PUBLISHED: 11:40 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 13 November 2019
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Carp angler Becky Sharman with one of her catches at the Forces Classic in France Picture: BECKY SHARMAN
They emerged victorious at the recent Forces Carp Classic at Abbey Lakes in Longueil-Sainte-Marie, near Compiegne in France.
Only a handful of civilians are ever invited to take part in the competition for the armed forces and emergency services.
Not only did they win but Becky also landed a personal best with a carp weighing a whopping 58 pounds.
Between them they caught 14 fish over 96 hours, fishing day and night and despite a storm that felled a tree which nearly destroyed their rods, to finish as overall winners.
Becky Sharman with a 53lb carp she landed at the Forces Carp Classic in France Picture: BECKY SHARMAN
Becky said: “It’s quite an honour to be invited to fish as a civilian, so we were absolutely delighted to win.”
It is not Becky’s first taste of fishing glory though as she was a member of the England Ladies carp fishing team that won bronze at the world fishing championships last June.
She was also a member of the England team that won gold in the Anglo-Welsh match in 2018.
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Becky first picked up a rod as her child with her father, who used to own a fishing boat.
But after that she did not fish regularly for years until around a decade ago when she re-discovered it with husband Shaun.
“Rather than go on dates we would go fishing,” she laughed.
“I just love it. If you lead a busy life it can be so rewarding and relaxing.
Becky Sharman with England team-mate Sam Hoskins after winning gold at the Anglo-Welsh tournament Picture: BECKY SHARMAN
With carp fishing you aren’t just sitting there waiting for a bite, it’s constant and you have to actually make things happen.”
Becky proved so proficient she gave up working full-time as a travel agent to concentrate on fishing, being supported by specialist UK bait firm Bait-Tech.
Now a self-emplyed travel consultant, she is preparing to take part in the British championships in Oxford next March and is hoping to be picked for the England Ladies’ team for the 2020 World Cup.
“My aim was always to get into the England team and I’ve now been with them for two years,” she said.
“I love it. Giving up my job was scary but anyone who loves fishing like I do will understand. If I’m not booking holidays for people you’ll find me down by a lake.”