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10 things you mustn't do on a busy day-ticket venue

How many have you done?!

1. Crack off

Whether you’ve been fishing for 30 minutes or 30 years, nothing grips you like the fear of making that first big chuck on a crowded venue. The other anglers pretend they’re not looking, but you can feel their gaze burning. You can check your tip ring 20 times and inspect the lip of the spool for hours but you know you’ll be hoping (and clenching) as you cast.

2. Lose your bivvy

Peg your bivvy down (wait! Step away from the mallet!) or risk seeing it scud off into the drink when the wind comes. A gently sinking bivvy is one of the saddest sights in the world. Unless it’s not yours, then it’s like seeing a bloke in a Ferrari kerb his alloys. Hilarious.

3. Get your car stuck

You know that unmistakable ‘waheeeey’ sound a whole pub makes when someone drops a pint glass? The only other time it’s heard is when chuckling anglers are watching a hapless sod wheel spinning deeper and deeper into the mud as he tries to leave a soggy fishery.

4. Lose a fish

On a busy day-ticket water, every rustle of activity is pounced upon by the watching crowds. The meerkating masses will be watching you as you tease that new PB to the net… and wincing as the hook pulls and you consider a very public meltdown.

5. Have a mate/your mum turn up

Two scenarios to make you shudder with embarrassment. Either your loud-mouth mate who thinks he knows about fishing will come down and shout loudly about stuff that’ll make you look a noddy, or your mum pops down with a foil-wrapped dinner and ‘that blanket you always have at home, dear’.

6. Fall foul of the rules

Not so much breaking the rules, as getting caught breaking the rules. Because the shame and indignity you’ll feel as you are given your marching orders is comparable only to being hoiked out of a nightclub for soiling yourself.

7. Not hit the key feature

Rocking up like you own the place, then finding you can’t cast to the island margin at 90yds is a recipe for red cheeks. Retreat to your bivvy and have a play with that tail that’s now firmly between your legs.

8. Start hauling

Possibly the worst thing you can do is actually start having a good session. What you’ll soon spot is anglers from around the lake coming round for a chat. And they’ll all have that classic hands-in-pockets, oh-so-casual, only-having-a-mooch-mate amble as they lollop towards you pretending they’re not hellbent on extracting all your secrets.

9. Blank in the flyer peg

Getting in the hottest swim on the lake and then blanking is like falling into a bucket of boobs and coming out sucking your thumb.

10. Be ‘that alarm guy’

Turn them down. Turn them off. Throw them away and use tin foil bobbins and stones on your reels. Whatever you do, don’t be that beeping beephead who bleeps his bleeping buzzers all bleeping day. You massive bleep.