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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Take a Friend Fishing

Our members are the most talented and intelligent anglers in the country (at least we think so). You are therefore ideally placed to introduce someone to the joy (and despair) of fishing. It is very rewarding to see the delight on someone's face as they catch their first fish and it's a gift that they will never forget.

The Angling Trust is supporting the Angling Trades Association's campaign to encourage people to Take a Friend Fishing. You can get a free one-day rod licence (worth 3.75) so you can take a mate or a family member fishing any time from Saturday, 30th March to the end of Sunday April 7th. In additional to a FREE rod licence, your friend can also fish for free at a number of Angling Trust fishery and club member venues.

These members have pledged to support the Take a Friend Fishing campaign by offering FREE day ticket or member passes so that your friend can fish for nothing on their waters (some exclusions may apply). For a list of participating fisheries, and to download and validate your rod licence voucher, please click HERE.

Of course, you don't need a licence to fish in the sea, but we'd still like to know if you took part in the initiative. Please let us know how you get on and send us any stories and/or photographs from your day out and we'll publish the best ones in the next copy of our magazine The Angle.

Farm Subsidy campaign
Thank you to everyone who has supported our farm subsidy campaign which is now closed. In just 10 days, 86,000 people across Europe supported the initiative, which was backed by WWF and a wide range of other conservation organisations. Thank you also to members who got in touch to let us know that they had contacted their MEP.

We also received messages from a few of our members who felt that the tone of our e-mail suggested that we were taking an anti-farming stance and we would like to apologise if we gave that impression. Many farmers do excellent work to manage their land to avoid pollution and in no way did we wish to imply that all farmers cause major pollution.

However, we must stress that agricultural pollution is a very significant problem throughout the UK and we do need radical action to tackle it if we are to restore our rivers and lakes to good health. To explain our position more fully, we have put together a web page HERE with more details of the problem.

Many river trusts and others are doing valuable work to manage this problem, but this would be much easier if farm subsidies were better targeted at farmers who were taking the necessary measures to protect watercourses and if there was proper enforcement of the regulations by the Rural Payments Agency and the Environment Agency.

Operation CLAMP DOWN goes live:
Voluntary Bailiff Service sets sights on close season byelaw breakers
Between 15 March and 15 June 2013, the Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service, in partnership with the Environment Agency, will be running Operation CLAMP DOWN to target illegal angling during the coarse fishing close season. Read more HERE.

Angling Trust launches new coarse fishing close season fishing poster
The Angling Trust is playing its part in the campaign against illegal close season fishing with a new publicity blitz aimed at making sure that all anglers are aware of the rules. Read the full news story HERE and download the poster as a PDF HERE. Anglers just need to print and laminate the poster and (after gaining permission if required) place them in prominent positions on their rivers, lakes and canals which are shut during the coarse fishing close season.

Bexhill Sea Angling Festival 2012 case study
Read about how local anglers fought against a ban on sea angling and bait digging, how a fantastic festival of angling was born out of new communications with the local council and what part the Angling Trust and Fish Legal played in this by downloading our colorful and fact filled case study of the Bexhill Sea Angling Festival 2012 HERE.

Beware of rod licence rip-off!
Following complaints from anglers angered by the re-emergence of a website which charges an additional 11 for "processing services" on rod licence renewals, we are warning anglers not to pay a penny more than they need and encourage you to use the completely free service provided by the Environment Agency and the Post Office instead. Read how to avoid paying over the odds for your licence

Martin James Fishing