To mark International Women’s Day, Inland Fisheries Ireland is celebrating some of Ireland’s women anglers.

Jessica McBride, age 19, is an Apprentice Mechanic in Dublin. She enjoys all types of fishing but in particular is a strong Coarse Angler. As she embarks on her fishing career, Jessica gives us her thoughts on taking up fishing.

“My dad used to bring me fishing when I was younger. Then I got back into it at the age of 15. I joined a club in Swords called Ushers Lakes Angling Initiative; we call it ‘Ushers’.

In the last year, I have been fishing solidly; mostly coarse fishing but I’ll do any type of fishing. I don’t really like taking part in competitions; I like the relaxing side of fishing. I enjoy going out fishing with friends, being outdoors and taking my time. I like being surrounded by the environment, not being around buildings or traffic.

The most challenging part of fishing for me is getting there! I’m still learning how to drive so it can be difficult. At least a bus goes from my area to Swords where the fishing club is located.

I would like to play a part in supporting other women to start fishing – I am the only woman in my club. I think in the past most ‘outdoorsy’ things were male dominated but I think stereotypes are being broke.

I would tell another woman to give it a go but to go with someone who has some experience. It’s the type of sport that if you don’t really know what you’re doing, it’s hard to get into it. Otherwise, you might not get a catch and you might feel defeated which would just put you off it. Even asking a tackle shop for advice would be a start and you might have a better experience.”

Favourite Fishing Destination: Rahan’s Lake, Carrickmacross.