Many years ago this extreme sport was only conducted in secret; the darkened beach huts along the coast of Essex showing no signs of activity to the casual passer-by.

Of course, as we all know, it gradually came out of these shore-line closets and became very popular with professional and amateur alike.  The unforgettable efforts of Scaley Cartwright during the 1999 World Championships which was held at Frinton-on-Sea and widely reported in the Manningtree Observer are still remembered to this day.


The media coverage that this event attracted caught the attention of the ‘Save Haddocks from Inessential Tension’ protest group which in turn led on to the militant action over the Easter of 2000.  S.H.I.T.’s very successful campaign* managed to free 2 whole haddocks and return them to the wild**. It also had the effect of driving the sport underground once again.

*During the struggle one wrangler suffered terrible damage to his tackle and two on-lookers had their noses pierced by an inexperienced protester wielding a fishing rod – luckily they liked the look and turned vegan.

**Both these fish were tagged. One turned up several days later in a portion of fish and chips. The owner of the shop was successfully sued for ‘hurty’ tongue and went out of business soon after. The other fish has not been seen or heard of since. (Ah. You remember that rather tough kipper you had for breakfast a couple of days ago…. Lo,TG Ed)


Match of the Day