What it means to go fishing to some people? Here are a few federation members stories and experience of the sheer enjoyment and fun you can have with fishing and joining our federation. This account is from a senior member and our trusty recorder Barry Platt a man that loves his sea angling and his angling companions, he is nudging at the top 4 places in the league in the past 2 years.
I have fished on and off since I was a child but the past 18 years I've been lucky enough to fish twice a week since getting married and moving beside the sea. I love going out with mates for a "dangle" but I particularly enjoy my match fishing and the prep involved the week before, whether organising delivery of required baits or gathering it myself. It's the only time I enjoy tying rigs when I know they are for a specific beach, species, time of day or predicted weather forecast.
I was lucky enough to be a member of two friendly clubs where I cut my teeth match fishing and took part in practically every open match that took place organised by the organisation these clubs were affiliated to, for many years. However as the years passed, numbers participating declined at such events to the point where the diehards amongst us were asking questions as to what or who was the reason behind such poor numbers? Why were so many people still fishing but not participating in competitive shore angling in N.I? A couple of us came up with an idea which we ran with to increase numbers which it did, but we were always on a "hiding to nothing" as the top table of organisation were determined it shouldn't work and we got fed up pulling proverbial knives out of our backs to the point where it was no longer worth the effort. On the inception of NIFSA I immediately joined while remaining in the other organisation. First match with NIFSA was not so much a breath of fresh air but more akin to the breath you take after nearly drowning. New faces, no cliques, no back stabbing, no "wee man syndrome" and no (misplaced) egos have been the order of the day since day one and its continued as such. We are into are third year and I haven't looked back. I'm heavily involved in organising the shore comps and can honestly say it's not a chore. Folks are friendly, understanding of occasional errors and everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet while pointing in the same direction.