Amidst the rush to return to big-crowd sporting events and nightclubs, it seems lockdown has also prompted a yearning for a more sedate pastime.
Angling is not usually associated with stampedes, but it’s now at the centre of a rush to the riverbank.
It’s quite a shift from its traditional image. You may recall the advert of the 1980s when an elderly chap is downbeat after trudging from bookshop to bookshop and failing to find a copy of Fly Fishing by JR Hartley.
To the rescue comes yellow pages, not just there for the nasty things in life. The senior citizen rings round a few shops from the comfort of his living room and locates a copy of the elusive tome. In a punchline to bring a tear to the hardest of hearts, the dear chap is revealed to be none other than JR Hartley.
Now, apparently, fishing has changed. No longer simply an excuse to have a crafty snooze, it’s up there with the Olympic hits sport climbing and skateboarding in terms of growth and excitement, with sales of UK rod licenses on course to top the million a year mark and new records set this month alone for the largest ever crucian carp and ide caught in British waters.
Fishing did once appear at the Olympics, in Paris 1900, and a campaign is underway to win back a place when the five rings return to the French capital in 2024.
It’s being hailed as a super-activity, an antidote to our lockdown confinement. A fresh air activity that boosts not only mental health but also physical – that’s the cycling or walking to get to your favourite spot rather than the wrestle with a monster of the deep.
Indeed, August is officially National Fishing Month with advocates keen to stress its accessibility for all. It doesn’t discriminate – whatever your age, gender or star sign you can have a go.
But before you grab your rod and line beware of the pitfalls.
“What?” I hear you cry, “long stick, hooks and gutting knife, what could possibly go wrong?”
Well, plenty according to Angling Times which has just revealed the ten biggest pitfalls from snapping your rod as you close the car boot to being attacked by bulls or gulls and surely the worst hazard – not storing live bait securely and finding your living room carpet overrun by maggots, peeler crabs and worms.
For some, though, the big plus for fishing is you can make a meal of your catch and fish is amongst the healthiest and most versatile foods available
Whether you catch your own or buy from the local fishmonger and however you decide to cook it, the SK range of world food will ensure you have the perfect accompaniment – and you could even add some chips, just remember to add the curry sauce!
Posh Fish Finger Sandwich
- Pack of Cod goujons
- Soft white bun
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 lemon
- Cornichons, diced
- To make the tartare sauce, mix the onion, mustard, mayo and cornichons.
- Grill the goujons following the pack instructions. Put in the fish into buns and top with the tartare sauce and rocket.