Half of all anglers pull a sickie to go fishing

gone fishing

On the edge of truth…

Have you ever phoned in sick to go fishing? If you have, you’re not alone. A staggering 50% of the anglers we surveyed admitted to bunking off work to go fishing. Read on to discover how fellow fishermen dodge their work duties in favour of a day on the riverbank, and find out what you can do to achieve the perfect work / angling balance.

Blame it on the weather

fishing in rain

Image source: shutterstock
Come rain, come shine, come rain again!

When workmen down tools, it’s often the unpredictable British weather that gets the blame. But for some respondents to our Big Fishing survey, inclement work weather presents the ideal opportunity to wet a line. Bricky, Bryan tells us:

“If it’s wet, it’s a perfect excuse to go fishing. Heavy rain means it’s pointless trying to do any building, so usually it means water in the river!”

Downpours may stop roofer, Matt from working but they don’t stop him fishing:

“I can usually get away with finding the time to go fishing by blaming the weather. I wouldn’t work on a roof in bad weather but bad weather has never stopped me from fishing.”


fish hook in finger

Image source: flickr
Just put a plaster on it.

If you’ve spent all night in A&E, fair enough. But if you’re thinking of feigning injury, take heed of one of our survey participant’s tale of misfortune before you put on that imaginary limp:

“I try not to make excuses too much ever since I told a client that I had done my back in. What I didn’t bank on was that they walked their dog around the lake where I was fishing just as I lifted a 38 for the camera.”

Oops! If you are going to call in a sickie, make sure you stay out of sight!

Dodgy excuses


Image source: shutterstock
If your equipment doesn’t work, neither can you!

Self-employed plasterer Charlie admits to sabotaging his equipment in order to provide an excuse to go fishing!

“I said my mixer had broken down and had ordered a part which, strangely, would not arrive for five days. I just unplugged the spark plug cable. The fishing trip was great!”

Meanwhile, gas engineer Tony uses this sneaky excuse to head for the riverbank:

“If I fancy going fishing I will tell my customers that I have an emergency call out. That way they don’t feel that I’m letting them down and I will arrange to do the job on the next day.”

The best careers for anglers

morning fishing

Image source: shutterstock
Can you schedule a morning fishing trip into your work day?

You’re not ill or injured and you don’t like dodging work with lame excuses? You can still fit plenty of angling into your work schedule – you just need to find the right job!

Take web developer Simon who tells us how he makes his job work for him: “I have a couple of clients who I do websites for in exchange for fishing. It’s perfect.”

Martin who also took part in the survey reckons that in order to be assured of getting enough fishing in, working for yourself is the way to go: “I became self-employed for just that reason.”

But beware mixing business and pleasure as it creates new dilemmas. Angling photographer, Henry Gilbey continually finds himself torn between taking the pictures and doing the fishing. He says it’s a “dilemma that regularly breaks my head”.

We say, come on Henry, what a lovely problem to have!

Fit more angling into your work schedule

car full of fishing tackle

Image source: Bath Angling
Ready for fishing anywhere!

Have rod, will travel. Keen angler Steve, who responded to our survey uses his initiative to fit some angling in around his work:

“Quite often I research areas where I have business meetings planned to see if there is somewhere to fish. I always carry tackle in the car!”

Remember our respondent with the ‘bad back’? These days he uses a better technique for maximising his angling opportunities – effective time management:

“What I try to do is start early and finish late Monday to Thursday, which frees me up for Friday and Saturday.”

What’s your excuse for skipping work to go fishing? We’d love to know – and don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss!