Although National Fishing Month was cancelled, new anglers can still get a taster session this year. And the Canal & River Trust has vowed to carry on coaching to their maximum capacity under Covid-19 rules.
John Ellis, fishery manager for the CRT, said: “The start of our own Let’s Fish! programme of coaching sessions on canals was delayed from March, but we managed to get underway on July 17, and we will continue till the end of October, the virus permitting.
“But there are a number of restrictions and changes – this year everyone has to book a time slot rather than be able to just turn up, but they will get an hour’s session rather than a half hour, so it might actually be better for them individually.
“But we are restricting numbers to 20 a day, and the total of events is reduced from last year, although we will still run 155 all around the country.
“Also this year, our Junior Canal Championship will be split over two days rather than one, and at two different venues. The 7-10 cadet group and 16-20 youth will be on the Shropshire Union at Little Onn on September 19, and 11-15 juniors on the same canal the next day, at Soudley.
“And this year, the top ten in that junior group will automatically qualify to fish the Talent Pathway, which is a kind of England Trial.
“So really now we cover the whole spectrum from absolute novice to possible England representative,” John enthused.
Meanwhile, many other fishing coaches report a very busy summer and the Angling Trust has still been attending coaching sessions.
Chief executive Jamie Cook said: “Coaching has been going ahead under strict Covid-19 guidance with direct contact removed.
“Angling coaches have all been kept updated and best practice guidance is available via the Trust support hub.
“With many fisheries and clubs seeing an influx of lapsed and new anglers, the requirement for qualified coaches is perhaps greater than ever.
“For individuals, clubs, fisheries or community groups that wish to qualify as coaches, please visit the AT website for information on upcoming courses and availability,” added Jamie.
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