Kids to be given tackle for free

A BID to make 2015 the best year yet for introducing new people to angling has been given a massive boost with a plan to give away free fishing tackle.

With National Fishing Month and the hugely successful ‘Take A Friend Fishing Scheme’  just weeks away, charities and tackle firms are ramping up efforts to safeguard the future of the sport by organising events to get more people into fishing this summer.

Wilnecote Angling Centre in Tamworth, Staffs, is giving away hundreds of free rod and reel kits to customers under the age of 16.

Said owner Dave Smalley: “It’s not a huge cost for firms to give away budget kits to get people started in the sport – we should all be doing our bit. These kids are all potential future customers so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

The news comes just a month after Get Hooked on Fishing and the Angling Trust announced a huge increase in the number of coaching sessions they are set to run this year in order to ramp up participation in the sport. The charity plans dozens of coaching sessions nationwide which will see hundreds of kids enjoying their first taste of the sport.
England International and angling coach, Des Shipp, is firmly behind any scheme which sees more people coming into the sport.

He said: “There is definitely a lack of youngsters coming through, especially in match fishing, so anything that encourages people into the sport and helps to keep them there is great news for all of us.”

This month also sees the return of the Angling Trades Association’s Take a Friend Fishing Scheme, where anglers can apply for a free one-day rod licence as long as they take someone fishing for the first time. For more details on this initiative, turn to pages 18-19.