Monday, 29 November 2010

Illegal set lines kill Lincolnshire pike

SNOW JOKE: One of the dead pike found on a Lincolnshire drain

Pike killers have targeted a Lincolnshire drain using illegal set lines, leaving a trail of dead fish to double figures behind them.

A PAC member found their handiwork on Sunday, when he saw a number of dead fish by a bridge over the waterway, which is near Boston.

One was still attached to crude blue cord. Two larger specimens, including one estimated in the 16 - 18lbs bracket, appeared to have been restrained on a stringer - presumably to await collection.

But the drain had frozen, leaving the pike to perish. A person living near the drain saw someone leave the scene on a bicycle on Saturday.

PAC membership secretary Chico Winterton said: "The EA went down and removed some of the fish, some had disappeared even though they were dead.

"It turns out that some were attached through the gills and mouth on a stringer, maybe they were alive but maybe not."

the angler who found the fish has sent pictures to the EA. He told the PAC: "I would say with confidence that two are good doubles, especially for this drain, including the one still attached to the line, somewhere between 12 - 15 lb, in my estimation, and the smallest, probably 6-8 lb.

"They could be bigger, though. A real shame. In one of the pictures, if you look carefully, you can see all three of them.

"It seems odd, to me - one fish is still attached to the set line, which is blue nylon baling twine attached to a plywood stake pushed into the bank - but the other two don't appear to be attached to anything. I wonder if the person(s) responsible had picked the other two up elsewhere, and were disturbed while checking on the third one, and decided to dump the other two, to be on the safe side.

"I don't believe they are not connected, in some way, doubles being something of a rarity in this drain, and finding two of them coincidentally dead within feet of each other stretches credibility somewhat, especially in these circumstances. I have a feeling that quite a few pike are being spirited away from local waters."

Set lines have become an increasing problem in parts of the Fens in recent seasons. They're an indiscriminate way of killing predatory fish.

The EA is investigating the gruesome find. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

SET LINES: How to spot the pike killers - click here.


  1. Mr Francis Worrall, aged 62, Oxford: I used to think pike were vermin. On reflection, all they do is keep other fish healthy as they can only eat fish that aren't strong enough tu escape, thus making other species much stronger.