Celebrated from 24th July to 30th August 2021, this is a month to show appreciation to the great sport of fishing, otherwise known as angling. In the UK there are many amazing fishing lakes that you can either become a member of or visit on the one occasion at lakes where you can rent tackle equipment.
Fishing is quite an overlooked hobby; some people may think it isn’t exciting or fast-paced enough. When people start fishing, they begin to realise how nice it is to take things slow and unwind from everyday stresses. It has been shown to help improve depression, memory and self-esteem.
This is also a life-long skill that promotes feelings of independence, connection to nature and happiness. Unlike many sports that require higher levels of fitness and stamina, Fishing is much more accessible for those of any age group and a broader scale of abilities, including the British Angling Disabled Association which helps you find accessible lakes near you.
National Fishing Month is all about trying to encourage as many people as possible from all different backgrounds and ages to give it a go and see if it is for you. Clubs all over the country want more diversity in the Angling community and want to share information on how this sport is good for mental health and well-being.
Fishing is a great option for people who are looking to spend more time outdoors, have anxiety or are looking for a sense of achievement. If fishing doesn’t seem like your type of fun, maybe celebrate this month in another way, like renting a riverboat, going to a beach and getting fish and chips or on a nice walk around a lake.
People often worry about the health of the fish that are being caught and put back into the lake, with the proper fish care, knowledge equipment and feed, the fish will be healthy and live long lives, it isn’t uncommon to catch the same fish multiple times in the same season. Make sure to do your research before starting any hobby involving wildlife. Some ways in which to properly handle fish is:
- Use treatment on any cuts/sores avoiding eyes and gills
- Have all the equipment you will need prepared and close by so your main priority is the fish once it has been caught
- Do not mix equipment from other lakes as this can spread disease to the fish
- Single, barbless hooks
- Keep the fish wet
- Hold fish over a mat in front of you, upright
This is great for young children to get into because it teaches patience and keeps them occupied and not in trouble. It is also very educational, you learn a lot about fish and other species of animals/insects, plants, how to preserve and protect nature, the skill of fishing and using different equipment and much more. You also need a license to fish in the UK, excluding those under 13, ages 13-16 can get a free license, so it’s important to have that prepared before you turn up to a lake.
How do I get involved?
If fishing is something you want to try for the first time, go to your local tackle shop or fishing club to ask them what you will need to start up your basics kit. You will need to be prepared to spend some money but it can be as cheap or as pricey as you make it, if it evolves into something you enjoy and benefit from it will be a self-care investment which we all deserve this season. Happy Fishing!