Combwich Get Fishing

How we got Combwich village fishing!

3rd October 2019

Dean Asplin, Angling Trust’s Partnership Development Manager (South), gives an account of a recent angling activation in his local village of Combwich, successfully introducing angling to a crop of new pupils at the local school. Dean tells the story…

I work for the National Governing Body for Angling the “Angling Trust” as the Partnership Development Manager. It’s part of my job to get more people to try fishing and therefore hopefully become lifelong anglers. Every year we run over 500 ‘Get Fishing’ days nationwide all of which can be found on our events website www.getfishing.org.uk.

These events are generously funded by the Environment Agency using money from fishing licence sales.

My family recently moved to the village of Combwich in Somerset. After witnessing the daily school run past my house to Otterhampton Primary School I just knew there might be an opportunity to promote angling to these children and their families.

I decided to run three ‘Get Fishing‘ family events, mainly in the summer holidays. They were a great success with 49 people having a go at fishing for the first time. Every single one of them actually caught something too!

At events like these I’m able to arrange a fishing licence waiver which covers everyone who has a go at fishing so that they do not need to get their own fishing licence. Fishing licences are normally free for 13 to 16 year olds, have a small cost for adults and are not required for children under 13. All the money raised from these goes into protecting habitats where fishing takes place, and the wildlife that lives there, and encouraging more people to go fishing in these environments.

It was excellent to see many repeat visits with several families bringing along equipment that they had bought after being inspired at the previous session.

By using qualified and licenced angling coaches I was able to assess what some of the younger participants had learned. This led to Ava (just 3yrs old, pictured below) gaining her ‘Angling Starter’ Skills Awards Certificate.

Another participant, Jacob, gained his ‘Angling Starter and Level 1 Skills Award Certificate’.

Jacob has really taken to the sport and I am sure he’ll be a life long angler – job done!

Combwich Family Fishing

As usual, small sessions like this relied on the support of the local community which got behind the running and promotion of the event. This speaks volumes about how all involved were able to see the potential that angling has as a way of getting young people out in the open air, interested in what happens near to waterways and introducing children to the mental health and wellbeing benefits of going fishing which can last a lifetime, as fishing is a pastime which many participants stick with for life.

Therefore I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Bridgwater Angling Club for allowing us to use Combwich lake as the venue.

Also thanks must go to the volunteers and angling coaches that helped out on the days – Marcus, Brian and Mark.

I’d also like to thank Barry at the Otter Tales, Claire the Head Teacher at Otterhampton primary school, Combwich Post Office and Otterhampton Social Club for all their support promoting the events.

We’ll be back with more in Combwich in 2020 so watch this space!

Please do get in touch with me if you’d like to find out about running similar events in your local community or about a licence waiver for an event at your fishing venue. It would be great to hear from you – dean.asplin@anglingtrust.net

Dean Asplin
Partnership Development Manager (South), Angling Trust
Email me: dean.asplin@anglingtrust.net
Call, or leave a message: 07854 239 731


About Dean: A keen big-carp and all-round angler, Dean has been working in Angling Development for 10 years. Contact Dean about free fishing events that he runs which are funded by the Environment Agency, as well as funding for schools, clubs and fisheries to run events like this: dean.asplin@anglingtrust.net

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