Running initial fishing taster sessions is a vital first step in getting new people into the fishing habit. Success of any angling participation scheme is best judged in the long-term uptake of participants into the sport. Here’s an account of a family who seem to be on the journey of acquiring the fishing habit. This is mum Liz’s story.
I recently saw a post on our local Community Facebook page advertising the ‘Free Let’s Fish!’ sessions at Stoke Hammond, put on by the Canal & River Trust and Luton Angling Club. Our youngest son Freddie had mentioned ages ago that he'd like to try fishing; the fact that this event was just down the road from us was a bonus. We booked sessions for the boys (aged 12, 14 and 15) and went along to give it a go.
As a non-fishing family, our sons’ first experience was that taster session on 3 June. We were greeted by a helpful lady on the reception desk who it turns out is Simon Mottram’s partner, Amanda. There were seven or eight coaches on duty and families already fishing when we got there. The session went well, we all caught fish and enjoyed ourselves; the younger two were keen to go again.
We were pleased to learn that Luton Angling Club was offering some follow-on coaching at the same Grand Union Canal venue every other Thursday night for Kingfisher members, so we decided to join and went back to learn some more. At the follow up session the boys were given free whips by the Canal & River Trust, which we are learning to use, along with other tackle: rigs, disgorger and plummet.
The boys are really enjoying the coaching sessions and have been taught about the differences between squatts, pinkies and big maggots how to plumb up correctly, feed a swim, hook the bait and play and land fish on their own. Archie has been learning to use one of the club poles to venture further out from the bank. At our latest session the boys caught well and had roach and skimmer bream. Archie lost a nice fish in bankside weeds, but he is busy imagining what it might have been!
It’s something great to do as a family, we're out in the fresh air, learning a new skill and no-one's on a screen. My eldest wasn't as keen as the other two, but I'm hoping that he might be persuaded one day to have another try. It has been lovely to see how Archie and Freddie have taken to it.
I would like to thank the Canal & River Trust for the equipment and Luton Angling Club - specifically the coaches Dennis and Mark - who have been so helpful and generous with their time and experience during the follow-on coaching sessions. It’s fair to say we have swiftly become a fishing family!
Last date edited: 5 July 2018