Angling is the sixth most popular sport in the UK, with more than four million people taking to boats, riverbanks and lakesides each yearjames mccormick/Getty Images

For once, the prospect of the City’s finest smelling something fishy in a stock market flotation is exactly what the soon-to-be-public company is hoping for.

Angling Direct is casting its line into the junior Alternative Investment Market with the aim of cashing in on the growing popularity of fishing.

Britain’s biggest angling equipment retailer wants to hook £8 million of new investment to fund its expansion. It has 15 large stores and an online business that accounted for almost half of its £21 million revenue last year.

Darren Bailey, chief executive of the the reel, rod and tackle supplier, said that more people were taking up the sport as it gained a greater presence on television, with programmes such as Extreme Fishing with Robson Green