Which carp unhooking mat should you use?

A subject that is very important to lake owners and the majority of anglers is that of fish safety.  I’m no different here at Bletiere so I’ve put together this blog article to show what you’ll need to ensure the fish are well protected.

The vast majority of our visitors arrive with more than adequate mats, or if they believe theirs may be too small, they hire them from me.  It’s has never been a problem before, but I’m afraid this year I have had a couple of instances where customers have brought  mats that were totally inadequate.  I try not to have many rules, as all our guests will vouch for, and I am not one to be checking all the time, but the one area I am very strict on is the welfare of our fish.

I have shown below the mats that I believe are acceptable and one that is unacceptable and will no longer be allowed. I am happy to hire out mats at a small cost to save space and the smell in cars.

Carp safety - the carp cot

Carp safety – the carp cot

Carp safety - carp cots

Another good carp cot

The two examples above are the carp cot type which I prefer as it gives the fish a lot more protection and a lot less chance of the fish sliding out and onto the floor. They are not expensive and can be purchased for under £50 which I believe is a small price to pay to safeguard any fish.

Carp safety - beanie mats

The beanie mat

Above is the beanie type mat that are also good as they offer a lot of protection for the fish on the floor and when the fish flap about.  The only disadvantage is that they have no sides so there is always a risk of fish sliding off.  I have seen the above type of mats with low sides which would stop any risk of a fish slipping.

Carp safety - unsafe mats

An unacceptable mat

Above is the type of mat that I regret will no longer be acceptable to be used here as they offer very little protection for the fish as they are much too small and thin. There is no way to be able to leave a fish unattended as you reach for your scales or camera as it has no cover as do the mats above.

I do not wish to appear as though I am trying to cost anglers more money for an unimportant item of tackle, but this surely is an important part of any angler’s equipment.

Tight lines,

John London, owner, Bletiere.

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