into new and exciting areas. The introduction this year of a Ladies Day was a huge success and something that the organisers will be creating on a much grander scale for next year.
Anne Moyle the chief executive of ‘Get hooked on fishing’ (ghof) and main instigator of the ladies day, had this to say, ‘our aim with ghof is to increase awareness and access to angling across the country, particularly with young people. Recently Neil and I met up to bounce a few ideas around about nfw, and this Ladies day was a product of the conversation. As women are often responsible for introducing their children into activities, we believe the more who can understand how to access angling the better. They will then be better informed and able to introduce their children to the sport at the same time.
The response we had to our event was amazing with media attention from the press, radio and TV. More than 20 ladies turned up to the Glebe at Mallory Park, some with their children and proceeded to have a fantastic day, so much so that I believe 5 of them are forming their own angling club!’

The Environment Agency who have supported National Fishing Week, on a financial and grass roots basis for the last few years are beginning to see the results for their help, Richard Wightman, head of angling participation for the EA commented, ‘initiatives such as NFW, are starting to have an tremendous impact on the perception of angling as a very acceptable pastime for young people. By allowing people free access to quality taster sessions, delivered by professional coaching bodies and in a controlled, safe environment, nfw hope to dramatically increase the numbers who regularly participate in the sport.’  

Apparently the fun does not stop with the end of the week as Neil Sellers elaborated, ‘ to keep the momentum going, we have introduced a campaign called ‘take a friend fishing’, if all you anglers click onto you can start to understand that over the next 5 weeks of the school holidays you can make a difference to the sport by choosing a pal, who does not fish, and take them. If you share your story with us on the website with a few pictures, then who knows you may win one of the fabulous prizes’.

So readers out there, what are you waiting for, ‘take a friend fishing’