IT must be nearly 30 years since the sale of small-sized fishing weights (lead shot) was banned in this country.
The reason was that a campaign by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) had convinced both officialdom and the general public that discarded fishing weights were responsible for the deaths of many swans who had ingested the stuff when they were rooting in the riverside gravel which they needed to help digest their food.
As a result of this, anglers’ shot manufacturers had to spend a fortune to find alternatives and what they came up with was tungsten which immediately trebled the price of the new product.
To my knowledge, we were the only country in the world to follow this path.
At the same time the shooting fraternity was completely ignored and they continued to blast their lead pellet-laden cartridges into the sky.
The RSPB seemed relentless in pursuit of anglers.
I recall attending a game fair on the Harewood Estate and on their stand was a container holding a generous portion of lead shot.
They claimed that it had been removed from the guzzard of a dead swan but it was clearly gunshot pellets and I told them that they should do their research correctly.
I got a round of applause from the onlookers and the offending material was removed.
As I said earlier lead shot between size eight and seven is still banned but only in this country for it is available and still in use all over Europe, including Ireland.
So surely it is time to change the law and allow manufacturers to produce lead shot once more.
When you think about it, the only time anglers’ shot is found in the environment is when it has been accidentally split, for it is too valuable to be thrown willy nilly into the water, unlike the shooters who blast tons of the stuff into the sky every year.
On a different note, if an angler wishes to see all of the latest fishing tackle which will shortly be on sale to the public then a visit to the Northern Angling Show is a must.
The show takes place on the weekend of March 28-29 at Manchester’s Event City and every tackle manufacturer in the country will be displaying their latest gear.
Also in attendance will be many of our top angling stars.
Tickets cost £10 and can only be obtained by contacting the following website: www.northernanglingshow.co.uk