Angling: Concern over fat in luncheon meat bait

An angler baits his line.
An angler baits his line.
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FOR many years one of the most popular baits for catching carp has been luncheon meat but a recent scientific survey has shown that excessive use of this bait can be a danger to fish stocks.

The problem is the amount of fat that is used in certain types of the meat.

I have used one of the main brands for many years without realising the effects that it can have for an examination of the tin shows the nutrition information of the product and the thing that surprised me was the fat content was 27 per cent.

Research has shown that it takes three days for a fish to digest meat for the waste from meat fat does not get broken down naturally by bacteria as does other anglers’ baits.

Tests carried out on carp from a couple of leading fisheries show that they are carrying a high amount of visceral fat which could lead to stress and illness. Some fish pellets such as those used to bulk up trout and carp hatcheries also have a high fat content and these too are banned on most fisheries. The trouble is that some anglers are using excessive amounts of the bait and Neil Grantham, the owner of the very popular Lindholme Lakes complex near Doncaster reckons that some people could be using up to ten tins of the stuff in a five -hour match.

He has already banned the meat in his open matches and he is considering a complete ban on all of his lakes for next year. It is a few years ago when I first heard of the problem with high fat luncheon meat when a lake in the south had been drained for reconstruction work to be carried out and the bed of the lake was found to be covered with an oily fat slick.

Experts tell me that baits that have a high fat or oil content can be beneficial to coarse fish, provided that they are used in only modest amounts but when used to excess they can lead to health problems.

There was a similar scene a few years ago when the use of some pet foods became popular when used as baits but they were quickly banned on most fisheries.

One thing that did intrigue me was that if meat was ever banned then would it include types such as polony or pepperoni?

Some of the bait manufacturers have their own brand of meat baits in various colours and flavours.

In my ignorance I always thought that these were luncheon meat based.

I could not have been more wrong for when I inspected a few tins in my local tackle shop and read the contents label on the side of the tin I found that the base mix was actually processed chicken with no mention of any fat or meat.

I just wonder how much of it is sold for human consumption? I doubt if it is ten per cent, for every time I purchase a few tins the girl on the checkout always enquires if I am going fishing.

The fat in the meat can be easily disposed of and I have done it many times, just take the meat out of the tin and then put it through a meat cutter which cuts it into various sized cubes.

Empty the contents into a bowl and then pour boiling water over it. In a short time there will be an oily slick on the surface which can then be skimmed off, leaving fat free meat.

As an alternative why doesn’t some entrepreneur get in touch with the Danish manufacturer and ask them to make a fat free version? It would make them a fortune.

Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.

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