OK UK?: A Fishy Story...

No kind of fisherman at all...
No kind of fisherman at all...
The correct equipment for not just sitting around...
The correct equipment for not just sitting around...
The elusive end product...
The elusive end product...

Here Fishy, Fishy...

I love to eat fish. That’s a bit redundant actually, the sentence should read I like to eat………, fill in the blank, but nothing quite hits the spot like a nice piece of fish every now and then. I know you're thinking, well duh, the guy's from England; he was raised eating deep fried fish along with his ubiquitous chips wrapped in newspaper. Not exactly 'alert the media' type information, right?

But it is more than that. Sole meuniere done well...heaven on a plate, trout almondine, sea bass in a white sauce, you get where I'm going, I'm sure. The point is; I love to eat fish about as much as I hate to catch the dang things. Which puts me very much at odds with most of my countrymen.

Fishing, or more correctly, angling, is the number one pastime in the UK if you don't count sitting about doing nothing. The similarities, of course, have not escaped me. The difference is in the amount of equipment required. Sitting about doing nothing requires a butt, or bottom if you are English, and clothing if you do not want to get arrested. That’s it. Turn up, find a sitting type place and have at it.

Fishing requires a big multi chambered plastic chest, called a tackle box, full of fishing type equipment, like invisible string, called line. There are as many brightly colored plastic things, called lures, as one might find in the bedroom of a lady of the night. Enough lead pellets to turn an entire village stupid, and viscous little hooks that are harder to remove from your skin than fiberglass shards.

There are little plastic drawers with pliers and other sundry tools like descalers and a couple of drawers full of band-aids (plasters) for the inevitable hook and finger incidents.

Oh and a drawer or two for sandwiches. This fishing thing takes forever...

You also need a giant stick, preferably five or six of them, called rods, which are not made of bamboo anymore, being all high tech carbon fiber and fiberglass things, and a reel. This is the twirly metal thing that goes faster than a formula one car, and holds all the invisible string. It has to be made by Shimano (shout out to my friend Toyo) or it will be useless and tangly and slow...

Then you need a keep net, clothes that you don't mind smelling of fish, and a little chair to sit on.

If this seems like rather a lot to carry about, you are right. You will need a van or SUV to get to the fishing places. (Unless you live in Norfolk - you can just wait for the water to come to you)

Just sitting about is starting to look really good right about now, isn't it?

Apparently it is very important to get to the riverbank, lake or reservoir before dawn. I heard that this was because fish never sleep, so they admire anglers who appear to not sleep as well. Realistically, with so many people trying to find the magic fishing spot, there simply won't be any riverbank left by sunrise...

The odds are pretty shitty if you are a fish. Every two feet, both sides of the bank there are invisible strings hanging in the water, with a plastic thingy that, lets face it, does look pretty delicious, but buried in its inviting folds lies that pesky hook.

Now I am given to understand that piscine IQ is in the under ten range, with a memory that resets every fifteen seconds. This makes it very possible for the fish to swim two feet, bite down on the tasty dangly thing, get the hook in it's mouth, get yanked into sky and put in a keep net for a while. With catch and release, fishy is back in the water after the unexpected adventure, no worse off except for a bloody sore mouth. So fishy then swims for a couple of feet, and, ooh, tasty thing...

On a good Saturday the guys on the riverbank have all caught the same fish, and the winner is the guy who is the worst, as in exaggerated, measurer...

There are other attractions to the "sport", namely you must not talk during the fishing. You may nod at fellow anglers, but not speaking is the number one attraction for the taciturn Brit. That and the fact that wives are forbidden. You will have a thermos of hot tea, and some cold sandwiches filled with an unidentifiable substance called "paste".

I have partaken of this wondrous experience, exactly once.

It was a riverbank vigil at the crack of dawn. Dull. Actually, duller than dull, and cold and damp. Now I did not have my own tackle box to play with, but after a lesson on how to get the hook tied onto the invisible string, and the inevitable follow up lesson on how to get the hook out of your finger, there was nothing to do.

Conversation, even really, really, quiet whispering, was met by glowers from the anglers sitting a couple of feet either side of us. I tried nodding in an I-know-fish, kind of way. More glowers. Admiring the water and the greenery took up another twenty seconds or so, drinking my tea and eating the sandwiches, a minute or three. Now, all that was left was fiddling with the rods (and told to stop messing about) and watching the plastic floaty thing that was tied to the invisible string bobbing about in the water.

An hour in and I would have confessed to any crime. I was so bored that after rearranging the drawers in the tackle box (stop that!) I have to admit that I spoke from experience when I attested to the lure’s tastiness quotient earlier.

No fish were caught that day, as apparently they weren’t biting. Odd that, I didn’t know they had teeth. It would appear that fish actually suck….

Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 21 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Nice hub. It brought back memories of when I used to fish with my Dad.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Bpop,

Thanks for staying up past breakfast - I know your days start early...

I have to ask, memories of what? The excruciating boredom, the silence, or the hook in the finger thingy?

I kind of hope they were happy memories though :)

C


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- you weren't using the right bait. A couple sticks of dynamite and a lighter.... BAM, then you throw them in the cooler, settle back and drink your warm beer and chat for a few hours.

Fishing the redneck way... :)


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

As ever, the antithesis of the English way...

No hooks or pesky little owies for those boys, no sir, missing limbs would be the order of the day...

Seriously, people do that?

Do fish stocks ever recover?

Wait - why do I care...

Oh yeah, I love to eat fish - whole. Not blown into itty bitty pieces.

I'm afraid to ask, but how do you guys get cats out of trees?

C


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- how do you think you get fish sticks?

Really, Chris, you have to ask about the cats? I can assure you firemen never have to worry about getting the "cat in a tree" call. We give a whole new meaning to "kitty litter".


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

Fish sticks aren't...oh never mind

What with the shotguns going off all over the place as cats get 'rescued' and the fishin' hole gettin' awl blowed up, you probably can't hear me anyway.

C


Tim Dennis 5 years ago

I detected a distinct lack of alcohol in this story. A "pssstst" sound of a beer being opened would have brought knowing looks as opposed to glowering ones. I believe the noise problem wasn't because the of scaring of the fish, but the nursing of a hangover, current bender, or because said gentleman has a wife/significant other who in his opinion talks/complains too much and he has sought peace upon the riverbank.

As for cats in trees - hunger will get them down. Cats think of us as servants so what is a servant for? getting one out of a tree. If hunger doesn't work, a night out on the town/tree branch will bring kitty into the world of possums and raccoons, and kitty will learn very quickly to either climb down or be rudely shown the Issac Newton method.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Tim,

The best part about this hub was getting a respose from Toyo!

I have decided that I will do all of my fishing from my couch from now on. I will empathize with the guys on "Deadliest Catch" and maybe try and find that fishing program with the girls in the bikinis, but I'm done with hooks - with or without beer.

I suppose that's me out of the man club...

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I wonder how with all that equipment, guys can justify the cost of a "caught" fish versus the cost of a "bought" fish at the super market? Not to mention that one can pick the biggest or best fish out of the line up.

I guess the male bonding experience is just as valuable as the female bonding experience of "catching" clothes and shoes.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Austinstar,

Bonding? Sitting in silence eying the other guys fishing tackle and coveting his more expensive stuff - I just don't get it!

And the costs are astronomical I understand.

I guess I have no inner 'hunter gatherer'...

Except for techy toys :)


Tim Dennis 5 years ago

Find the fishing app for your Ipad. And then you can tell just as many lies as those who do fish.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Genius!

Boredom without all the discomfort and expense of going outside.

You should have seen the one that got away...

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Then there's the blind man walking past the fish market tipping his hat and saying, "good morning, ladies!"


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I'm with you Chris, not my cup of tea either. Waterskiing past those fishermen would be more up our alley. We'd be like the two little kids we are for a brief moment, and it would give us a lifetime of memories. You hire the boat, i'll fix up our tickets. No i'd rather vacuume your carpets than go fishing, as i'd probably catch more. Cheers mate i needed a good laugh.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AustinStar,

Now that's just rude...

Sue will be so pissed that she didn't think of it first!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Atthum,

Oh, I'm a happy camper in a boat! I'll drive, you ski...that sounds like a fun day out.

Just to rub it in we'll have fish and chips after...

C


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

At angler's cove.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

I would die of boredom sitting on a bank and fishing. The one time I did go fishing was during semester break my freshman year at Duke. My roommate's father owned a yacht harbored in the Florida Keys. We flew down for a few days. When the "blues were running," we went out on a small boat. Someone bated my hook and removed the fish from the hook. All I had to do was pull the fish in. There was action!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady,

The boredom is a direct result of the not-catching-fish part of "fishing", which seems to hover around the 99.999% mark. I believe this is why so few women get involved. It would be impossible for them to switch their minds off for the required length of time, and the stuff waiting for them to do when they got home, would overwhelm them.

I'm fascinated that you caught running fish - there is so much about the angling world that I do not know...

C


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

What I loved about your hub was that you started it as if fishing were a hobby, and then you did that great switch to the fact that it was a one-time thing. You do have a knack for humor!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Thank you very much...

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