Being a match angler, I obviously take my fishing very seriously, but love having a laugh on the bank too! Below are my top four angling funny men – who definitely make being on the bank a much more enjoyable experience!
Tim is one of those guys that it is just an absolute pleasure to be around. There aren’t many people in fishing who I would say have more of the ‘mad gene’ than me, but Tim certainly does. While he is undoubtedly a very talented angler, he treats the competitive side of angling with the disdain it deserves –and for him having a nice day out is his number one priority.
On the White Acres Winter Festival, which I fished last week, I drew next to Tim on two of the five days, and I can honestly say that being near him made my day loads more enjoyable. On one of the days, I kept hooking carp after carp (which didn’t count) and was getting increasingly frustrated.
Tim was catching well, but around two hours into the match, he stopped fishing, and turned around on his box and sat watching me inquisitively. He watched me lose two carp, and I could sense him feeling my pain. A minute or so later, he rose off his box, iPhone in hand, and came and perched next to my side tray. Next thing I know, he his using his phone to play me an 11 minute piano concerto, to ‘ calm me down.’ Bless him!
Another memorable moment was when he was stood talking to a French friend of mine, and one of Rive’s top sponsored anglers, Baptiste Courtellemont. Tim said: “I’ve never understood why French people eat snails. You would be much better eating slugs, they are like snails but without the shells!”
Jim might not be a name that many people are familiar with, but he has given me more laughs over the years than every big name comedian put together!
Anybody who frequents the River Avon around Evesham will no doubt know him, as he is ‘a local’ – but the funniest thing that I have ever saw him do was up at Lindholme Lakes near Doncaster. It was the final day of a mini festival that I was running, and around five minutes after the start I have heard a load of commotion on the bank behind me!
I looked around to see Jim (and Jim isn’t a small bloke) hurtling towards me totally naked! He hurdled over my pole and carried on up the bank, before turning around and heading back, doing aeroplane impressions as he did so! Needless to say, nobody on the match was able to fish for the first ten minutes, we were all laughing so hard!
He may be my Pole Fishing colleague and best mate, but Matt Godfrey deserves a mention here too. He did something earlier this year that even I didn’t think he was capable of. Picture the scene: It was round one of the Drennan Knockout Cup at Garbolino Lindholme Lakes. We had 120 of the country’s finest anglers lined up to fish. Matt is on camera duty because he has to miss a subsequent round, and so agrees just to photograph the day.
Imagine my surprise when I look up from my float to see him walking towards me wearing nothing but Emma Pickering’s lime green bikini! It turns out, he photographed the entire match dressed in this – and needless to say, he hadn’t trimmed his bikini line!
Another fellow Sheffielder who definitely deserves a mention here is Pole Fishing regular, Nick Speed. I have seen Nick do some pretty crazy stuff that has caused me much amusement, but funnier still are the stunts that I have heard about Nick pulling, but not actually seen.
The story about when he swam under water, then surfaced in front of Tommy Pickering just as he was about to weigh in is legendary at Lindholme - but my personal favourite happened at White Acres a couple of years ago.
Nick is a chef by trade, and so understands better than most people the potency of red chillies. His unfortunate victim was Browning backed ace, Adam Richards.
Nick observed that Adam had a habit of putting his hands down his boxers while talking – and so took it upon himself to rub red chilli all over every door handle in the lodge, as well as Adam’s toothbrush and cutlery. Apparently people from several lodges away heard the screams of pain, as Adam inadvertently anointed his man-parts with chilli juice!