Get hooked on fishing

Bridget Dawson - Project Coordinator
07908 856661

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bridget and I started fishing when I was only 6 years old with my Grandad. I have continued to love the sport throughout my life and believe that angling is one of the few truly inclusive sports that anyone can try. I have been a youth worker since 1997 and enjoy working with young people from all walks of life. I qualified as a Level 2 Coach in 2004 and since then I find that I get as big a thrill watching someone else catch a fish as much as I do catching them myself; helping young people learn skills that will help them enjoy the sport, respect their environment and hopefully catch more fish is something I will never tire of.

I have been the Project Manager in the Bolton area since the scheme started in Spring 2008. With the help of a small group of dedicated Level 2 Coaches and Peer Mentors we have worked with hundreds of young people from schools, youth clubs, YOT, Inclusion Teams, faith groups and targeted youth support groups from Bolton, Salford, Manchester and Lancashire. Most of our groups book regular sessions which is a testament to the standard and overall experience we endeavor to create for everyone.

We are based at Bradshaw Hall Fisheries in Bolton which is one of the best commercial fisheries in the area. Since a new owner took over in August 2012 there have been massive improvements to the fishery which has resulted in better access, comfort and catch rates for everyone. We have a small cabin on site which is our base, somewhere to meet, shelter from bad weather and most importantly, brew up!

We are proud to have been awarded the Bolton Mark which is a quality assurance that all of our policies and procedures have been approved by Bolton Council. We are also a registered service provider for Lancashire County Council.

During school holidays we usually run open sessions for anyone who wants to come along and give angling a try or to further their existing knowledge.


Bridget Dawson - Project Manager
Get Hooked on Fishing (Bolton)
c/o Bradshaw Hall Fisheries
Slack Lane
Bolton, BL2 4JW
Telephone: 07908 856661

The Bolton Project

Bridget will be setting up a brand new scheme in the Bolton area starting in Spring 2008. Bridget will be working with young people from schools, youth clubs, YOT, Inclusion Teams and any other groups that want to come along and have a go at fishing.

Bridget started fishing when she was only 6 years old with her Grandad and has continued to love the sport throughout her life. She has 10 years youth work experience and enjoys working with young people from all walks of life. She qualified as a Level 2 Coach about 4 years ago and enjoys teaching young people skills that will help them enjoy the sport, respect their environment and hopefully catch more fish.

Key Partners / Funding

Get Hooked On Fishing Bolton is working in partnership with

  • Bolton Council
  • The Environment Agency

Anyone else wishing to be involved in supporting the Bolton scheme please contact GHOF or Bridget.

Joe Bannister

Thoughts of one young Bolton angler

Fishing helps me to concentrate and helps me to not get into trouble. It helps me to concentrate because I focus on fishing as I want to catch fish, staying still and quiet helps because if I move around I would scare off the fish. It helps me to not get in trouble because its something to do and I can make new friends. Most of all its enjoyable, I get excited when a fish bites at the bait.

I am a pupil from Thornleigh Salesian College and have been on a programme with ‘Get Hooked on Fishing’ for 2 terms. It has really motivated me in school knowing that I can enjoy fishing on a Friday afternoon.

Latest Bolton News:

GHOF Bolton - An Update from Bridget

The five weeks of the summer holidays were the busiest we have ever been. We ran ‘Summer Camps’ funded by Bolton Council which were a huge success – 111 young people completed 12 hours of coaching each and all went away happy at the end with a starter kit to keep. We also worked with Castle Hill Youth Club and Community Sports Development groups throughout the summer which I reckon has bumped our numbers up to 140+ in those five weeks.

I managed a week long residential up at Witton Park with four of my peer mentors. Mick and the team made us all feel really welcome and looked after us very well. I was chuffed to get such positive comments from the Witton Park crowd about my lads and it was a pleasure to spend a week with everyone involved. This picture is my favourite from the residential:


The trip to The Glebe was also a great couple of days. It was nice to see so many young people getting on together and a fantastic opportunity for all the schemes to get together like that. My lads were talking about it for ages afterwards, re-telling stories to their friends and the coaches back in Bolton.

Since the schools have gone back we are keeping busy delivering alternative education sessions for local schools and education agencies and we are busier than I thought we were going to be.

Our ‘Tin Hut’ has arrived (See the image below).  I’ll keep you all posted as to how we get on with it. I may be contacting you to see if there is anything you may have to help us kit it out with. I’ve already got a kettle – no more filling flasks – Hooray!!

I gave a talk to The Rotary Club in Manchester on 20th October and they presented me with a cheque for £500 for the Bolton scheme. They made me feel really welcome and were genuinely interested in the work we do with young people. There are also plans in the pipeline for them to help with fundraising events in the future – watch this space!

I had a great couple of days with the gang at The Tackle & Guns Show. It was nice to see everyone suited and booted for the Gala Dinner – well done to Mick for delivering such a passionate speech about GHOF.

Thanks to Dave Verburg for helping me to get my Views stuff up to date – it’s been a massive help to have someone upload the back log of contacts. I have done hours of work on it as well and I now feel there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Jordan reels in a monster!

Jordan reels in a monster

On Friday, 9th of April, a group of us from Castlehill Youth Centre went fishing with Get Hooked on Fishing Bolton, at Bradshaw Fisheries. In the group was my brother Cory, Ryan, Jack and me. At first when we got there we were given instructions how to set up the fishing poles by ‘Get Hooked on Fishing’ coaches. A few people in the group already knew how to do this. Then we started fishing.

8lb carp caught by Jordan

After about 5 minutes the float started to dip in and out of the water then it never came back to the surface. The pole started moving, then I realised I had caught a big fish. The fish was a carp and it took me 10 minutes to reel it in. It was an enormous 8 pounds!! It wouldn’t stop moving and I was finding it difficult to handle so the youth worker, Mark, had to ‘land’ it in on to the surface.

I felt so proud of myself, so were my friends and the staff. I told my Mum and Dad about the fish they were very happy. My Dad bought me a new rod. I have been fishing a lot recently with my new rod and now need a rod license to be able to fish any where I want. This is the 8 pound Carp I caught.


Bridget's Bolton Wonderers

Bridget Dawson is Get Hooked on Fishing's only woman project co-ordinator. She has had a busy summer and her report of what has been happening shows that the girls are doing great things with her as a role-model. Bridget's full report is included (follow the link) because it gives a sense of thediversity of GHOF activity. But, as she says in the report, 'The big event ... was Sue's story of the 'one that got away'. Sue hooked into a big fish 10 minutes into the match - she was really only going for silver fish so was using a 4 metre whip with a fairly light rig on and a size 18 hook! In all my years fishing, I have never known a fish fight like that one did - it didn't bolt off but would not come to the surface. One hour and forty minutes later it was off the hook. We now think that it was hooked in a fin or something like that and the hook eventually just worked free; and it got away without us having even seen it. The adults who were there were more gutted than Sue was!


Get Hooked on Fishing Bolton is very open to people wishing to gain further Youth Work experience or angling knowledge by way of volunteering. Anyone wishing to do so can contact Bridget directly for further information.

If you would like to talk to Get Hooked on Fishing about setting up and running your own project, please complete our contact form by CLICKING HERE arrow

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