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ATA drives participation as membership builds


National Fishing Month (NFM), the annual UK participation drive owned and managed by the Angling Trades Association, will be launched at this year’s Game Fair and will begin in August.

The decision was ratified at this week’s ATA Board meeting, where the Association also confirmed it will repeat its ‘Get Into Fishing’ initiative at the Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (although details are not yet known).

NFM will run from August 1 to 31 inclusive, while the summer Take a Friend Fishing (TAFF), another ATA initiative, will run in parallel for the same duration. The full 2024/25 TAFF schedule will be in place by May 1 and will include Christmas/New Year and Easter/Spring windows.

The Association will be widening the appeal of TAFF to include saltwater and other sectors where licences do not apply, as part of its drive to get anglers to become more multi-discipline.

ATA Chairman Andrew Race said there were plenty of suppliers and retailers wanting to join a rejuvenated ATA. Building membership was the key focus for 2024 and a plan was in place to drive that.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing falling licence sales and the high level of anglers disappearing from the sport each year. “Finding out why these people stop fishing and understanding how we can get them back or keep them involved is a priority,” said Race.

“Getting back the customers we have lost is vital for the future of the trade. There were a million unique anglers during COVID and we have to aspire to getting back to that sort of number. Achieving that is down to the trade.”

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