This year’s events, which took place between 20 July and 27 August, had a shaky start when the CLA Game Fair at Belvoir Castle was cancelled because of unsafe ground conditions. However, Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, rescued the day when he opened proceedings at a special NFM event organised by Reading and District Angling Association (RDAA) at Longwater Lake. School children from the local area enjoyed one on one coaching sessions from Les Webber MBE (Angling Projects), Danny Williams (Angling Trust) and Will Barnard (RDAA).

Catching fish at Evesham

Richard Benyon said: “National Fishing Month is a fantastic opportunity to introduce thousands of new people to the benefits of angling. It was great to see youngsters from Reading getting into the sport.”

NFM 2012 culminated five weeks later with three days of coaching at the Evesham Festival, where anyone who attended could enjoy sessions with coaches from the Professional Anglers Association (PAA).  Harvey Jacks, PAA Director said: “The weather wasn’t kind to us across the three days. However, we managed to still coach nearly 150 people, which was a great result.”

Naidre Werner, Chairman of the Angling Trades Association, who organise NFM, commented:  “Without a doubt, the appalling weather and the focus on the Olympics have affected participation numbers this year, with those most affected being around the M25 corridor. However, the organisers and coaches who support NFM and who have done so for many years are a hardy bunch despite the distractions and being able to report numbers close to 14,000 is purely down to their determination and loyalty.  They deserve unqualified praise.”

For advice on choosing a fishing boat, read Dave Barham's guide to fishing boats or Sports Fishers: five top fishing boats. If you want to get your kids into fishing, try reading How to take your kids fishing: 5 top tips.

If you want to get your kids into fishing, try reading How to take your kids fishing: 5 top tips, while Fishing luck: 3 unusual ways to improve your catch will help improve your catch.

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is an ex-Naval officer, with extensive experience as a marine journalist, boat tester and magazine editor. Having raced as a Pilot in the National Thundercat Series and as a Navigator in the inaugural Red Sea RIB Rally, he has now settled in the West Country, where he lives and works as a specialist marine writer and photographer from his narrowboat in Bath.