At a time when many of the areas of the UK were under water, more than 300 events took place between July 21 and 29 as part of National Fishing Week as the angling industry once again proved just how committed it is to increasing the number of people who go fishing.
Neil Sellers, NFW Project Manager said he was delighted with the turn out: "We lost only a few events due to the adverse conditions last week as many event holders were intent on making their day happen. Reports so far show that attendance was hit in areas that experienced very heavy rain, but some very established events were reporting record numbers.
National Fishing Week aims to introduce newcomers and lapsed anglers into the sport and acts to increase the awareness of angling as a pastime that offers many positives to those who participate.
Sean O'Driscoll, Chairman of the Angling Trades Association, said: "Despite the floods we were still able to enjoy a considerable number of live TV and radio broadcasts from events up and down the country and this only goes to prove just how newsworthy angling is and how readily accepted it is by the nation".
National Fishing Week is continuing to evolve as a campaign and branch out into new and exciting areas. The introduction this year of a Ladies Day was a huge success and something that the organisers will be creating on a much grander scale for next year.
Anne Moyle, Chief Executive of 'Get hooked on fishing' and main instigator of the Ladies Day, said: "Our aim with 'Get hooked on fishing' is to increase awareness and access to angling across the country, particularly with young people. As women are often responsible for introducing their children into activities, we believe the more who can understand how to access angling the better. They will then be better informed and able to introduce their children to the sport at the same time.
"The response we had to our event was amazing with media attention from the Press, radio and TV. More than 20 ladies turned up to the Glebe at Mallory Park, some with their children and proceeded to have a fantastic day, so much so that I believe five of them are forming their own angling club!"
The Environment Agency has supported National Fishing Week on a financial and grass roots basis for the last few years and says it is beginning to see the results for its help. Richard Wightman, Head of Angling Participation for the EA said: "Initiatives such as NFW are starting to have an tremendous impact on the perception of angling as a very acceptable pastime for young people. By allowing people free access to quality taster sessions, delivered by professional coaching bodies and in a controlled and safe environment, National Fishing Week hopes to dramatically increase the numbers who regularly participate in the sport."
Apparently the fun does not stop with the end of the week. Neil Sellers elaborated: "To keep the momentum going, we have introduced a campaign called 'Take a friend fishing'. Anglers san visit www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk to understand that over the next five weeks of the school holidays they can make a difference to the sport by choosing a friend who does not fish and take them for a spell by the waterside. Anglers can share their story with others on the website and include a few pictures. Who knows - they may win one of the fabulous prizes".