UK trade initiative returns to get people fishing this winter

The UK trade’s Take a Friend Fishing scheme returns later this month (December), offering 12 days of fishing of opportunities get out on the bank with a pal.

Running from Friday December 22nd, 2023 to Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024 inclusive, the scheme – run by the UK’s Angling trades Association – aims to encourage anglers to get out fishing with a friend or family member during the winter break.
It adds yet another window of opportunity to its 2023 campaign, making TAFF23 the most extensive effort yet, offering more weekends and more chances to create long-lasting friendships and memories fishing with a friend.

Existing fishing licence holders in England and Wales can register for a FREE one-day fishing licence from the Environment Agency at to take someone they know fishing.

Half terms, national and family holidays all provide opportunities to unwind, be with friends and interact with the environment around us.

Taking a friend or family member on a fishing trip is seen as a great way to spend time outdoors. Escaping modern life to build friendships, create lasting memories and just enjoy some time next to the water, is the ultimate in relaxation.

Take a Friend Fishing is run in association with the Environment Agency and supported by the Angling Trust and the Canal & River Trust in the UK and is aimed at anglers and non-anglers alike, of all abilities, ages groups and communities.

ATA chairman Andrew Races said: “The TAFF23 campaign has been a great success this year and we wanted to reward registrants with another opportunity to go fishing with a friend over the festive period. “TAFF is capable of making such a difference, not only to the long-term development of angling recruitment but also to people’s lives. Angling is a proven therapy both mentally and physically and it knows no boundaries in terms of ability, age, sex, or background.”

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Partnerships Manager, added: “Fishing with family members or friends is a fantastic way to spend quality time together whilst also enjoying all that nature has to offer.

“Take a Friend Fishing is a brilliant campaign that allows anglers of all levels of ability to improve their skills, or simply give fishing a try – and I’m proud to again be supporting this initiative that makes this great hobby more accessible for all.

“During these colder months, an hour or two fishing is a great way to clear your head and reconnect with your friends and family.”