James Roche Family Fishing TAFF-resized-12

Here’s why Take A Friend Fishing is so much fun for families…

15th July 2020

Angling Trust Partnership Development Manager James Roche tells you about his family’s first ever fishing trip…

A couple of days ago my wife Liz and our two year old daughter Orla ventured out for our first ever family fishing trip!

Thanks to the Take A Friend Fishing initiative, I was able to quickly register Liz for a free one day Environment Agency fishing licence at www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk. Orla is still little so she didn’t need a fishing licence Anyone under the age of 13 can fish in freshwater without the need for a licence. Even when your aged between 1316 your annual fishing licence is completely free!. Lots of people don’t realise that – but once you get a licence you are helping preserve fish the countryside around where fish live and all the wildlife near to the waterside too.

It only took a minute or two to apply for the licence and we packed a few things for a few hours out – don’t forget a hat, water and sunscreen!

We headed straight down to Eye Kettleby Lakes on the outskirts on Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. This is a great little fishery – I often come here for the peace and quiet and knew it would be spot-on to show Orla what to do, and with the sun shining down it was the perfect day to be outside sat next to the waters edge.

Pretty soon we were all catching loads of little roach, rudd and small bream and we even managed to tempt a few nice sized carp which were up on the surface of the water.

It was great, simple fishing and perfect for the two newcomers – Liz and Orla.

The thing to do when you go fishing for the first time is to keep it really simple. At most places like this it’s fairly easy fishing and you hardly need to take anything with you. Bait is really easy to choose too – if you go fishing as part of Take a Friend Fishing, your fishing friend should be able to help or you could call the fishery and see what’s best, or drop into your nearest tackle shop – they are usually really friendly and will be happy to help you. My colleague Jimmy Willis has made a great video about what you need to start with basic fishing kit.

Orla loved being able to see and gently touch the fish we were catching – she also soon started playing with the maggots and exploring the different fishing baits I’d brought to try.

Before we knew it it was time to go home – fishing is like that, it can be so relaxing or so exciting you quickly lose track of what’s going on in “the real world”! It really is a great way to escape from reality for a bit and just enjoy the fun of fishing and allthe new things you’ll see when you spend a bit of quiet time by some water. Dragonflies, frogs, kingfishers, herons – it’s all possible to see when you get out fishing.

When we were leaving I asked Liz if she enjoyed herself and it was really rewarding for her to reply “…yes, it was such a relaxing day and really nice to spend some ‘family time’ together”.

We’re already planning our next trip – I wasn’t sure whether they’d be into it so soon but it looks like there are two new anglers in the household!

Take a Friend Fishing is on from 14th August to 4th October 2020 – all the info you need is at www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk

Related Posts:

7 Reasons to take the kids fishing this Summer Holidays

Get Fishing – the ‘how to’ guide to Coarse, Sea and Fly Fishing by Allan Sefton

How To Go Whip Fishing, by Jimmy Willis – learn to fish

How YOU can go fishing with a friend this summer…


The Environment Agency funds the Angling Trust to provide more opportunities for people to go fishing and encourage sales of fishing rod licences. Money from fishing licence sales is spent on improving fisheries habitat and angling infrastructure through projects like the Angling Improvement Fund.