Coping with Covid-19
We have Tom Kent to thank for taking the time to
write this feature for us on ways that you might find helpful in coping with the Covid-19
increasingly difficult times, it is easy to get downhearted about being stuck at home with nothing to do. We as
anglers enjoy the tranquillity and freedom of our pursuit, be it match, pleasure, carp or specimen hunting. That
feeling of being at one with nature, the joy we feel when a robin comes to visit, begging for a few maggots.
That moment the lucky kingfisher flies across and blesses our swim, promising a good result. The camaraderie of
fishing a match against our friends or the enjoyment of fishing our favourite peg for a big carp, tench or
perch. Whatever your preference, I know we are all missing it dearly, waiting impatiently for the day the
Government say we can once again leave our homes and indulge ourselves in our sport, our hobby, our passion.
However, until that day arrives, there are a few things we can do to pass the time,
and also to prepare ourselves for hitting the banks once again. Remember all those little fishing related tasks
you keep saying you’re going to do? Well, now is the time to do them. Think about how good it will feel, to not
only be back by the water, but to be organised and ready to be back. When we do finally get there, those fish
are going to ravenous. They won’t have seen an anglers bait for weeks and they should hopefully, be crawling up
So, here are a few ideas to keep you busy and keep you in contact with your
making – we all talk about making up pole rigs, hair rigs or traces in advance to save ourselves time on the bank.
Why not spend a day, a morning, an afternoon doing them? Then, when you get out next, you can spend more time with
a rig in the water.
batteries - bite alarms, headtorches, cameras. Don’t get caught out on your first trip out for weeks. Remember, the
fish will be hungry. A new PB could be at stake!
your rods/poles - how many times do you look at the bream slime on that feeder rod or the mud on those expensive
pike rods you treated yourself to and think ‘I’ll clean that off later’. It’s still there isn’t
your tackle bag/box - that smelly hemp tin you left in your bag last time you went? The 3lbs of mud your box got
covered in after the rains of storm Ciara? What about that packet of swivels you dropped in your box and they all
fell out? Or that loaf of bread you were using to catch roach on punch? It’s still in/on there isn’t
your floats/quivertips - we’ve all been there. You bought half a dozen floats the same in case you lose or break
one or more, but they’re all orange/red. Then the light changes and you think ‘wish this had a black tip, or a
yellow tip’. A couple of pots of antenna colour and some Tippex, and you’re sorted.
some bait - boilies can be made quite cheaply and easily (But remember at Broome boilies can only be used on
Jurassic). So can a floater cake, with a similar recipe. Or what about a bit of cheese paste? There is a wealth of
knowledge out there.... For some, catching on a homemade bait makes the capture that bit more
– many online angling stores are still delivering. You haven’t been using any fuel recently or been buying a lot of
the things you perhaps normally would. Think how much you’ve saved on bait alone. Now might be the time to treat
yourself to that reel or unhooking mat you wanted or the new fishing coat you promise yourself every winter when
you’re shivering on the bank?
create an online challenge – a few weeks ago, there was an online challenge whereby you had to stand two rod
lengths from a toilet roll placed on the floor, and cast a lead into the cardboard tube in as few attempts as
possible. Sound easy? Why not give it a go? Or, make up your own challenge and spread the
your first fishing trip – even just talking to your angling buddy about where you’re going to go, how you’re going
to fish, which bait, which rig, which species, can help keep the fire lit. It’s so easy to lose motivation at the
moment. Give yourself something to look forward to.
10. Watch a DVD or
online video – remember that fishing DVD you got for your birthday and never watched? In addition, video sharing
sites on the internet are plentiful these days, and so is the amount of content on them. Coarse, match, sea, carp,
pike. It’s all there for the viewing. Plenty of them are tutorial based too, so you might even learn something that
will help put a few more on the bank or boat next time.
11. Play a fishing
game – ahhh, the digital age. I’m sure it’s called a smartphone because it’s smarter than I am! Your store app will
have loads of fishing games available for downloading. Some are rubbish, but try a few out. The simulator based
ones are best for serious gamers and serious anglers alike. My simulated PBs are better than my actual PBs! They
can be very addictive though, so make sure your phone is charged.....
12. Relive past
captures – how many of us take catch photos and then put them on a laptop or external hard drive and then never
look at them again? Memories of a PB or a funny occurrence can come flooding back just by looking at those old
13. Reel maintenance –
you know that reel with the sticky bail arm? And that other one with the line that’s two seasons old that you keep
meaning to change? What about that new one you bought a year ago that is still sitting unused in its box? Well,
break out the spools of line. Get out your screwdrivers. Dig out or purchase some reel grease and oil and get busy.
14. Exercise – it’s
important to keep active at the moment. Load up your trolley or barrow and take a walk round the garden. Fill a
couple of your fishing buckets up with water or bags of pellets/groundbait to make some makeshift, fishing themed
15. Don’t lose hope friends. Lockdown does have an upside and it
will be over soon. Keep yourselves, your
loved ones and each other safe. Stay home for now, keep yourself busy with these tips and get ready for some
fishing. I, like the rest of you, wouldn’t even be stopped by my sharking outfit when we do finally get the go
Lastly, thank you to all our key workers out there, keeping
the country fed and healthy, and thank you to all those reading this. I hope to see you, talk to you and maybe
even fish with you when all this is over. Until then, stay safe.