Teams of children from five schools across Kent competed to land the biggest catch in the annual Fishing for Schools match at Grove Farm Fishery (25 September).

The day was fiercely over-subscribed, with teams of four taking part on a first come, first served basis. This year’s competitors were from Thamesview School in Gravesend; Meadowfield School, Sittingbourne; The Malling School, Maidstone; Rowhill School, Longfield and Bower Grove School, Maidstone.

The competition was a whip match with two pupils fishing at one time, then swapping over with the other members of the team. The idea was to catch as many fish as possible – but only silver fish counted, so those students catching carp, had to land and then return them, adding another level of skill to the match.

The day started with frosty conditions, but the sun was soon out and for the rest of the day they had glorious weather. After four hours of fishing, the eventual winners were Meadowfield, from Sittingbourne, Kent, whose team managed to net 7lb 2oz of fish – the highest score yet in the competition. The Malling School was second, Rowhill third, Thamesview fourth and Bower Grove fifth.

The picture (right) shows teachers from the winning school – unfortunately none of the children in the winning team can be photographed.

Warren White of the Kent F4S team said: “As always this competition was a great spectacle to watch, with all the schools giving it their best and really enjoying the day.
“The idea is to show the young people how a fishing match works which will help their future development in fishing.
“I’m over the moon that Meadowfield are this year’s winners. They have always supported Fishing 4 Schools and have taken part in the match from the first year. However they have not won the match before, so it’s fitting that this year they managed to pull it off.”

Special thanks to F4S instructor Charlie Rayner for donating the trophies and maggots and refereeing the match.

The fishing match also featured the first Kent F4S art competition. The standard of art was very high, but finally judges Charles Jardine – an acclaimed fish artist in his own right – and Brian Bailey Fishery manager at Hadlow, chose a painting of a perch, by JJ Perry of Broomhill Bank North School (centre) as their winner.

Two clay models of fish were also submitted into the F4S Kent art competition. That by 12-year-old Jed Campbell of Thamesview School was judged the winner in the mixed media class

All the artwork is currently being displayed at in the club house at Grove Farm.