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9 Things We Learnt In Lockdown

It was a time for soul-searching, preparation and teaching your mum how to use Zoom

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1. We all got hooked on quizzes
Remember the House Party app? Remember weekly video quizzes? They seem like activities from another era, but it was only a few months ago that we lapped them up like a 16lb Drayton Res mirror on sloppy spod. As soon as we could leave the house more than once a day we soon forgot all about them, a bit like the government did with care-home residents.

2. Even mundane tasks can become super important
In the angling void that was lockdown, anglers looking to keep their eye in were forced into desperate measures. For a week or two in April, casting leads into up-turned bog rolls and completing 20 wraps in the quickest time possible became the new Olympic Games. But with more cheating than a lads’ holiday in Magaluf. Look, we all know you only uploaded the good version of your videoed attempts and passed it off as your one and only go…

3. Match anglers are a different breed
Okay, we kind of knew this already. But those seatbox-squatters really surpassed themselves in lockdown by organising ‘virtual matches’ in which a fantasy five-hour scenario was enacted on the roll of a dice. This Dungeons & Dragons for salopette-wearers proved bafflingly popular and confirmed match anglers as completely loopy.

4. You still haven’t done the thing you said you’d do
You made grand plans in lockdown. You dragged Google Maps screenshots into a new desktop folder, plotted access routes to off-radar big pits and theorised about a new wonder rig. But then fishing returned and you headed to Linear again.

5. You cannot please everyone
Speaking of fishing’s return, it was that evergreen political punchbag - the Angling Trust - who were instrumental in making it happen (it was, don’t @ us). But that didn’t stop a thousand online keyboard-thudders from angrily decrying their efforts, nitpicking or asking stupid questions about keepnets and night fishing.

6. Lake owners are human too
Like nightclub bouncers or traffic wardens, we often see lake owners as over-officious barriers to enjoyment. They take your money, sternly read out a never-ending list of rules and never seem to fish themselves. Except in lockdown, when those who lived on site morphed from grump caterpillars into care-free butterflies and finally got to enjoy their own waters without any idiotic punters on the banks. Some of them even smiled. Nature, as they say, was healing.

7. You can’t pull a fast one these days
Popcorn supplies must’ve come perilously close to running out during lockdown, because plenty of it was being chomped in the comments section of Fishing Facebook. Naïve venues sneakily advertising they were open before May 13 were seized upon by online enforcers and news of at least one big-name angler fishing when he shouldn’t have been spread quicker than the shelves were emptied of pasta.

8. You own too much gear
You own too much gear. You know that you own too much gear, but your lockdown tidy-up confirmed that you a) own too much gear and b) cannot bring yourself to throw out any of it ‘just in case’. If you half-heartedly put some of it aside earmarked for a car-boot sale, then you did better than most of us.

9. A return to a close season might not be all that bad…
Granted, it’d probably be pretty crap for the trade and the final nail in the coffin for your local tackle shop… buuuut, the fish clearly loved the break (as evidenced by mega weights and big hits in June and July) and it certainly made anglers return to the banks with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.


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