But - of course - some fool complains and now it stops:
Can it really be disrespectful to swing a dead 20lb fish at a group of men to raise money for lifeboats?
Somebody in Lyme Regis, Dorset, thought so and their complaint has now put an end to the 40-year tradition of 'conger cuddling' in the town.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has deemed that using a dead conger eel to try to knock down some of its members is 'inappropriate'.
Roger Fox, who introduce the game, has the best perspective:
Mr Fox said: 'I cannot see how it can be cruel to a fish that has been dead for two months.
'The whole argument is pointless.
'If it were a salmon bought from a supermarket would there be any complaints?
'The public loved it for 40 years and everyone has a hilarious time.
'I think it's all absolute rubbish.'
Indeed, Mr Fox. Indeed.