Rig Checks - Important!

Over the past few weeks, bailiffs at several of our venues have retrieved several highly questionable sets of end tackle. Some of these are the worst we've ever seen. Add to this the sighting of a 'swimming stick' (ie, a stick being towed around by an obviously tethered fish) in the Leather Pit recently, and it is clear that some anglers are not thinking about the welfare of the fish when they set out to angle for them.

Therefore it should be noted that rig checks will be carried out across our venues for the foreseeable future, and no-one, however experienced will be exempted.

It is not our intention to carry out a witch hunt; better to identify the problems and explain how to avoid them in future.

The main issues stem from the thoughtless use of leadcore leaders and fixed/semi fixed leads. With all the end tackle components that are available these days there is no excuse for fishing a fixed lead either with or without leadcore, and yet some anglers continue to use them.

The tangled conglomeration that was found recently in one of our venues almost beggars belief, and since it had a considerable tangle of a different line wound all around the lead swivel (about 30 turns !) it had clearly been attached to a fish for some time and ,by its condition, had not been in the water for any great length of time. What concerns us most about this was the fact that, having picked up the tangled mess on the retrieve, the angler found that everything went solid and he had to pull horizontally for a break before it became free. We can only hope that the lead was somehow trapped, and that the tension was not caused by a dead fish.

In this case the angler who cast it out clearly doesn't understand the equipment he is using or worse, doesn't care about the welfare of the fish. Amongst other faults, it employed a 'safe' lead clip which is designed to shed the lead if snagged or weeded, but the person using it chose to glue the tail rubber to the leader so that the lead could not be ejected ! Three of us tried unsuccessfully to pull it from the lead clip.

We all need to safeguard our fish and hope that everyone will support us in our attempts to stop the use of dangerous rigs on our waters. Please bear with us whilst we carry out these rig checks. It's for the good of our venues and their stock. We will be as unobtrusive as possible, and we will not ask you to retrieve rigs during known bite times or during the hours of dusk and darkness.

Many thanks for your cooperation.

The Fisheries Team

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