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21 Feb 2017
by CARPology
Should we ban pellets?
Big opinions by key anglers on major events happening within carp fishing right now

Question

With many waters banning pulses, nuts etc., should we not consider the health implications to carp of the overuse of high-oil salmon pellets which are often further glugged with fish oils?

Shaun Harrison (Quest Baits owner)

“I have beat my drum for many years now about the dangers of excessive use of oil in carp baits and carp feed. Oil/fat in quantity isn’t healthy for any creature; rapid weight gain isn’t healthy for any creature. Rapid weight gain is usually simply and expansion of undesirable fat tissue, yes, the weights of the fish may look better in your diary and underneath your photographs but this is certainly going to shorten the life of those fish you are targeting.

“Excess weight/fat puts a much greater strain on the heart making it have to work much harder than is normal and when things have to work much harder than usual, things break and give up.

The excess use of oil in baits also has a pronounced effect on the feeding habits of the fish. A big build up of fatty tissue results in the fish being able to live off reserves without the need to feed. This really affects the angler in the winter months when even the healthier fish eat far less anyway but with a glut of fat around their bodies they really don’t need to feed.

“If anglers continue to feed fatty baits during the cold months and the fish eat them then you are putting the fish under even more danger giving them big digestion problems.

Nuts and pulses simply require education to prepare them safely. There is no safe bulk oil pellet – it’s as simple as that!”

James Anderson (Fish expert)

“I think we need to consider the health implications of all the baits we use. Most baits have the potential to do harm to fish or the environment if used irresponsibly. High oil pellets, whether they be salmon, trout or halibut pellets are all designed to feed carnivorous fish so when fed to omnivores such as carp in large amounts they can cause health damage. However, this is generally only a problem when the carp is eating little else.

“In my experience high oil pellets only make up part of a carp’s diet in a fishery when they are accessing other food sources both natural and artificial. When part of a mixed diet like this carp really benefit from the extra energy and protein these types of baits provide. Pellets offer much better nutrition than any nut or pulse and I see many fisheries where the carp would really benefit from some pellet as it improves growth and general condition.

“The other factor we must consider is the baits impact on water quality as high protein levels result in an increase in ammonia being produced by the fish which is toxic although this generally only happens in very heavily stocked match fisheries. If large amounts of pellets are sat on the bottom and not being eaten then they can start to breakdown reducing dissolved oxygen levels. So in summary, high oil pellets can benefit the carp if used responsibly.”

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