“People will instantly judge a book by its cover, that because you’re a woman who wants to have nice hair, have their nails done or have false eyelashes you can’t participate in a certain sport…the old stereotypes still exists, unfortunately,”

My guest today is Bev Clifford, who has forged a path for herself in a very male-dominated industry…fishing. 

Bev’s father is Kevin Clifford,  who was one of the founders of the weekly angling magazine, Carp-Talk, and once hailed the ‘Carp King of the North’, so carp fishing is in her blood.

She worked at the magazine form an early age, and took over the business when her father retired.  However, she didn’t take up carp fishing herself until she was 26 years old following years of battling with drugs, alcohol and eating disorders.

“After struggling with alcohol and drugs, I needed that time on my own, I needed to figure myself out, I needed to become comfortable being on my own,” she explains. “Your 20s are a bit of a whirlwind, I was very lost and fishing gave me that time and escapism to figure it out.”

Bev is also heavily involved with the Ladies Carp Team England, and also runs the Ladies Carp Academy, which organises events for female anglers wanting to improve their carp fishing skills or get started in the sport.

“We’ve come along way in terms of younger people coming into the sport, even just down to the clothing, the tackle that’s available, it’s a lot more trendy,” she says. “Social media has helped massively.” 

We talk about how fishing has helped her and many others, overcome struggles, particularly during lockdown, as well as:  

  • What carp fishing involves
  • The parallels between fishing and ultra-running
  • The mental health benefits of fishing and running
  • The Ladies World Carp Angling Championships

To find out more about how to get involved in the glamorous world of fishing or join Bev at one of the upcoming angling shows, follow her on Instagram @bevclifford.