New fishing season has started

The new fishing season on rivers, streams and drains starts today – and there is also the second chance this year to Take a Friend Fishing for free.

Anglers are being urged to buy a rod licence for the start of the new river fishing season and discover some excellent fishing opportunities they never knew existed in the east of England.

The campaign has been organised and run by the Angling Trades Association with the Environment Agency and Angling Trust.

To take part, print the rod licence voucher, fill in the person’s details, validate it online at (http://www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk/offers/free-rod-licence-voucher/) and read the terms and conditions.

Pictures from the day, including venue name, catch details, captor’s name and daytime telephone number, can be sent to info@takeafriendfishing.co.uk.

It costs anglers just £27 (fixed at the 2011 price) for a full annual licence and the money goes towards Environment Agency projects for the area’s vast range of lowland rivers, chalk streams and man-made drains.

Roger Handford, an Environment Agency fisheries specialist says: “We are blessed with exceptional fisheries of national renown in this part of the country.

“The chance of encountering a fish of a lifetime is a significant attraction to anglers who should now be buying a licence to try their luck and skills on local riverbanks as the new season approaches.

“We want to improve fish stocks and provide a better environment for wildlife and people. We want to make it possible for more people of all abilities to enjoy angling and for our fisheries to provide a positive contribution to the quality of people’s lives.”

Rivers in the area offer barbel in the Wensum, zander in the Fens, pike in the Broads, and large perch in the Great Ouse. A variety of stillwaters are also home to carp, bream and tench, while the trout fishing at Rutland, Grafham and other similar reservoirs is also widely praised.

There are over 6,000 fisheries listed on the Environment Agency online database to find a location close to you – (www.fishinginfo.co.uk)