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‘Go Fishing’ Youth Angling Programme Launches Online

27th October 2020
One of the young anglers in the Donegal Foróige group with a dogfish caught on their visit to Buncrana beach in August One of the young anglers in the Donegal Foróige group with a dogfish caught on their visit to Buncrana beach in August Photo: IFI

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) education and outreach team have been working with Foróige to get young people angling with the Go Fishing programme.

Due to the latest public health-related restrictions on gatherings, the programme has now evolved into a “blended learning experience” that consists of a weekly online course over four weeks, followed by a local fishing trip.

Participants learn about Ireland’s inland fisheries and the benefits of angling, the biodiversity of our waterways, becoming a steward of our waterways and the environment, and the basics of angling.

IFI says the programme has been piloted with a number of Foróige groups nationwide since July. One of these was in Donegal, where a local Foróige group was taken shore fishing at Buncrana beach on Thursday 27 August.

The young participants learned how to set up a beach casting rod, attach a rig using the improved clinch knot, how to bait up using mackerel, razorfish, lug worm and use bait elastic.

The weather was reportedly “perfect for fishing” and the young anglers caught a number of dogfish. They went home at the end of the day with goodie bags and certificates of awareness having completed their course.

Foróige youth worker Orla Taylor says the IFI sessions were presented “in an engaging and well organised way, telling stories of catches and experiences they have had. This made it very real for the young people.

“The group loved the experience and are looking forward to trying more fishing.”

The online programme is designed for young people aged 12–17. Group numbers for the fishing trip are always in line with the prevailing public health advice, but up to 20 can partake in the online course.

With consideration of the current situation, all fishing field trips will now take place in 2021.

Lorraine O’Donnell, education and outreach officer at IFI, says: “We are delighted to now be able to offer an online course as part of the Go Fishing initiative.

“Being able to offer the course in an online capacity keeps the programme accessible at the current time and also means we are able to offer the programme to organisations like Foróige.

“We would like to invite any youth groups that would be interested in taking part in the new online course to please email [email protected] for more information.”

Published in Angling
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