Initiative to attract angling newcomers could now be rolled out in winter too!
THIS summer’s Take a Friend Fishing (TAFF) scheme has been hailed as a huge success, with a record number of people taking part every day it was in operation.
But the drive to attract new blood into the sport isn’t stopping there. Organisers are revealing that it could even be extended next year to attract more newcomers.
Run as a partnership between the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Angling Trades Association, the scheme allows rod licence-holders to receive a free one-day licence to take a friend along, and this year it ran from July 23 until September 5. More than 2,100 people got involved, with 50 per cent more taking part daily than last year. This followed an increased promotional push aided by a raft of ‘angling influencers’ including Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer, and Jeremy Wade.
More women than ever before also took part, an aspect which particularly pleased the Trust’s angling promotion manager, Will Smith:
“The success of this year’s TAFF shows just how high the nation’s appetite for fishing is after the joys of the great outdoors were rediscovered over the Covid lockdowns,” he said.
“Anglers of all ages took part, with people between 13 and 90 years old involved! There was also a huge boost in the number of females, with a third of those introduced to fishing being women and girls.”
The Angling Trust has every confidence in the event’s future, and hopes it can continue to grow. Clive Copeland, the Trust’s head of participation, said:
“This year saw a different approach, with the event going on pretty much all summer.
“We’d like to run the campaign throughout summer next year, but I’d also like to propose another one in winter. We could then show that fishing is a sport for all seasons and introduce people to the joys of targeting different species and venues.
“We’re getting the message across that angling is for anyone.”