A worm at one end … And a fool at the other

British Coarse Team 2014

British Coarse Team 2014

This famous saying about anglers and their sport that non-converted folk agree with misses the fact that angling is much more than dangling a worm in an expanse of water trying to catch an elusive creature or monster.

Angling in the Fire Service is a great example of how a sport can bring together people from all over the UK in events which over the years have become as much social as competitive.

Fire Sport’s angling section achieves this through five National competitions that have been running for many years with friends from all over meeting up and catching up over the period of that event. The skill levels of the participants range from experienced, sometimes internationals, to beginners and very basic anglers, but all are invited and embraced at all competitions. Let’s face it the Fire Service is a big family that loves an event which puts the world to rights, and with a humour that seems to run throughout.

The five National competitions run from late April through to November, encompassing the main sections of Angling.

April sees the Northern Ireland Coarse National. This is one of the oldest Festivals to be held in Northern Ireland with this being our 31st year. The festival is held in and around the town of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh and although the fish stocks have fallen over the past few years it is still and eagerly waited for event. 2016 sees the festival held from 23rd to 30th April.

M.Copplestone, london, indiv winner pike 15May is the turn of the Fire Services Game Anglers. This is a truly National competition with representatives attending from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as Tyne & Wear, Lancashire, Devon and Dorset. The competition has been held in Scotland, and the North and South of England. We have been hosted on some of the country’s best venues and been well received on all. Most of our matches are from boats although we have had some bank matches. This year’s National will be at Grafham Water on 10th May.

The Coarse National is probably our largest event with up to 150 competitors taking part. Again, Services from all over the UK attend and we have been accommodated on some of the country’s most famous commercial fisheries. This year the National is to be at Tunnelbarn Fishery on 20th July.

peter reidOctober sees the Sea Anglers converge on a coastal resort to compete in the Sea National. This event is over 4 days and is made up of a beach and boat competition which sees a combined Champion of Champion for both team and individual. All competitors stay in the same accommodation which has ranged from hotels to holiday parks allowing the evening discussions on sorting the world’s problems more convenient. This year’s festival will be held in Weymouth from 1st to 8th of October.

We also run a Carp and Pike national competition for the specimen hunters of the Fire Service. The Carp National is our youngest competition being only a few years old. The match is a 48 hour competition with trophies for the biggest fish and best total weight of individuals and teams. The Pike National is usual in late October / early November, and other than the 48 hour duration, is the same format as the Carp National – we have not finalised a venue or date for the Pike and Carp National.

The section also has representative teams in both Coarse and Sea. Individuals whom have come to the notice of the selection committees are invited to represent their country or the British Fire Service.

So whether you agree with the title phrase of this article or are a keen Angler, you will be able to see the Fire Sports Angling Section holds something for everyone, from beginner and pleasure to totally committed match or specimen angler.

If you need more information then please contact me, the Sections Secretary, details are at the bottom of this ramble.

To all who have manged to reach this final paragraph I hope you have a Good New Year and within it you receive all you wish from 2016.

Hopefully we will see you on the edge of a watercourse somewhere hopefully as the fool and not the worm.

David Rees
Fire Sport Angling Section

Email – dmrees@ntlworld.com