Anglers con artists or sportsmen ?

So, the UK Environment Agency has this report, in it they claim, and they are not the first, that Angling aka Fishing, is the "the country's most popular participation sport".

Well, I disagree. Angling might be a hobby but it is not a sport. I came to this conclusion today while running along the towpath on the Grand Union canal.

Their report says that Angling "is widely accepted to be a healthy form of recreation". Again, disagree. The report states statistics like "1.9 million rod sales", "3.9 million people experienced angling in 2000". Whatever...

Based on my short survey this morning

- Most anglers are severely overweight
- Most anglers smoke while participating in their "sport"
- Most anglers do it sitting down
- Many anglers have rods that reach at least 2/3 of the width of the canal/river they fish in
- Many anglers have a specially designed roller jig so they don't even have to lift their rods
- Many anglers have at least two rods, three or four is not unusual

Based on what I saw this morning, these are not sportsman, they are con artists. Their general mode of operation is they dangle a 20ft+ rod over the water, there is no need to cast, or do anything that requires any skill. From there its just a matter of time... Where is the sport in that ?

Also, while there is no doubt that lots of people try angling, after all, it's pretty easy, little effort actually required and not much(any?) skill for the majority. Very few are "sticky". That is they try it a few times and give up. The report demonstrates this in reality, especially if you take the comment above about the number of rods into account when calculating the number of anglers.

The Conservative Party must be desperate, they've even promised to cut the £22.25 license fee if they get elected this year.

Sport ? I think not, see Google definition index and decide for yourself ?

[UK Environment Agency report]