MPs urge parents to take their kids fishing

Students Keiran North, Fletcher Richmond and Kyle Kenny from the John Madejski Academy in Reading with Thames Valley Angling's Allan Clark, Charles Walker MP, Will Barnard, Angling Development Manager at Thames Water, and Martin Salter, Angling Trust's Head of Campaigns displaying some of the day's catch.

With the school holidays looming and the prospect of restless youngsters looking for ways to spend their time over the long six week break, fishing enthusiast MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group have urged parents to "take your kids fishing" this summer.

To get the message across, MPs Scott Mann and Charles Walker joined Will Barnard, Angling Development Manager at Thames Water, and Martin Salter, Angling Trust Head of Campaigns, at College Lake in Hampshire where they treated a group of youngsters to a special day out catching some beautiful carp and roach on a variety of methods.

Best fish of the day was a stunning 11lb 8oz common carp caught by Charles' son James floatfishing luncheon meat in the margins.

The students were from the John Madejski Academy in Reading where Thames Valley Angling boss Allan Clark and Martin Salter have set up a fishing club.

Thames Water is one company that believes in promoting angling on its waters and offers a number of ‘Try Fishing Days’ throughout the year at their angling academy at Walthamstow Reservoirs in London as well as at the famous fly fishery at Farmoor near Oxford.

Charles Walker MP with his son James and a stunning 11lb 8oz common carp caught floatfishing in the margins of College Lake in Hampshire

Charles Walker MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling, said: "My son James and I had a fantastic time down on the lake and I can honestly say there are few things I'd rather be doing than taking my children fishing and helping them learn about wildlife and nature.

“I just wish more parents would take the time to go fishing with their children. There are a host of great schemes and projects out there for beginners so it really couldn't be easier."

Martin Salter, Head of Campaigns at the Angling Trust, added: "It is always great when youngsters catch their first rod-bending fish and we hope that the experience will ignite the same lifelong passion for our sport that still burns inside us older anglers.

“Young people have a lot of other distractions in this day and age but simple, outdoor pursuits like angling have been proved time and time again to be good for health and well-being and for gaining a greater understanding of the countryside and the environment."

This summer there are a host of projects and events which offer opportunities to discover the joys of fishing, including the Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign, Get Hooked on Fishing’s ‘Family Fishing’ initiative and National Fishing Month, run by the Angling Trades Association. Children aged between 12 and 16 can now get a FREE Environment Agency rod licence to fish in stillwaters, canals, rivers and streams so it’s now even less expensive for families to start fishing.

Useful links:

Children aged 12-16 can apply for a free Environment Agency rod licence. Parents can register their children for the free rod licence here