Big Fish Column: Anglers attempt to pass on their passion during National Fishing Month

Ian Welch

Following on from a couple of weeks of exciting catches from around the local fisheries it is now that time of year when angling as a whole tries to pass on the passion we all feel for our sport to those who have yet to discover it. Yes, it’s National Fishing Month (NFM).

Unlike many sports which rely on rapid body movement or an eye for a ball, just about anybody can fish. Angling is a great leveller, with no barriers based on age, gender or social status. You can spend a warm summer’s day or a crisp winter’s morning by the water in beautiful places you would otherwise never visit. Indeed, fishing really is a four-season sport, and one of its joys is that in each season there are different and exciting fish to catch.

Fishing is well-known for its capacity to help you to relax into a new, fascinating world, the ideal antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life. It transports you to the heart of nature and the many intriguing plants and animals that live there and by attending a National Fishing Month event this summer with a non-angling friend or colleague you could help them to experience the joys themselves – you could discover new and exciting aspects of the sport for yourself too.

There are many exciting events across the UK planned for the first weekend of NFM and for the first time the showcase launch event is being held locally at Haywards Farm Lake, Theale on Friday 22nd July.

The day will be full of hands-on angling opportunities, celebrity appearances, and top class demonstrations. In line with the core ethos of NFM, the focus is on youngsters and newcomers and there will be free tutored fishing on Haywards Farm Lake and one-to-one advice and demos throughout the day that will illustrate just how easy it is to get started.

Sportfish staff, headed by top angling instructor, Chris Hayward, will be showcasing their abilities with the theme of ‘achievable’ fishing and there will be an opportunity for everyone to catch their very first trout on the day.

With free parking, free advice from the experts and a BBQ fired up for lunch it’s the ideal opportunity to get friends and family into angling, or perhaps get yourself back into angling if it’s a sport you used to enjoy. For my part I’ll be there not getting into fishing, but getting into new areas of the sport and that’s what NFM is about too, so just because you can fish, don’t ignore it – it’s the perfect opportunity to get out there and learn new skills.

NFM coordinator Naidre Werner said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre have kindly offered us their amazing facilities at Haywards Farm to ensure that National Fishing Month gets off to a fantastic, flying start.”

Full details all NFM events can be found online at and details of the local Haywards Farm Lake event are at

Any anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at

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  • NigelWoodcock

    15:43, 09 August 2016

    Fish feel pain.



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