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10 things you miss about carp fishing life before social media

Does number 3 ever happen anymore?!

1. Waiting for a magazine

We live in a world of instant gratification. Want some fishing inspiration? Just search YouTube. Not even 15 years ago, things were different. A new issue of one of the weekly or monthly mags was your window into the trends of your favourite hobby. Just like the pursuit of a special fish, waiting for it made it even sweeter when it came.

2. Blissful ignorance

Knowing, at the tap of a screen, exactly what most of the top anglers in the country are up to is enough to make you feel inadequate. Back in the day, your fishing could exist entirely in a bubble of your own making. Tweeting is what the birds did and adding a filter was for roll ups (or bunging up the speaker on your Stevie Nevs).

3. Keeping a venue to yourself

The ultimate double-edged sword. You can now have hours of fun as an online super sleuth, piecing together clues about once-secret venues and triangulating co-ordinates on Google Maps… or you can have your own fishing ruined by a gobby twerp in the comments section.

4. Not feeling the need to go fishing just to post pics

It’s a phenomenon you would struggle to explain to a 20th Century carper, but most of us with social-media profiles will have felt the pressure to do something simply to fulfill the act of being seen to do something. It’s why fishing Instagram is full of perch and grayling between November and March.

5. Avoiding armchair critics

Angling’s always had a big contingent of grumpy killjoys, but when interactions were offline-only you could always swerve their swims, walk away or just nod and zone out. Now they buzz around online comments like a mozzie in your brolly. Classic lines from these harrumphing mood-sappers include “I had that one at a bigger weight” and “I could do just as well if I got free bait and tackle”.

6. Being able to switch off from fishing

Pre-social media, it was up to you if you wanted to think about fishing. Don’t want to discuss the merits of HNV boilies? Then don’t loiter in the tackle shop or pub nearest the lake. Now it’s in your face whenever you turn on your screen. Like Gemma Collins.

7. The simple way to choose tackle

Back then: Pick up piece of tackle in shop. Tilt your head as you look at it, pretend to know what you’re talking about. Buy it. Return it if it breaks. Use it if it doesn’t. Now: Ask in Facebook group for recommendations. Get a dozen replies from people who say whatever they own is ‘the best there is’ even though they can’t possibly have tried the rest. Give back to the old method.

8. Not having to witness desperate pervs in action

Dare to enter the cesspit that is the comments section beneath a female angler’s post and you will find more leeches than on a February pike. If every time some online creep used the phrase “what a stunner - and the fish ain’t bad either ROFL” an otter killed a carp, we’d be shot of this nonsense in no time.

9. Being able to resist buying something

The devil makes work for idle hands… and in that downtime on the sofa, or in the lull between bites, it’s so easy to reach for your phone or tablet and start scrolling - and you’ll soon land on an irresistible deal. It’s like constantly having the Bennetts of Sheffield catalogue in your hands. (Kids, the BoS catalogue was like eBay but you had to make a phone call to a real human. Phone calls? They were like WhatsApp but out loud).

10. Brand/angler devotees

The partisan world of online fandom is tiresome enough in football, but in fishing it’s just nonsensical. Not everything your favourite angler will do is incredible and not everything your favourite tackle company will make will be the best ever. Sometimes it’s okay to scroll on without dishing out the hype in the comments. On the flipside, if you don’t like a company’s products you don’t have to tell them every time they release something new.

Have we missed something glaringly obvious? Let us know by emailing: joe@toffeepublications.co.uk.