Take a Friend Fishing (TAFF), the initiative to grow fishing participation in the UK, is to return this Christmas after its hugely successful relaunch earlier this year.
TAFF was started by the Angling Trades Association, the representative body for the UK tackle industry, more than 20 years ago, but its impact had dwindled in recent times. However, the 2020 relaunch saw more than 4,000 people take part, a compelling indication that angling remains popular when it is easy to get into, especially with an experienced friend.
Now, with support from the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency, the ATA is to repeat the successful venture from December 19 to January 10. During that period, existing licence holders can register for a free one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency to take someone they know fishing.
“After more than 30 years in the industry, I believe there is more potential for angling now than I have ever seen,” said ATA Chairman, Andrew Race. “Our own Annual General Meeting (AGM) this week focused heavily on the industry’s support for our angling initiatives and providing the correct tackle and information pathways for trade and retailers to engage with anyone wanting to give angling a go. Long-term plans for cooperation with all major stakeholders are now well underway. These are exciting times for angling.”
Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, added: “The Take A Friend Fishing scheme has been a huge success, and we are delighted to see it return for a third time this year. With the pressures of Coronavirus, more people have been looking for ways to reconnect with nature and their loved ones in a way that is safe, healthy and fun. We hope our angling community seizes on the opportunity to give the gift of fishing this Christmas.”
A press release announcing the return of TAFF urged people to get outside and enjoy some safe time next to the water over the Christmas holidays. “Taking a friend or family member for a socially distanced fishing trip is the ideal opportunity to catch up at Christmas and relax. Fishing is possible even during periods of tough restrictions as long as people follow the latest guidelines which are outlined here.