Following its massive success throughout 2020, Angling Trades Association initiative Take A Friend Fishing is back for Christmas, giving more people the opportunity to get out on the bank over the festive period.

Existing rod licence holders can register for a FREE one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency, between December 19th and January 10th (inclusive) to take someone they know fishing.

December and January are a fantastic time of year to get outdoors and enjoy some time next to the water. Taking a friend or family member for a ‘socially distanced fishing trip’ is the ideal opportunity to catch-up at Christmas

The Take a Friend Fishing campaign is a partnership between the Angling Trades Association, the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust – it’s designed to give more people the chance to get into fishing.

Immersing oneself in the English countryside is a great way to relax and lower the stress level during what can be a busy time of year for many people. Angling is the perfect fit for staying active outdoors, and with physical activity playing a vital role in both our physical and mental wellbeing, a fishing trip with a mate or family member means you can stay active, and fish safely. This is possible even during periods of tough restrictions as long as you follow the latest guidelines on the Angling Trust Support Hub at

At this time of year there are still loads of fisheries, lakes, stretches or river and canal open all over the country that are perfect to visit even in colder weather, and a catch-up with a friend can easily be combined with a quick ‘Take a Friend Fishing trip’.

Registering for a free one-day fishing licence couldn’t be easier. Simply visit, select the date of your fishing trip, enter some basic info about you and your friend and away you go!

The free fishing licence will be sent with a confirmation email, so remember to have the angler’s fishing licence and both people’s email addresses ready when you register.

Relaunched in 2020, over 4,000 people have already taken part in Take a Friend Fishing this year alone! A great sign that angling is as popular as ever, and still just as easy to get into, especially with a friend to show you how.

Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust, said: “We are so pleased to be able to team up again with the Environment Agency and Angling Trades Association, to bring Take a Friend Fishing back for the holidays. After what for many has been such a difficult year, we know that anglers will want to show others why fishing has been a stressbuster and spread the message that angling is good for you. A free licence to take a friend fishing this festive period could be just the ticket to make an unforgettable fishing trip that becomes part of your Christmas or New Year memories.”

Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The Take A Friend Fishing scheme has been a huge success, we are delighted to see it return for a third time. With the pressures of coronavirus, more people have been looking for ways to reconnect with nature and their loved ones in a way that is safe, healthy and fun. We hope our angling community seizes on the opportunity to give the gift of fishing this Christmas!”.

Andrew Race, Angling Trades Association (ATA) chairman, added: “After more than 30 years in the industry, there is more potential for angling now than I have ever seen. Our own AGM this week will focus heavily on the industry’s support for our angling initiatives and providing the correct tackle and information pathways for trade and retailers to engage with anyone wanting to give angling a go. Long-term plans for cooperation with all

Angling can still be practiced safely and has seen a boom in participation numbers after being one of the first sports to return on 13th May after lockdown guidelines were relaxed. The Angling Trust – the national representative and governing body for angling in England, regularly updates its guidelines to anglers, clubs, fisheries, coaches and other angling organisations to ensure fishing can comply with the latest Government guidance during the Covid-19 epidemic.

Follow the rules for your local area:
Find out what tier your area is in and what the local restrictions are:

Follow guidance on Christmas and New Year activities:
Guidance for the Christmas period about meeting friends and family, travel and New Year:

Join the ATA

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