Plenty of Fish in the Lake (POFL) VS Plenty of Fish (POF)

(Where the intrepid Ellen goes lake-fishing and compares it to the trials and tribulations of the online dating site, Plenty of Fish)


Every good story starts with an outfit.  Starting from top to fishtail.  For POFL you’ll need a warm hat, long hair down and ideally facial hair required for maximum heat benefits (please see iconic fisherman Captain Birdseye, errrr and yes he is real life), waterproof coat with hood, 16 layers of clothing, waterproof pants and boots, glare glasses optional.  Match everything and give up looking like a lady.

In contrast, POF outfit is usually just slackers clothing but pretending you are wearing something/nothing else, wink, wink.

Launching and navigating of boat on lake is a #manjob so find someone who knows what they are doing. This might require cash.  It also helps if they are attractive too.  Navigating your way around POF through the age-inappropriate ONS (one night stands), marrieds and perverts however, is unavoidable!

POFL Guide will have the expert knowledge to take you to various spots on the lake which will hopefully have fish, Brown Trout, Northern Pike, Perch, Roach, Salmon, Common Bream etc…

POF has loads of old trouts, trout pouts, slimy fish, slippery fish, common fish, wet fish and threesome fish.

The technique required to actually cast lures/artificial bait (which look like fish) to catch the fish can be learned. First you have to select your lure. There are some super camp glitter ones which I highly recommend or ones that look like small fish and even rat ones (the rat ones can also be found on POF!). You attach the lure on the end of the line then you must learn to cast, which requires new brain patterning.  This  is done in three steps which involve taking the lure to the mid point(ish) f the rod on the line, winding the reel till it is level with the rod, taking the two fingers around the line above the metal bar, opening the reel and then bringing the rod behind or more to the side of oneself and chucking the rod (whilst holding on to it) and releasing the lure on the line.

How many stages was that again? OK, so then trying to remember and execute the stages in a functioning manner takes about half an hour.  Once you have done this correctly and the lure has (hopefully) flown through the sky and landed a bit of a distance away in the water, you shut the reel off and start to reel the lure in.  Those are the basics.  Then you have to make the lure look like it is swimming or even better make it swim like a sick fish as ‘Pike are opportunistic and love a sick fish’… also please see POF for opportunists.  This is a skill in itself and is done by keeping the rod down in the water and making the rod go left, right, left to make to lure appear to be swimming.  My lure looked like it wasn’t able to swim!  A none swimming fish!

If there appears to be no fish on one part of the lake the guide will take you to other spots with the speedboat.  This requires more layers of clothes then you think and waterproof boots, the guide will advise you what to wear before you leave for your trip but you can choose to ignore what he/says and remain ‘bang on trend’, freezing and wet and believe me you will get wetter than you think, unlike POF.

It can be truly blissful and almost like a meditative state casting, reeling in, ‘unleash the reel, cast, the lure, reel in, repeat’.  My mantra whilst doing this was ‘please don’t catch a fish, please don’t catch a fish’.  Watching swans fly overhead, a single bee low buzzing just on top of the water, being in nature and listening to the silence and stillness of it all, one feels like one is in a Planet Earth episode without any animals humping or eating each other.

The quietness of the lake is broken by being on a ‘drift’, this is where you let the boat drift (nothing to do with speeding cars, flying rubber and stick shifts, please see next blog) with the wind and current, by the  excitement of a fish taking the lure and being reeled in as the rod bends with an almighty force into the lake.  I was totally not expecting this or mentally prepared, so it involved a lot of screaming and running up and down the boat, holding the back of my hand to my forehead and trying not to faint. I am so not a drama queen.  The fish that came out of the water was massive a seven-year-old Jerkster Perch which was totally the same size of Jaws…I was then instructed to do various things by the guide which I was barely able to do for all the dramatics…Anyways we managed to measure the fish (same, same POF always good to take a tape measure on a ONS FYI).  It measured 1 meter 10 centimetres (you don’t get that on POF so I am told). I had never seen a fish as big as that in my whole life, let alone seen a real-life jerkoff perch. He weighed 22 something or others and then the guide put him back in the water.

We had been on the lake for about 3/4 hours and on the ride back to the harbour I was able to reflect on the experience as a whole. It was exhilarating, fun, and great to learn new skills but it was also calming, relaxing and quiet.  I don’t know how I would have felt if I had actually caught a fish, probably cried!  But I totally enjoyed the experience as a whole.  The main thing was that when I got home I had a tan from the wind!  How cool was that?  I would also choose to have different life experiences such as POFL rather than be on POF FYI, ONS, STI, DHL.


BitchMittens Ellen


Notes from the Ed

Ellen would like to thank her lovely guide for the day.  She went out with Fishing Holidays – You can find them on Facebook

Rowing After Rio

The dust is settling on the 2016 Olympics. We wait now for another four years for the the world to be swept up again. But this year was different for me and for all Irish rowers. This year we broke down walls and built up belief.


Rowing is a sport that goes relatively unnoticed in Ireland. It’s not in the big leagues like GAA, hurling, rugby, football etc. We have less of a fanbase than many, many other disciplines. Basically, it’s just rowers watching rowers. And sometimes our parents (if they’re especially awesome). We’re a small, tight community of people who have all grown up together even though we’re all from different parts of the country. We gather by rivers, lakes, canals. Congregate in forests, carparks or water-logged fields. We battle in nearly all weather conditions, from bitterly cold (where condensation freezes on your leg hairs) to blisteringly hot. Strip down to very little and race backwards for two thousand meters, starting and ending the race with a sprint. There is no denying it, it’s a tough sport and because of that we respect each other. There is never any sore losers or poor winners. But we don’t make the news. Most of my rowing friends have competed for their country and nobody knows this.


And that’s ok. It’s how it’s always been. We happily plug away at our own sport, baffling non-rowers as to why we get up at 6am and why were kill ourselves on rowing machines and why oh why do we wear teeny tiny one-pieces (they are very comfy BTW).


But this year something changed. We were on everybody’s minds.


This year we had not one but TWO crews in the A finals for rowing at the Olympics. THE OLYMPICS, PEOPLE! That in itself is an achievement, and for one of them to be a female crew, even better. Our first crew to make it to a women’s A final of the Olympics ever! And with the other crew we did the unthinkable, the unbelievable, the ‘dare we not speak it’s name’. We only went and got ourselves a medal. A silver medal, for the first time in Irish rowing history. And the country sat up and took notice!


I sat there with pride as my office talked about the rowers and learned everything about them. I was beside myself when we watch the races on my colleagues computer. I cried as they received their medals and beamed as my Facebook feed filled up with love and support for the rowers. These kids in college were now household names. All of a sudden people wanted to row, give it a go and see what it’s all about. Rowing camps are over-flowing with eager young teenagers and parents with hopes for gold in their eyes. Rowing is now a sport that people wanted to partake in, to live, to breathe.


And for us already rowing, what did that medal mean. It meant pride. All of us are so very proud of our rowers who have battled for us on this grand stage. Proud of the sport, of the discipline, of all rowers. It meant hope for the future. Hope that the sport will continue to blossom and grow as a community in this little country of ours. Hope that our top athletes start getting a little more coverage and maybe even a little more funding. Make life easier in a sport that is 100% amateur. It meant belief. We have done it and we can do it again and again… and again. We have jumped that final hurdle and we are up there with the other top rowing countries. We can be taken seriously and we are a force to be reckoned with.


But most importantly for me it meant justification. As I’ve said before it is a hard sport, a lot of pain and sweat and tough hours go into it and half the time you are wondering why you are doing it all. You want to quit, go home, rest, find another sport where your hands don’t blister up and your back doesn’t ache and you don’t work until your legs are jelly. But when those boys won their medal I was consumed with this warm glow of love and appreciation for rowing. I realised I truly loved the sport, the people and what it does for me. It reminded me why I do it, day in day out.


And that’s enough.


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