Pierre is a short and scruffy looking man with greying floppy hair that flaps in the warm breeze. He slumps his chubby body into a wooden deck chair stretching its fabric low to the ground. At his side is perched a fishing rod with a line that stretches far out into the river Loire. Pierre uncorks a bottle of red wine from the valley of St. Jean de Losne a few kilometers away. He drinks the local red straight from the bottle, despite having three plastic glasses in the small bag he carried down the river bank with him. It is 11am and by 12:30 Pierre is onto his second bottle, the same wine from the same region. He has moved to check his fishing rod only once and then reclined on the sand rather than resume his position in the chair. By mid-afternoon Pierre is snoring loudly as the last remaining quarter of his wine lays in the sand next to him spilling out and staining the grains. A fish has tugged at the end of the rod since just a few minutes after it was checked those hours ago but its fighting does not wake Pierre. Catching fish is low on Pierre's list of priorities. Splashing loudly past Pierre on the shores of the Loire are two boys in a green canoe. Despite their jovial racket Pierre never wakes from his heavy slumber.
Jean-Paul sits in a fold out camp chair with a pocket in the left arm where he perches a glass of white wine, vintage. He runs a hand through his black hair that's slicked back from his forehead. Jean-Paul has a dark mid-life goatie to accompany his midlife crisis and fishes from the edge of a cycle path that skirts the local canal. The canal is of the old type, narrow and no loner used by commercial vessels. Despite the canals width Jean-Paul has invested in the most expensive fishing rod he could find which is a good 8 meters in length. Jean-Paul has the rod firmly in his hands and it extends out across the canal to where the line drops sharply into the merky water. Furthermore, Jean-Paul is not peterbed by the cycle path that runs along the opposite side of the canal and the many other fisherman who sit along that side. He fishes, with his great rod, for the fish on the far side of the canal where, for sure, they are bigger. While Jean-Paul fishes he is passed by two boys in a green canoe. The boys laugh out loud at the length of Jean-Pierre's rod, so unnecessarily long that it is in danger of poking someone's eye out on the opposite path. Jean-Paul overhears their laughter and feels emasculated, despite his deep pride in the expensive fishing rod he owns.
Herman is in his late 60s and has invested in a boat. It's a good boat that was sold to him at a fair price and he has plenty of fuel stocked beneath the wooden seats that run around its edges. On a calm day Herman is not adverse to enjoying the pleasant river Danube and fishing for its inhabitants. Herman takes his gear and heads to his boat safely moored to a wooden jetty. Climbing into the boat he turns up his collar and pulls a flat cap low to keep out the cold. Safely in his boat Herman baits his rod and casts the line into the water. Herman waits. Above him on the bank Herman hears a rustling and, turning, spies a fellow fisherman casting into the water nearby. Herman continues to wait. Herman does not untie his boat, Herman does not pull the rip-cord on the yammaha engine. Herman sits in his boat, tightly moored to the jetty, and watches his fishing rod. Out in the river two boys in a green canoe pass by. Since they are out on the wide river and Herman is moored beneath trees with his hat pulled low he never spots the boys. But he feels safe by the shore, tightly moored to the jetty.
Girtrude is an outgoing and friendly woman who stands on the banks of the river Main in red waterproofs that are several sizes too big. Her husband is a regular fisherman and uses it as a frequent excuse to leave the house. Given it is the weekend Gertrude has both the time and the curiosity to have a go herself. As she fishes two boys in a green canoe paddle past and stop on the opposite bank of the river. They sit and relax, munching on apples and sharing raisins. The two boys look across and watch Gertrude as she struggles in her cumbersome clothing to cast the line. Gertrude is not a natural it seems. Gertrude can't fish. Under the pressure of the watchful boys, who make no effort to move on, Gertrude tos and fros between casting the line into the ground at her feet and getting the rod caught in branches behind her. Gertrude is embarrassed and Gertrude is an embarrassment to the sport of fishing.
Martin is a serious fisherman. He takes himself seriously and he takes the sport seriously. In fact, fishing, for Martin, is not a sport, but a way of life. Martin has invested, over the years, in no fewer than 14 fishing rods and, though by now he could easily have bought a boat and a long net, he continues to throw his money at new rods when he has the chance. Martin has a shaved head but wears a woolly hat to keep his ears warm. Despite the top spec rods the remainder of his gear is a mismatch of expensive gadgets bought online and other tools he has made himself in his run down workshop back home. Martin has been dropped at his fishing spot for the night by a friend and had to walk a kilometer to get there. After a painstaking hour to set up all the rods, Martin is there for the night. Wired on strong coffee he's drunk from his old green flask, Martin is twitchy and alert, bouncing from rod to rod checking each for any signs of movement. At one point in his 24hr session two boys in a green canoe pass by. The boys are close to his lines, almost 10 meters away from them and Martin shouts and grumbles at the pair. He ignored their friendly waves with the deliberate gesture of crossing his arms and making wide eye contact. As the cold closes in and the sun starts to go down Martin strikes a match and lights the campfire he has spent time making while he waits for fish to bite. Martin shuffles back into a small shelter made from sticks and removes a rusted alarm clock from his bag. Martin sets the alarm clock to 5:15 and places it on the floor beside him. He'll be up another long while now with the coffee pumping through him but Martin knows that if he falls asleep the alarm will wake him. He'll safely be up and attending to his 14 rods before sunrise.