Nearly a thousand more youngsters went fishing for the day at Northumbrian Water’s premier reservoirs.
Statistics announced today show there was a 30% increase last season from 3379 under 17-year-old’s fishing in 2007 to 4,160 in 2008.
And Northumbrian Water - the leading provider of stillwater game fishing in Northern Europe with 46,000 angler visits to its North East fisheries last season – has lined up a selection of new attractions to build on that success for both adult and junior anglers in 2009.
# Anglers can bank on £400,000 being spent and at least 140,000 trout to be reared and stocked – the same investment as last year.
# There’s a new ‘credit cruncher’ - not a fly but a bargain four-fish day ticket - available from 2.30pm for just £15.
# Normal day and season ticket prices have been pegged the same as last year and a plastic ‘credit card-style’ loyalty card is being issued to be swiped for anglers to collect their free fishing bonus after seven visits.
# To promote extra fun in fishing there will be a special daily ‘pools’ run for anglers over 18-years-old at Grassholme, Fontburn and Derwent. Anglers who put in a pound and catch one of the unique specially-stocked fish will win the total pool. Unique fish for the pools will include ‘hunt the tiger’ (tiger trout) and ‘pot of gold’ (golden trout).
# Improved reservoir tackle shops will include special offers and the opportunity to try and buy the new range of SONIK gear – normally only available by mail order.
# There are lots of opportunities to join in fun charity competitions which last year raised about £7,000 for Northumbrian Water’s adopted international charity WaterAid and local good causes including for the Gateshead Mayor Appeal, the Morpeth Lions, MacMillan Cancer Care, the Blind and Partially sighted and the Air Ambulance.
# Another heat has been added to last season’s sell-out Kielder WaterAid boat pairs so anglers have three chances of landing a free place in the grand final.
# World class Alnwick-based tackle supplier Hardy Greys has once again donated major prizes for WaterAid competitions at Kielder, Derwent and Whittle Dene (coarse fishing) and winners will also land a Northumbrian Water season ticket.
# Top notch anglers can qualify for the final fish-off for the English national team with the return of the regional eliminator to Kielder on 14 June and where teams of six anglers can also take part in the prestigious national Airflo International on 20 June.
# Those who stay in a cabin at Kielder will get their fishing free and just have to pay for boat hire.
# Bank access at Kielder will be greatly improved with the completion of the multi-user Lakeside Way track which runs around the entire shoreline.
# New for this season is also automatic entry to the national TroutMasters SONIK-sponsored fly fishing competition at both Derwent and Hury. Every month the captor of the biggest fish will get the coveted cloth badge and earn a place in the fish-off finals.
# A rod average of three fish per angler visit throughout the fisheries would match the return enjoyed last year.
# Bumper catches, especially early in the season, can be expected because the special fish reared at Northumbrian Water’s farms in Northumberland and Teesdale have packed on the pounds in exceptional pre-season growth.
The water company’s new-look 28-page “Go Fishing - Angling for Everyone” guide out now reveals full details of the plans for the 2009 season including highlights for multi bait, fly and coarse anglers.
Copies of the guide can be requested by calling 0845-155-0236. Information is also available on the website: www.nwl.co.uk/gofishing
There are features on all the stocked trout reservoirs – Derwent in County Durham; Fontburn and Kielder in Northumberland; Grassholme and Hury in Teesdale; Scaling on the edge of the North York Moors and the coarse lakes at Whittle Dene in the Tyne Valley.
There’s information about the wild brown trout waters of Balderhead, Cow Green and Selset and throughout the guide there are tips and information from Northumbrian Water’s own angling expert, Teesdale ranger Andrew Scott, who is a gold-medal winning England International.
Fishing opens at all reservoirs from Saturday 14 March except the wild brown trout waters of Cow Green, Selset, Balderhead and Blackton which open on 22 March. Brown trout caught at Kielder and Derwent must be returned before 1 May and after 31 October.
A premier fishery 8 fish day trout ticket will cost £20. Coarse fishing permits are held at the same level as for the last five years at £6.
After raising more than £20,000 for the charity WaterAid in the last four years Northumbrian Water has again teamed up with Hardy Greys to stage a series of fun charity competitions.
# There is a fly and multi-bait competition at Derwent on 17 May from separate banks of the reservoir on the same day with prizes for both sections.
# This year the pairs fly-only boat fundraiser at Kielder has been extended and there will be three heats each for 30 anglers on 25 April, 23 May and 28 June with the top five in the heats going through to the free final on 12 July.
# And the coarse fishing challenge is at Whittle Dene on 31 August.
Don Coe, Fishing and Waterside Parks Leisure Operations Manager, said: “We have a great season lined up for our customers and will continue to attract newcomers to the sport with our popular ‘Try It’ sessions at Derwent reservoir under qualified angling instruction.
“Our emphasis is on having fun while fishing. Encouraging youngsters is a big part of that with our great value family permit which allows parents or guardians plus any number of their children aged under 17 years to fish for the inclusive price of £25.
“The future of fishing is in the hands of the younger generation and we are doing everything we can to encourage them to go fishing. We are proud of the figures announced today that show many more youngsters are indeed getting hooked on our sport.”
For further information contact Alistair Baker on 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793493.