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10 Things You Only Ever Do Once

3, 5, 7 and 8 are ones you definitely won't want to repeat...

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1. Let a non-angler take photos of your personal best
Caught up in the buzz of landing a specimen fish, it’s easy to panic and flag down a passerby and ask them to take a few photos of your prized catch. But what you forget is that, even if they can master your camera’s settings or find the massive shutter button on an idiot-proof phone, they’re unlikely to have a ‘feel’ for how us anglers like our catch shots to look. Weird angles and cut-off tails will mean you only do this once.

2. Unhook a bream on your unhooking mat
Nope. Never, ever again. I gave you the courtesy of an unhooking mat once, and what did you do? You slimed all over it and left my car smelling like a seagull’s burp. You and your slippery mates can be unhooked in the net from now on. I don’t care if you’re a British record.

3. Suffer a maggot spillage
You’d have to be seriously unlucky to be on the receiving end of a vehicular larvae explosion more than once, but a single maggot spillage in a car is enough to make you paranoid about bucket seals for life. It’s not so much the immediate clean-up operation that makes it so annoying as the fallout for week and months afterwards as comatose flies headbang against your windows.

4. Mistake PVA for bait floss
You might well tie on a hookbait with dissolving string and become the butt of all jokes for a season, or it might not be this specific. But you will do something so forehead-slappingly stupid - like bait up with pop-ups or cast out with a hook protector still on - that you double, treble and quadruple check from then on.

5. Park on the grass at Linear 
The busiest and best day ticket complex in the land doesn’t have many rules. But if there’s one on-site law you must heed, it’s the one about where you leave your car. There are plenty of warning signs at the venue and Linear’s zero-tolerance approach is based on the inarguable logic that if you break that rule you’re very likely to flout others too! 

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6. Explain your love of fishing to a potential partner 
It’s just not worth it. Not at the beginning, anyway. If, while on a first, second or even third date, they ask ‘what hobbies have you got?’ make something up or be vague about your love of outdoor life. The moment you say ‘fishing’ you will regret it, and spend the next 20 minutes smiling through gritted teeth as you explain you don’t eat them, nor ‘throw’ them back.

7. Pull directly for a break
Getting your rig stuck in a tree is inevitable, and so is the agonising wait for the gunshot crack as you snap off moments later. However, only once will you pull directly towards you. The first time a 100mph lead whistles past your ear or crashes into the margins inches from your shins will be the last, and you’ll engineer a safer angle forever more!

8. Order from that takeway
As an angler on a lake in a busy area, you can be as ruthless with your takeaway choices as Henry VIII on Tinder. No second chances: once crap, forever blacklisted. Your mates might plead with you that Quality Kebab & Pizza has got new owners since they delivered your American Hot cold back in 2007, but you won’t be budging.

9. Feed the swans
Why? WHY?! Why, in a moment of bankside benevolence, did you seek to become part of the ecosystem and give those majestic birds a few handfuls of your spod mix? It’s a question you will ask yourself every bloody time they scoot over with their stupid smug necks pumping away the moment you place a bucket in a swim.

10. Blindly assume your hood is out of the way during an al-fresco toilet visit
It might not have been you, but we’ve all heard a story about someone unwittingly answering a call of nature straight into the hood of their all-in-one suit and getting a pat on the head for their efforts. This story will come to you every. single. time you need an outdoor evacuation.  

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