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Bobby’s backing for youngsters to start fishing

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 08 April 2010

Bobby George at his fishing lakes in Ardleigh.; myphotos24 ref - slb 010 bobby george 4

Bobby George at his fishing lakes in Ardleigh.; myphotos24 ref - slb 010 bobby george 4

Archant

HE may be a darts legend but Bobby George has switched his attention to fishing and given 180 reasons why youngsters should pick up a rod and reel.

HE MAY be a darts legend but Bobby George has turned his attention to fishing and has what seems like 180 reasons why youngsters should pick up a rod and line.

The former darts champion has his own lakes at his home at Ardleigh, near Colchester, and is now backing an Environment Agency campaign to encourage people to start fishing.

Last year, the agency helped to introduce about 4,500 new anglers to the sport in the East of England by running and supporting coaching sessions funded from money raised by rod licence sales.

Bobby said: “This scheme is fantastic for youngsters.

“It gets them off the computer and TV while they learn to catch fish, make a lot of friends and learn about and respect wildlife. I wish this was around when I was a kid.”

Environment Agency fisheries specialist Roger Handford said: ‘It’s great to get young people involved in fishing as they get real pleasure and improved self-esteem from learning a new skill.

“Having the support of someone as well-known as Bobby is a fantastic boost too.’

Anglers fishing in England and Wales must hold a valid rod licence and the 2010/11 season started on April 1.

The agency puts money raised from rod licence sales straight back into supporting and developing the sport.

As well as “taster sessions” for newcomers to angling, and coaching sessions for improving anglers, the agency also carries out work such as habitat improvement, monitoring of fish stocks, restocking and fish rescues.

A junior licence for 12 to 16-year-olds is £5 and for under 12s angling is free as they do not require a licence.

An adult annual rod licence costs £27 for non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout.

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