Fishing stands accused this week of being sexist after a woman angler was first verbally abused and then banned from her local fishery.
Burnley’s Brenda Crichley found herself the victim of a foul-mouthed tirade when an argument with a male angler at Cornfield Farm Fishery, in Lancashire, escalated out of control.
Then, after taking her complaint to the police, she was banned from the venue, which is run by Pendle, Burnley & District AA.
Brenda claims to have been left badly shaken after being on the receiving end of what she described as an ‘obscene and sexist outburst’ when she accidentally caught a fellow angler’s line. She was told: “You b*****d f*****g woman - if I get a fish on my line now there will be trouble. Get off here, go home and get on with the ironing or whatever it is that you women do.” Brenda claims that this was just the beginning of the insults, and felt so threatened that she deemed it necessary to involve the police.
“I adore my fishing and was dumbstruck and really frightened when he started shouting and using such disgusting and insulting language after an innocent mistake,” she said.
“I called the police because I felt threatened and unsafe at a fishery that has always welcomed female anglers. I can’t believe that I’ve now been banned from the venue because the club feel that I overreacted in calling the police. I think any other lady in my position would have done the same.”
The club has also banned the man responsible for the outburst after claiming that the behaviour of both parties was unacceptable at a fishery which ‘prides itself on a peaceful and welcoming environment’.
“This is the first time that the club has had to ban anyone, but we just can’t tolerate this type of behaviour from two grown adults, who were both at fault,” said club chairman Wayne Preston.
“The reasons why we had to ban the male party were obvious, but Brenda sent us a letter stating that she would take legal action if we didn’t ban him and we deemed this threatening and taking things too far.”
One female angler who knows just how male-dominated a sport angling can be is Wendy Lythgoe. As well as being part of England’s gold medal-winning team at the 2003 World Champs, she is now sales and marketing manager at successful bait company Bait-Tech.
“I’ve been fishing with men since I was 13 years old and learned very quickly that you have to grow very thick skin because fishing is a tough sport and getting stick often comes with the territory,” said Wendy.