The Victorian Government is proactive in encouraging all Victorians to fish, specifically focusing on the involvement of women, children, and people from diverse backgrounds. Recreational fishing offers terrific opportunities for people of all ages, skills, abilities, and backgrounds to enjoy a fun and healthy activity and build social connections, which is why the Victorian Government invested $1.5 million from the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Fund to provide 95,000 Little Angler Kits to primary school aged children across schools in Victoria.

The aim of this election commitment, which has successfully been implemented, is to continue to grow recreational fishing participation in Victoria, by actively encouraging primary school-aged children to learn more about the art of fishing, marine life, and the natural environment.

The free kits provide a wonderful activity for children with their families and help ease the cost of living, providing a fun activity close to home. In 2023, Grade 5 students at all Victorian schools were offered the opportunity to receive a free Little Angler Kit. This includes government, catholic, independent, language and specialist schools across metropolitan and regional Victoria, to ensure that every Victorian kid has the opportunity to try their hand at fishing.

Grade 5 students were selected based on the Victorian Curriculum focus, movement and motor development, and safety considerations. All primary-aged students in specialist schools were offered a kit, irrespective of age.

The kits included a rod, reel with line, tackle tray, some tackle in line with Australian standards, a flyer promoting Fishcare Victoria’s ‘Come and Try Fishing’ school program, and a kid’s Guide to fishing that contains information on how to safely use the kits and, importantly how to catch a fish.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority created a Little Angler hub on their website, written specifically for a Grade 5 audience. It has useful information, safety and instructional videos and online resources about where and how to fish, linking to existing resources from Fishcare and new resources produced just for the Little Angler Kits program.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority has received positive feedback from schools, parents and children, who were all very excited to go and try their kits out over summer. Fisheries Officers have observed kids happily using their kits all across the State, and many families/schools have been supplying the VFA with images and stories of the kits being successfully used to catch fish, including the tale of a young fisher who used his kit to go fishing for the first time and caught a Murray cod on his first cast! I’m not sure who’s more excited, the kids trying out their new fishing kits or the Victorian Fisheries Authority who now have an additional 95,000 Victorians hooked on fishing!