Angling: Parents get caught up in junior promotion

McKenzi Whittaker, 5, at the National Fishing Month beginners day at Kippax Park Fishery,Leeds, earlier this year. PIC: Simon Hulme
McKenzi Whittaker, 5, at the National Fishing Month beginners day at Kippax Park Fishery,Leeds, earlier this year. PIC: Simon Hulme
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FIGURES released recently show that the National Fishing Month which was held in late July and August was a resounding success.

Around 310 clubs and associations took part in running the event and gave tuition to the sport to over 15,000 potential anglers. The Leeds club did more than their share; in their six sessions they averaged around 60 people, both young and old. The timing of the event was perfect as it coincided with the school holidays.

As I have told you in the past, everyone was catered for by being supplied with fishing tackle and bait every day and also being fed with hot dogs, burgers and soft drinks, all free of charge. Leeds president Stan Jeffreys and his team of helpers did a great job in running this time-consuming event.

All over the country similar functions were taking place and at Puddledock Farm in Essex the local members passed on their angling skills and knowledge to over 600 children and adults.

Every participating group tried to have at least a couple of angling stars and celebrities in attendance and Leeds were fortunate that two world champions father and daughter duo Tom and Emma Pickering made an appearance at almost every session. The organisers of the whole event were the Angling Trust and their representative Naidre Werner was delighted with the attendances and various events, and forecasts even better results in 2015.

She added that the fishing month is one of the most important dates on the calendar for recruitment to the sport and also the Trust.

As I have also mentioned recently there was nationwide a significant number of girls taking part this year. At some venues they outnumbered the boys.

One other thing that did surprise me was the number of parents who, I think, had originally only come along to drop their kids off, picked up the the gear when their offspring had gone to feed their faces and decided to have a dabble themselves – and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience especially if they managed to catch a fish.

Every week I get a full report from the Washburn Valley fishery which is owned by Yorkshire Water and is supposed to be a trout-only fishery.

The report contains details of catches from the three reservoirs on the site, Fewston, Thruscross and Swinsty and also the best methods to use.

Fewston every week provides the best results but the one that intrigues me is Swinsty as the trout returns from there are minimal, but there is apparently a huge herd of coarse fish present, mainly roach and perch.

Worm as a bait is not allowed on this stretch of water and to put one on the hook is guaranteed to catch a perch in minutes.

In fact one angler reported recently that he had caught over a hundred good-sized perch in a four-hour session.

So, I have a suggestion to the owners: why not let the water in the winter months, when it is closed to the trout anglers, open up to the course anglers.

On current form I think that it would be packed solid every weekend and bring in some much-needed revenue.

Showing off the potential of the Aire & Calder Canal, York's Mick Potter with part of his 36-12 catch ' an impressive haul but good enough only for second place on this occasion.

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