What do you do when you’re waiting for a bite?

rods ready

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Rods are set and ready… now what?

Would you get takeaway food delivered to your peg? When we asked you what you do while you’re waiting for a bite, some of your answers were eye opening to say the least. With the results of our Big Fishing Survey now in, we can reveal that, for some of you, an Indian or Chinese is just the thing to help you while away the hours. Read on to discover how anglers keep busy on the bank and in the bivvy.

Eat and drink

bivvy cooking

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Bangers, bivvy-style!

Whether it’s comfort eating or keeping your strength up, it’s not surprising that many of you crack open your lunchbox or pour a coffee from your thermos whenever there’s a lull in the action. But for some of you, the food and drink you enjoy by the swim seem almost as important as the fishing.

One of our respondents reports with relish that he loves to: “Get the gas stove on and make a brew [or] cook food!” Another gent likes nothing better than to pop a cork and get stuck into his red wine. And there’s the jaffa cake addict for whom a trip to the river bank is the ideal opportunity to indulge in his illicit secret pleasure.

Get ready

Bait prep

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Bait prep is a popular (and sensible) pastime

Two-thirds of you use the quiet moments between bites to prepare bait and make up rigs ready for when you need them. That’s what we’d call a sensible use of your time. But one would-be Hendrix prefers to “listen to music and practise my air guitar”, which we suppose is just fine as long as he remembers to keep an eye on his rod tip or float.

The guy who spends his time drawing and painting might struggle to give his fishing full attention, though. And the same goes for several of you who love to sit back and watch a movie while waiting for the fish to bite. Each to their own, we say, but it does make us wonder how you can concentrate on your angling while you’re glued to a screen.

Puzzlers

fisherman and puzzle

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Passing the time with a puzzle

Are you one of those who spends the time between fish solving crosswords and sudoku? You may imagine you’re a great multitasker. But when scientists studied what happens to our brains when we try to do more than one thing at a time, they discovered that we “context switch”, flicking our attention from one thing to another.

In fact it’s virtually impossible for your brain to concentrate on more than one task at a time. What actually happens is that your mind’s resources are split between tasks. According to the boffins, doing more than one thing at once increases the likelihood of making a mistake by up to 50%. Do you miss the occasional bite? Best to concentrate on the task at hand!

Instructors

teacher and student

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A relaxing brew for teacher and student!

The generous souls among you put their waiting time to good use by teaching a loved one to fish. Our Big Fishing Survey also revealed that most of today’s keen anglers were introduced to the joys of fishing by friends and family. It’s great to think that so many of you are willing to put your own rod aside to give a fishing lesson.

We think there’s no better way to make use of your time at the river bank than to pass on your enthusiasm for the sport you love. Having said that responses like: “Entertain an eight-year-old” and “ASSIST WIFE” do indicate a certain amount of frustration with the task of instructing newbie anglers…

Nature lovers

relaxing waters

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The waterside is a relaxing place to be

By far the majority of you who responded to our question – “What do you do to fill the time between bites?” – said you relish the opportunity to relax, chill with friends and enjoy reconnecting with nature.

And why not? Science proves that altered states of consciousness change your brain waves for the better. When you stop to take in the beauty of the world around you or focus your attention on a bobbing float, you’re doing yourself good.

Relaxing on the riverbank enables you to return home refreshed and better able to cope with the stresses and strains of daily life. Research shows that a calm state of mind also makes you more creative. How many good ideas have come to you while out fishing?

a waterside nap

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One-fifth of our respondents like a waterside nap…

One word of advice though… don’t relax too much or you’ll end up like 20% of respondents who admitted to nodding off while they wait for the fish to bite! Whatever you choose to do at the riverbank, enjoying yourself is the most important thing. Just keep it legal, unlike one person whose favourite between-bite activity is “unrepeatable here”. Enough said.