Go-ahead for live baiting

Chris BishopWEST NORFOLK & FENS: Angling's governing body has come out loud and proud in support of live baiting. Revelations that Natural England wants to ban the method sent shockwaves through predator angling circles.Chris Bishop

Angling's governing body has come out loud and proud in support of live baiting.

Revelations that Natural England wants to ban the method sent shockwaves through predator angling circles.

But in response, the Angling Trust has drawn a line in the sand as far as those who target pike and zander are concerned.

'Fish consume other animals as part, even all, of their diet,' it said. 'In seeking to offer baits which look and behave naturally, anglers may consider the use of live grubs, worms, crustacean or fish as bait.


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'The use of live fish as bait is an established, legal and effective angling method in freshwater and the sea.

'The Angling Trust believes that the use of live fish as bait is a legitimate and traditional sporting method for catching various predatory species. The decision to employ this method or not is a matter of personal choice.'

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Trust officials say banning the method in order to stop illegal fish transfers is 'ill conceived', with the majority of bait being caught from the water fished.

The argument is even weaker in the Fens, where most waters are connected and fish can and do migrate long distances of their own accord, or the Broadland river systems.

The trust has this to say regarding rivers: 'In general anglers may transfer livebaits between adjacent stretches of the same river, providing that this does not involve carrying them in a vehicle.

Anglers should not move live baits further than they might walk during the course of a day's fishing.'

Stillwaters are ticking over nicely. Shepherd's Port remains pick of the bunch, with Shepherd's Lake producing bream and tench nets.

Crucians have also been showing from pegs 5-11, with punched bread the best way to lure one of these shy-biting little scrappers.

Once a fixture of nearly every farm pond and estate lake, numbers seem to have nose-dived over the last decade.

Springside is still dishing up some decent bream catches, with overcast, breezy days the best.

Classic bream tactics - ball it in and feed to bites - seem to work best, with corn the best hookbait.

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