There can’t be many sports that appeal to sporting legends and A-List movie stars every bit as much as key workers. This summer has really illustrated how fishing appeals to so many different groups, with everyone from Premier League footballers to doctors, delivery drivers and bin men hitting the bank!
In no small part thanks to our #whenwefishagain campaign, angling was one of the first sports to get the green light from the government. After many gloomy and uncertain weeks, the return of fishing has not only been excellent for local businesses such as tackle shops and fisheries, but huge positive not only to the nation’s wellbeing.
Of course, this applies to the rich and famous just as much as your neighbours and workmates. A lot of celebrities love the sport as a means of chilling out and enjoying some privacy. Hence they often keep their hobby and their whereabouts quiet! However, here are a whole host of well-known British celebrities who you might just spot out fishing.
The ex-Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star enjoys fly fishing on his travels and has been pictured wetting a line on some of the world’s finest trout streams. He’s fished not only the English chalk streams, but the waters of Iceland, proudly sharing some of his net-filling game fish catches on social media.
Granted, so you’re unlikely to spot Liverpool’s much-loved striker on the Trent and Mersey Canal, for the simple reason he’d be mobbed by fans! But you only need to look at some of his Instagram snaps to see that the Egyptian loves to fish. Big-game species are a particular favourite.
The Lancastrian comic is not so much a fair-weather fisher as mad keen! In fact, he can regularly be seen on Twitter waxing lyrical about how much he loves catching bream, carp and other species. Definitely one who knows his method feeder from his lift method. He might have you in stitches but his catches are no laughing matter, as he catches some cracking fish.
The Northern Irish actor has been a secret game fisherman for many years. When not working on his next movie, he is a massive fan of fly fishing- and was even presented with a special box of flies from Late Show host Ryan Tubridy.
“I try to take July and August off every year, do a little bit of fly fishing” he has remarked in interview, referring to the annual trips he makes, with America a favourite destination. “It’s beautiful.”
Best known for playing Hermione in the Harry Potter films, a lesser known fact about Watson is that she is a lifelong fly fisher. Ever since joining her father on the river while growing up, she has enjoyed the sport. Watson even ties her own flies, several of which were once sold in a charity auction.
As well as winning the Womens Super League, Womens League Cup, Womens FA Cup and representing England at a World Cup, Georgia Stanway is also a mad keen carp angler. “I just love it, to be fair” the Man City star revealed in a recent BBC interview.
Sir Ian Botham
The legendary sportsman is not just an all-rounder on the cricket pitch, and enjoys a variety of angling. “Fishing is great” he told Sky Sports Tight Lines show. “It’s one of the most therapeutic things you can do. I’ve been saying it for years- and I think it’s kept me sane!”
Along with fellow cricketer Michael Atherton, he has also supported the excellent Fishing For Heroes charity, which helps ex-services personnel with challenges such as PTSD.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAeWXOwgqbI
(Pic: Wales online)
The Welsh singer, songwriter and BBC radio presenter has always been drawn to water, but came to fishing a little later, during pregnancy. “Fishing is just brilliant because you never know what you’re going to see” she told BBC Radio 4 in a special “Hook, Line and Singer” interview. “I just like pottering about in the river, just seeing what happens” she says. “The attraction for me is just coming to the river and, it’s almost like the reel, you just let your mind go and run wild.”
A man you wouldn’t argue over swims with, the heavyweight boxer has been an angler since 2017. After landing carp on his debut trip, he proudly shared his first ever catch picture on social media.
(Pic: http://www.bobbygeorge.com / George Hall Lakes)
The former world darts champion has loved fishing from an early age! The story goes that he “discovered” his amazing darts talent while sheltering in a pub for few “arrows”, while brutal storms postponed a sea fishing trip.
Bobby loves fishing so much he even had his very own fishing lakes dug in the grounds of his house. He has also been a vocal supporter of getting kids into fishing, by supporting fishing licence funded initiatives to get them on the bank.
“It gets them off the computer and TV while they learn to catch fish, make a lot of friends and learn about and respect wildlife,” he said.
The veteran broadcaster and author is an incredibly keen angler with a particular love of fly fishing. Outside his career in politics and journalism, he’s also penned and contributed to various fishing books, including The One That Got Away and his own excellent anthology of fishing writing Fish, Fishing and the Meaning of Life.
(Pic: Lac de Premier)
Another former sports star to go one cast further and invest in their own fishery is Everton fan’s favourite Tony Hibbert. The left back was a keen angler since his playing days, and so towards the end of his career he invested in his very own Lac De Premier. Still rated by channel hopping anglers as one of the best carp fishing lakes in France, he has never looked back.
Other famous anglers…
Of course, the list of other famous rods is a long and distinguished one! You only have to look at recent fishing series to see household names like Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer, Paul Gascoigne, David Seaman and many others enjoying every type of fishing you can imagine! Of course, some of our best-known Angling Trust Ambassadors are also famous faces, including former Commonwealth Champion decathlete Dean Macey. Similarly, there are several politicians from all sides of the house who are part of the All Party Angling Group established by Angling Trust campaigns stalwart and former MP Martin Salter.