National Fishing Month 2017 is underway, celebrating its Silver Jubilee. Over 25 years, this annual event has introduced nearly 300,000 people to angling. There will be hundreds of local events, including free classes from licensed coaches.
National Fishing Month 2017 began on 21 July and will end on 3 September. It’s scheduled for young anglers to fish at the end of the school term. The summer is also great for fishing, as close season ends after 15 June. That means you can catch coarse fish from now until 15 March.
There are over 300 registered events for National Fishing Month, and probably even more, since that number only includes those recorded through the event registration form.
Since there’s too many to list here, the best place to look is on the official fishing events page. Just click ‘Find an Event’ on the right and you can search for them by postcode.
If you can’t find any, it might still be worth asking local organisations if they have special offers or classes. Fisheries and other companies with events don’t always complete the registration form.
The first must-have is a fishing licence. Anyone 12 years old or older needs a licence to fish, but they are free for 12-16-year-olds. You can buy them:
Make sure you carry your licence with you whenever you’re fishing. You can find out more about fishing licences from our previous blog, New Fishing Licence Laws: what do I need to know?
Because of National Fishing Month, there are rental discounts at many fisheries. It’s worth calling the fishery owner or occupier ahead of time to see what’s available. If you buy a class which comes with an equipment rental, you can save even more money.
Make sure when you’re at the water, you have these essentials:
Rod – Spin rods are good freshwater all-rounders. They’re ideal for beginners, partly because they’re less prone to line tangling, which is a common problem.
Reel – Spincast reels with a front drag might be the most popular. Like spin rods, their resistance to tangling makes them perfect for beginners.
Lines – Monofilament is flexible, making it easy to handle and knot. It’s also usually the cheapest kind. This is why most anglers begin with mono lines before moving on to fluorocarbon, braid or unifilament when they’re better at handling.
Hooks – Eyed hooks are easier to tie than spade ends, which beginners will prefer even though they make a bulkier connection to the fishing line. Avoid cheap hooks, even for beginners. Too often, they’re dull straight out of the packet.
Lures – Spinner lures are easy to attach and don’t require a lot of work. The blade’s sound and vibration attracts the fish, so first-timers don’t have to trial and error different twitches and jerk motions.
Because of conservation concerns, catch and release is widely popular and recommend. According to a Westwater Angling survey from 2015, more than 80% of UK fisheries offer a C&R option. The survey also noted that this practice is still growing in popularity.
Fishing is a hobby and a sport, and most people in the UK don’t catch their own food. But while C&R is a good rule of thumb, a licence does allow you to take some fish. Gov.uk’s catch limits page details what’s allowed and prohibited.
For everything else related to National Fishing Month, check out their official website.