Tying knots: Catching fish is a lot like finding love

2012-08-04 00:00

AT a time when many of my friends are obsessed with tying the knot, it is surprising that they don’t spend more time actually tying knots. Fishing involves a wide variety of activities, which may be linked to dating. These range from the obvious, such as tying knots to fishing for compliments.

Knot tying involves as much skill as building a relationship with a solid foundation. There are knots for almost every type of angling, and many of these may be able to teach us something about how best to rig a relationship. There are knots that provide freedom of movement, which are best suited to crank-baits, and knots renowned for their ability to remain intact. There are knots that are quick to tie and there are the reliable knots that an angler always falls back on.

Perhaps the reason that fishing and dating have so much in common has something to do with the means in which the prey is targeted. Anglers tend to spend an inordinate amount of time in fishing stores. Similarly, women have been accused of marauding malls for longer than is necessary when searching for the perfect outfit. If fishing and dating are both about presentation, then hooks, lures and line are the make-up of fishing.

Anglers have been known to take more care when choosing a skirt for their favourite spinnerbait than a woman does when putting an entire outfit together. This is because fishing, like dating, is all about presentation. Anglers want to ensure that they put their best foot forward and, though they won’t admit it, that foot must have miraculously squeezed into the equivalent of a pair of six-inch high heels. Unfortunately there are some situations where Crocs just don’t cut it. Comfort is not a matter for concern when it comes to landing that exemplary specimen of the species. All that matters is that you successfully lure your target on to the end of your line. And if you don’t strike it lucky, well there are plenty more fish in the sea.

Dating has long embraced the conservation side of angling. Global warming is always a concern and a wet fish is unlikely to keep you warm at night. Catch and release has long been practised by anglers and singles alike, as they strive to land their best possible catch. The problem arises when the latest line that you are spinning starts to fray and your knot becomes worn. Be warned, if this happens, your chances of landing a bite are severely diminished.

The fact that there are so few female anglers has always surprised me. The link between fishing and dating has long been hinted at. Sure, at first glance, fishing does not seem to possess any of the attributes that would attract women to the sport, but — let’s be honest — neither do men. Fish aren’t able to be lured by “bite one lure, get another lure free” special, they don’t cuddle and they have a tendency to be a little bit smelly. As women are so keen on spending time with their odorous dinner companions, logic should follow that they should be at least mildly interested in spending a little time getting to know the species on their plate. The fish at least may be easier to swallow than your dates latest pick-up line. On the other hand, you may fall for their tales hook, line and sinker.

In much the same way that anglers always reminisce about the big fish that managed to slip from their grasp, lonely lovers mourn the one that got away. Tying good, strong knots significantly reduces the chances of a kicker getting away.

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