I’ve noticed a real rise in the use of drugs in fishing during the past 10 years or so. Carp fishing and smoking weed seem to go hand in hand at some places I visit. But is it getting out of hand and what should be done about it? (if anything).
I am going to try and stay impartial here but let’s see how this goes.
Does The Fisheries Care?
There’s one big fishery that I won’t name that I fish in the North West. It’s a brilliant fishery, I love fishing there. It’s a mixed bag of general coarse fishing lakes, match lakes and one carp lake. Have a walk around the fishery and you know as soon as you get on the “carp lake” there’s a strong smell of weed being smoked.
The fishery rules, like most fisheries, mention no drink or drugs but I honestly think the bailiffs and fishery owners turn a blind eye to it. Maybe if they kicked people off that lake for drug use the lake would be half empty and they would lose half their punters?
Weed and Drugs Are Just Everywhere Now
It could be argued that it’s just part of everyday life now. If you go to a concert, a football match, rugby or even your local park. Drug use is happening in all walks of life and it’s always going to be in fishing now.
Impact on the Angling Community
The rise in drug use within the fishing community, particularly among carp anglers, has sparked concerns among some anglers who feel that this could negatively impact the image of the sport. Fishing has traditionally been seen as a peaceful and relaxing pastime, where people can enjoy nature and escape the stresses of daily life. The increasing prevalence of drug use could potentially tarnish this image and discourage newcomers from taking up the hobby.
Effects on Anglers and Fish
Apart from the image of the sport, drug use can also have negative consequences for the angler’s safety, decision-making, and overall fishing experience. Anglers under the influence of drugs may be more likely to disregard fishing regulations, handle fish inappropriately, or leave litter behind, ultimately harming the fish and the environment. Additionally, they might be less aware of their surroundings and more prone to accidents, putting their own safety and the safety of others at risk.
Possible Solutions and Education
Addressing the issue of drug use in fishing is not an easy task, as it reflects broader societal trends. However, there are steps that fisheries, angling clubs, and anglers themselves can take to promote responsible behavior and maintain the positive image of the sport. Fisheries should consistently enforce their rules on drug and alcohol use, ensuring that all visitors understand the potential consequences of breaking these regulations.
Additionally, angling clubs and organizations can play a role in educating their members about the risks and negative effects of drug use while fishing. By promoting awareness and responsible behavior, these groups can help to create a supportive and inclusive angling community that values the sport’s traditions and the well-being of its members.
In conclusion, drug use in fishing is a complex issue that reflects broader societal changes. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate drug use from the sport, anglers, fisheries, and organizations can work together to promote responsible behavior, protect the environment, and maintain the positive image of fishing as a peaceful and enjoyable pastime. This collaborative effort will help ensure that fishing remains an accessible and cherished activity for generations to come.
Mike has over 30 years of fishing experience in carp fishing and general coarse fishing. He is always looking for the latest fishing kit to try out and talk about and needs a bigger shed due to all the fishing tackle he owns. You can read more about him here.