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CARP CHAT
National Fishing Month Silver Jubilee
A Gleaming Success
National Fishing Month (NFM) continues to set the benchmark for fishing participation initiatives following
the introduction of nearly 13,000 new
people to angling this summer. They
took part in a nationwide schedule of
330 special NFM events – a new
record – held across six weeks during
July, August and September 2017.
One of the first weekend’s events
was especially organised to run
alongside the Basildon Carnival Festival held at Northlands Park in Basildon, Essex, where coarse angling
coaches offered sessions on the lake
in the park, alongside pond dipping
and rig-tying clinics.
The NFM silver jubilee successes
continued through the remainder of
July and into August at hundreds
more events nationwide. The highlight of second weekend of NFM took
place at The Game Fair, held this year
at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. Over
500 riverside coaching sessions were
delivered by members of the Professional Anglers Association (PAA) and
the Game Angling Instructors’ Association (GAIA). There were many joyous, smiling faces as first-time
anglers caught some outstanding
fish, including carp and pike. The
National Fishing Month display tent
area included crowd-pulling and
highly entertaining demonstrations of
fly tying, rig building, lure fishing
techniques and cooking your catch.
One of the final NFM events took
place at the Evesham Festival where,
despite the typically unpredictable
British bank holiday weather, the
team still managed to coach more
than 200 people on the banks of the
Warwickshire Avon. Whereas the
experienced anglers fishing the major
competition that weekend struggled
t o m a k e d e c e n t c a t c h e s , PA A
coaches and the participants were
having a great time catching big pike,
carp and bream. A fabulous weekend
was enjoyed by everyone involved.
Naidre Werner, Chair of the Angling
Trades Association (ATA), which runs
NFM, commented: “I’m delighted
with the results from this year’s silver
jubilee celebrations. We continue to
owe a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic, loyal support of the voluntary
organisers and coaches who actually
plan and deliver the events every
year. It’s down to their hard work that
the sport is exposed to so many people. They are ones who build initiatives like NFM and recruit the next
12 FREE LINE
generation of anglers to our wonderful sport.”
“We are also grateful for the funding support that we receive from the
Environment Agency, as well as the
regional and national support from
the Angling Trust, the Professional
Anglers Association and Angling
Cymru. For 2017 we have continued
to enjoy outstanding support with
over 100 of events organised by the
C a n a l a n d R i v e r Tr u s t . Wo r k i n g
together we have achieved these fantastic results.”
Naidre added: “This year, we have
benefited from continued headline
sponsorship from Daiwa, Leeda and
Pure Fishing and also physical help in
facilitating support to the organisers
from Fosters of Birmingham and Fishing Republic. Outstanding support
has also come from manufacturers
such as Dinsmores, Fladen, Fox,
Korda, Middy, Svendson and Tricast,
retailer Angling Direct – which
donated nearly £3,000 through its
‘Bag for Life’ scheme – and publishers, including Angling Times and
Angler’s Mail. They have all demonstrated the admirable virtue of
‘putting something back into
angling’, and I applaud them.” n
Rob’sMailbag
Letter from Keith Hilton, Sepember 28th 2017
Hi everyone, I cannot belive that it is 50 years ago today that my dad caught his first
Redmire carp at 35lb. He had the bite at 7.30pm on Thursday 28 September 1967. He
played the fish for around ten minutes or so before a very young Mike Mintram
stripped down to his underpants, took my dad’s net and waded out into the thick mud
managing successfully to net the fish and crawl back to the bank! What a fright for that
poor fish to see Mike in that attire! Both Erick Higgs, the then bailiff, and his wife were
present. Mrs Higgs must have been in deep thought as to which was the monster,
Mike or the fish!
The high protein and technical bait used on this occasion was a potato, parboiled. I
will be raising a glass of whisky to my old trusty 10-10 carp rod this evening, the actual
rod that dad used to catch this fish. Martin Mumby’s point raised about cupping hands
over the Mitchell spool… Back in the day they sometime fished with the bail arm
closed and backstop off, known
then as fishing a churner. Upon a
take the reel would freely back
wind, although Tom Mintram did
lose a rod in Redmire fishing this
way, which Dad helped him
retrieve!
I wish everyone at the pool
today the very best of luck. I
keep an eye on this page, enjoying everybody’s kind comments. My dad would wonder
what all the fuss was about, as
he only ever considered himself
a noted angler and not a
famous angler. As he always
used to say, “Pop stars and film
stars are famous – anglers may
be noted!”
Regards, Keith Hilton. n

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