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National call for beach angler

PUBLISHED: 08:31 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:52 13 July 2010

SHERINGHAM outdoor girl Wendy Metcalfe (pictured) who has been fishing since the age of five has been selected in the National Beach Fishing team to compete in the world championships in September.

SHERINGHAM outdoor girl Wendy Metcalfe (pictured) who has been fishing since the age of five has been selected in the National Beach Fishing team to compete in the world championships in September.

Landmines defending the north Norfolk beaches had barely been cleared when Wendy first visited the shoreline at Weybourne where her father was a devoted rod and line fisherman for prize North Sea cod, of which then there were plenty following five years of war and little commercial trawling.

“I think I was about five years old when my dad first took me fishing and my job was to remove the hooks from the fish he caught,” recalled 53-year-old Wendy who is now a swimming instructor as well as a top beach angler in her own right.

“My enduring memory is returning home to Holt with aching fingers after unhooking cod in Arctic weather when the fish were frozen as stiff as boards within a couple of hours,” she recalled.

However, this paternal apprenticeship in the art of fish locating and long casting among the prolific shoals paid off. For Wendy was delighted to hear that she has been selected again to select her country in the forthcoming championships staged on the Atlantic coast in France.

Commenting on her fifth trip on the world scene the Holt Angling Club secretary said she was as excited by this tournament as she was for her visit onto the world stage.

“I think my greatest thrill was winning a gold medal as a member of the triumphant England squad that won the championship in 2004. Admittedly, we had an advantage that year being the home team along the Weymouth beaches,” she concluded.

“I have been sea match fishing along just about every beach in the UK since the early 1970s and I have enjoyed every minute and won the women's section of the Sea Anglers' Match Federation four times.”

Wendy Metcalfe's greatest disappointment is the continued depletion of North Sea fish stocks. “All those succulent cod that my dad used to catch are no more.”

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