Ah, fishing - the sport of kings. A game of two halves. A good walk spoiled. We've all watched the exploits of great anglers such as Martin Arostegui, Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli, Terry Hearn, Patrick Sebile, Tommy Skarlis, Mike Boedecker, Andy Mill, and Buzz Ramsey. Of course we have. But what does it take to match those exploits with exploits of your own? That's what I'm here to tell you.
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DO acquaint yourself with the nearest recycling bin. Successfully captured fish go straight in here, to be processed and turned into brand new fish that other fishermen can later enjoy.
DO NOT select this insane wildman with a haunted stare as your avatar. If you already selected him, do not tell him your address. Do not tell him the whereabouts of your loved ones. Do not divulge your fears, physical weaknesses, allergies or credit card details.
DO move to the waypoint. No, not there, there. There! Look, you're just being obtuse now. There, for Christ's sake.
DO NOT stare off into the middle distance, clearly haunted by previous tragedies while having your photo taken with a catch. Instead, try to focus on the therapeutic qualities of your natural surroundings, and the gratification of having succeeded in your goal. 5lbs! He's no small fry, that common carp. The past is gone, man.
DO take a stroll around the fishing lake before casting your line, keeping an eye out for feeding bubbles, shows (eyes-on contact with the fish), and the wildman with the haunted eyes who now follows you everywhere you go. Take a moment to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside - it's just you and him out here. Not another living soul within earshot.
DO NOT look him directly in the eye.
DO claim a peg from which to set up your base of operations after your stroll. At your peg you may pitch a tent, fold out a chair, and throw a spod full of bait out into the lake, creating a feeding frenzy for the local fish in that location. Then it's just a matter of casting a line out into the middle of that frenzy, and waiting for a pull. Ahhhh. Nature.
DO NOT cast and re-cast your line upwards of 20 times in an attempt to get your hook somewhere near the spot you threw that spod. The fish below will begin to sense your incompetence, and will start to joke about you beneath the water's surface. And there won't be a thing you can do about it.
DO go on a long, angry walk to relieve your frustrations, away from prying fish eyes. The majesty of nature all around you can really help to untie those mental knots. Fishing's a tough sport, champ. Be patient, you'll get a bite.
DO NOT become alarmed upon returning to your peg to see that your chair has now disappeared.
DO cast your line into actual water, rather than a nearby island as above. There are almost no fish on the nearby island. If there are any fish, they will be too busy suffocating to bite on your bait, and you could thus risk a fruitless day of fishing.
DO NOT change your rig or bait type on a whim. Fish are very easily offended, and by offering them a worm rather than a starchy cake you may be demonstrating an acute ignorance of their customs and etiquettes, alienating them for good.
DO stare meaningfully through the water at the fish, or at least the area of water you suspect the fish to be in. Fishing is essentially a stare-out between you and your prey in which you also have a hook on a line with which to forcibly eject them by the mouth from their habitat. The stare-out technique is especially useful when using a float, as above, because it gives you something to do during the 9+ hours you'll go without getting a bite.
DO NOT you looked him in the eye, didn't you. Oh God. Okay, that's okay. What you need to do now is run. Don't worry about your equipment, just run as fast as you absolutely can.
DO call any loved ones using the remaining battery life on your phone. Continue running at an absolute sprint as you do this. You can see the perimeter of the fishing lake, and the car park where you parked earlier. You can actually see your getaway. You just need to make it another few hundred yards and get your keys into that ignition. You can do this. Yes you can.
CONGRATULATIONS What a whopper! 5lbs and 2oz of pure common carp. You've mastered the basics of Euro Fishing, using baited rigs and spods to attract and reel in fish. Buzz Ramsey, eat your heart out.