The number of fishing licences sold so far in England and Wales suggests that the recent boom in the sport shows no sign of declining.
In fact, the figures from the Environment Agency through to March 2021, indicate that sales – given a shot in the arm by Covid-19 – will continue rising for the rest the year.
Indeed, sales for all licences are up by 6,443 (4.52 per cent) in England and 734 (11.94 per cent) over the same period last year.
Mike Heylin OBE, vice-chairman of the Angling Trades Association, said: “The fact that these numbers are still showing growth over last year has to be good news for the industry.
“One of the most exciting things is that junior two-rod licences are almost double the period last year. That might indicate a significant uptake in angling amongst youngsters, which is good news for the long-term prospects of the trade.
“I also think the increase in full licences is anglers who were sheltering last year and perhaps did not renew their 2020 licence. They are doing so this year because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding society’s recovery from Covid.”
The biggest growth sector in England was for two-rod licences in the coarse and trout category, which rose by 3,123, while sales of three-rod licences (generally purchased by carp anglers) grew by 1,569. There was also an uptick in sales of short-term (one and eight day) licences of 1,584.
There was even a rise in the number of licences sold for migratory salmon fishing of 167, which is a 3.68 per cent increase.
In Wales, coarse and trout licences were up in total by 576 (10.74 per cent) and salmon licences up by 158, or 20.18 per cent.