Friday, October 29, 2004

Fishing around...

Flicking around the channels last night I happened upon a fishing programme on one of the obscure channels that no one watches. Well CJ is away.

Fishing programmes worry me, or I worry about the people watching them as watching a man catch a fish is almost as exciting as watching a man walk a dog isn't it? It's not football, let's face it.

You can probably tell that I'm not a fishing bod but I do appreciate that there is some real primitive skill involved in standing out of the water and tempting a fish out of it. What I worry about is when the fish learn to return the favour - you'll be walking down the high street one day and see a pork pie on the pavement, you pick it up and the next thing you know you are being dragged towards some water. Or you'll be enjoying a day on a boat and see a bar of chocolate on the deck, mmm you say as you grab it and are dragged off the deck towards some waiting sharks with a 'human' rod.

You may scoff but the day will come.

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Fishing on tv. Oh yes. I do always stop though when I see a fishing programme presented by John Wilson, as he's always so jolly and makes me laugh, he literally giggles all the time. I actually only watch to see how soon it is before he giggles and how many times he does it and whether he can make me giggle, which he invariably does. The world is a brighter plaice for John Wilson. Plaice - place: geddit? Sorry.

A typical scene involving John Wilson would go along the lines of:

*picture man landing fish*

"Hoo hoo, that's a beautiful hee hee fish that is ha ha, he gave me a hee hee bit of a ha ha struggle before I managed to heee heee land it haa haaa. Beautiful. Hee hee."

Watching it last night reminded me of the time I joined a friend and his Dad on a fishing trip. We were about 16 at the time and he and his Dad were experienced weekend anglers with all the gear whereas I was the polar opposite. I was the archetypal fisher hanger on with my scruffy clothes on and no idea.

We went to his regular haunt which was a lake probably around 200m in circumference, he 'set' himself up before he turned on me. He gave me a rod and showed me how to put the bait on, taught me how to cast the bait in the water and told me to watch the float. When it flickered and went under then I was to 'strike' the rod. Striking was sharply pulling the rod upwards so that the hook caught. He then ushered me away to a quiet part of the lake where I was to keep quiet and out of the way.

A few hours passed boringly as I guess they do in fishing. I tried smoking, decided I didn't like it, then realised I needed it to satiate the boredom. I ate all my sandwiches before realising it was only 9am and I'd already been there 4 hours. I then contemplated the maggots, luncheon meat and sweetcorn. It's a toss up between maggots and sweetcorn for the worst choice I reckon.

Then my float flickered before going under, the reel made a 'zirring' noise as I could see the line shoot off to about 20-30 yards in front of me. I jumped up and forgot my decorum.

"Woo Hoo (which is maybe where John Wilson started), I've got one, i've got one"

"Strike it then!" my mate shouted

"Oh yes" I'd forgot about actually catching the fish in all the excitement of catching a fish.

I ran over to the rod, grabbed it and struck it for all my worth. The lake full of fisherman erupted in a chorus of fits and hysterical laughter as they watched the fish - still attached to the line, shoot out of the water, over my head and land in a tree behind me.

I'd struck too hard - the fish was only a couple of ounces in weight. I'd struck to land a whale.

It took me most of the rest of the day to untangle the kit from the branches.