Ramblings of a Carp Angler – Jewellery and Fish Safety

There are lots of objects that we either wear as jewellery or that form part of our clothing that are potentially a threat to a fish whilst it is in our care.

What do I mean by ‘in our care’?  As soon as a fish is netted we are now responsible for its well-being before it is returned safely back to the water. During a fishing session, nets can easily get torn or develop holes from debris in the margins, branches and even from the fins of a carp.  It is important to check and maintain the net during a session to ensure that if a hole develops, it gets fixed immediately, repaired with fishing line or a piece of braid and the prospect of replaced the net at some stage in the near future.

I have talked about the dangers of old tatty weigh slings and unhooking mats and how to treat injuries to fish in the past, but what about our everyday clothing and jewelry. I personally do not wear any, but lots of anglers do, such as bracelets, rings and neck-chains. All these items are a potential hazard that can damage fins, skin or the eyes of a carp.

handling carp safely

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For years I always owned and wore a watch, no other jewellery, just a watch. For as long as I can remember one of the things that I always did was to remove the watch as soon as a fish was in the net. Countless times I have spent hours searching for my watch, as I would just remove it and chuck it down somewhere in the under growth. I never learnt, just kept on losing the damn thing. If I was the owner of other smaller jewellery items I would still be searching now for them.

So what is the answer? Before a fishing session remove your jewellery and leave them in the car. Now I rarely wear watches as I have my mobile phone that I use for the time etc, so that danger has been superseded.

Long finger nails can also be a hazard, zips on coats and in fact on any outer garments. The list goes on. All that we can do is reduce the risks as best as we can, so the next time that you are out on the bank, think before you fish and remove potential sharp objects from your body, of course not forgetting to always have the unhooking mat placed on a soft piece of ground to create that extra cushioned effect.

Paul Cooper

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