Fishing is a great way to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air instead of being stuck indoors playing computer games! There are many children who will have gone fishing with their parents or grand parents from a young age and this is the most common way of getting 'hooked'.
But perhaps you didn't have this chance or don't know any anglers? Don't worry, help is at hand - read on to find out how you can learn the basics, who you can contact and what you will need.
Types of fishing
Do you want to fish for coarse fish (carp, pike, roach, etc), game fish (salmon and trout) or sea fish? To start with you will probably be limited by the type of water in your area - you may live close to a river, the sea, a loch or lake or a reservoir - so you need to find out what is available on your doorstep.
The best way is to ask your local angling association or club for more information about fishing on their water. Often clubs will offer a reduced rates for fishing permits for young people. If you are unsure who to contact try asking your local tackle shop, who will also offer advice. Depending on your age you may need to get an adult to help you.
Children should always go fishing with an adult, not by themselves. An adult can point out dangers or help if somebody gets into trouble. Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water if you fall in.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have produced a pack, including a CD and worksheets, aimed at 12-16 year olds to help them understand and explore the risk posed by inland waters. Copies of the pack 'R U A Dummy 2?' can be ordered free from firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0121 248 2137.