What is it?
Fishing or “angling” is a great way to get active outdoors. Although you might think of fishing as a fairly slow-paced pastime it has many proven health benefits and can be an active sport. Angling will help you de-stress as well as providing a means to develop your coordination, strength and competitive streak. There’s a type of fishing that suits everybody – no matter what your age, ability or experience level – and a great angling community to help out at every step of your angling journey. Angling embraces many types of experience. It can mean simply unwinding by the waterside on your own near home or could involve exploring remote places to reach a special venue. Fishing can make your heart beat faster, it can help you refocus, relax or recover and is perfect to fit in with other pastimes. Whether it’s just for a quick hour at your local lake, canal or river or spending a whole day with friends and family by the sea – give fishing a go and join the millions of people who enjoy it each year.
Why is it good for me?
• Involves a whole range of low, medium and high intensity physical activity
• Helps recovery from and prevention of mental health issues
• Is brilliant for relaxation and aids concentration
• Helps build up your relationships and confidence which can reduce isolation if you are elderly, disadvantaged or vulnerable
• Allows you to become more physically active at a pace that suits you, whatever your age
• Can be incorporated with other activities such as walking or cycling to a fishing venue
• Is a good way to spend time with family and enjoy an activity together
• Is a great choice if you are disabled, have long-term or activity limiting health conditions
How much does it cost?
The Get Fishing campaign is run by the Angling Trust and funded by the Environment Agency and Sport England to get more people out fishing, more often. As part of this, angling clubs, fisheries and organisations run taster sessions which give beginners the opportunity to try fishing for the first time or to return to angling after a break. Most of these sessions are free or very low cost and include the use of tackle, bait and a rod-licence for the day. After that all you’ll need is some low-cost tackle, a rod licence (see below) and a day-ticket or club membership to access some fishing venues.
What equipment do I need?
• You can enjoy fishing with the most basic equipment available – ask your local club, fishery or tackle shop to help you pick what you need to get started
• A pair of sunglasses, a hat and waterproofs or a brolly can be useful if the weather changes
• When you start fishing you’ll need to buy a rod licence if you are 17 or over and want to fish in freshwater, but for junior anglers rod licences are free. If you fish in the sea you don’t need a licence
Once you’ve got the fishing bug it’s quite possible to get the basic tackle and bait you’ll need for less than £25 or you might be able to borrow kit from clubs, family members or other anglers who’ll want to encourage you to go fishing. Fishing can be as easy or complicated as you want it to be – just keep it simple to begin with!