So…..When you wrote your Christmas list this year, what did you ask for?
Something that lasts five minutes on Christmas morning until the first round of Hors d’oeuvres are served (usually about 8:30am in our house) or something with a little more longevity? As we move towards The Big Day, we’ve taken a sideways look at Santa’s angling shelves and come up with a few thoughts. They might not all be on your personal list, but perhaps they’ll provide food for thought and offer a wider Christmas message?
An Alarm Clock
Right, let’s wet your whistle with something a little irreverent, mildly self-indulgent but certainly of relevance to all you sleepy heads.
One of our members of staff (we’re not saying who Alex so don’t worry) is an experienced and none-too-shabby match angler.
The only thing is he recently let down a bunch of team-mates by turning up late for an important team event because his alarm clock failed. (Or at least that’s what he said)
One way or another, we’ve all been there. That moment when you wake with a start and realise you’re going to miss the beginning of an important business meeting, dental appointment or in this case, the first fifteen minutes of a match your team then loses out on because of a few, uncaught drams.
So, an alarm clock for Alex Clegg. (Oops)
As a Christmas present, it’s not exactly a novel idea and it certainly isn’t easy to wrap, but wouldn’t it be top of everyone’s angling list for Santa?
The key thing here is that it wouldn’t be a present just for anglers, but for everyone who values our environment and enjoys, or relies on, its consequences.
The Angling Trust continues to lobby for change just as it did recently to persuade the government to exclusively use all pollution-related fines for environmental improvement. Additionally, Fish Legal keeps up the pressure by using the courts against polluters.
Anglers all over the country, possibly even you, will continue to suggest – quite understandably – that not enough is being done, but the reality is that after such fundamental and widespread abuse, change takes time.
But hey, this isn’t reality, it’s Christmas dreams time and if the angling Santa could wave his magic wand, he’d correct it all in an instant. So for a while, let’s stick with the fantasy option because it might just help to re-focus our collective mind on accelerating the clean up when the decorations and those uneaten dates are swept away for another year.
Angling Trust Membership
Now, we don’t want to get too preachy here, but surely every serious angler’s Christmas stocking should have one? It’s the perfect addition to sit alongside your rod licence which of course, you already have – don’t you?
Did you know there are nine different types of membership, from individual to Fishery and Charter Boat to Retail Associate? Each of them is positioned so that all angling stakeholders can support the Trust and Fish Legal in the fight to protect fish and fishing for generations to come.
As an individual, you can bestow membership on a loved one (or even a family member) for as little as £30 and each and every penny is spent on the future of angling.
The Trust has been campaigning for over 10 years to ensure we have a stronger voice for angling in Parliament, can invest in coaching and recruitment to grow our sport, make progress on predation and take action on illegal fishing with the Voluntary Bailiff Service.
In return for your support, we’ll give you access to an exclusive list of discounts on bait, tackle and other items from suppliers and you’ll also receive a 10% discount on day and/or season tickets at over 100 member Fisheries up and down the country.
You can find out more here or call to speak directly to one of Santa’s little angling helpers on: 0343 5077 006.
Greater Visibility On Public Platforms
Ok, so this one is a bit of a mouthful and not exactly traditional…
“And what would you like for Christmas this year?” Oooh I’d like greater visibility for angling on public platforms please Santa.”
It’s hardly romantic is it?
But who didn’t think that Whitehouse and Mortimer’s Gone Fishing TV series has been the most wonderful advert for our sport?
The beauty of it is that it’s not just a programme about fishing but a programme that uses fishing as a vehicle for other aspects of life: Camaraderie: Nature: Relaxation: Health. It’s escapism from the madness of a modern world and from the unrelenting pace of societal expectation. So why can’t we see more of it?
If the elves could sprinkle their pixie dust, we’d surely ask them to spread more of it on broadcast houses in London and Manchester and publishers in every part of the *country/*world/*universe. (*delete as applicable)
We’re proud that John Bailey, who worked with Paul and Bob as a consultant is also a Trust Ambassador and while we have no insider knowledge whatsoever, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that he might be involved in another set of adventures to bring angling to an even wider audience…
An Anglers Against Litter Litter-Picking Kit
Is this one a touch virtuous for Christmas? Well, yes we have to admit it is, but worthy too? The sad fact is that litter does get dropped, perhaps by accident, perhaps through laziness or downright disrespect. The world does seem to be a place in which more people think it’s a fundamental right NOT to use a litter bin or go to the trouble of taking their *cr.. sorry, rubbish home with them.
Thankfully, there are those who have the patience to clear up after the invaders and pleasingly, many of them are anglers.
Members attached to clubs or fisheries can take advantage of the Trust’s picking kits which are supplied in association with Shimano. We’re not sure if they’re produced in the north pole and to be honest, we’re not too convinced they’d be a natural inclusion under someone’s personal Christmas tree.
But if your club has its own tree, we know it would sit well under there.
You can apply for a kit now but in the spirit of the season, we have to admit that if you do, it won’t actually be under the tree for Christmas.
The upside is, 2023 will simply love it.
And Finally, A Present We Perhaps Wouldn’t Give….
With apologies to Playstation and X-Box (Do they still make Atari?) we’d prefer to give our young ones the gift of fresh air. And when we say ‘fresh air’ it’s not a euphemism for ‘nothing’ it’s reality for…. ‘fresh air’.
You might argue that of late it’s been a little cold to bundle our youngest and dearest out the door, but in general, what’s not to like? The Trust’s Get Fishing campaign includes events all over the country that are great places for newcomers to learn – even for lapsed anglers to rekindle an old flame – and when outside, there is so much more to learn than simply catching fish. There’s also the ongoing campaign, Love Fishing, Love Nature which needs no further explanation when it comes to a connection with the Great Outdoors.
As a perfect example of a young person smitten by the angling and general countryside bug, you need look no further than our own ambassador Tanya Morgan – although we do have to admit that having Hywel as her Dad is probably an advantage.
To be honest, we don’t know if Tanya ever plays computer games and actually, we don’t really mind if the odd console does find its way under a young person’s Christmas tree this year.
But you get the point….