Baits and lures working group: recommendations

The Baits and Lures working Group was set up in 2016 following the Consultation on the original Kill Licence Proposal.

The Baits and Lures working Group was set up in 2016 following the Consultation on the original Kill Licence Proposal. Some of the respondents commented that there was a need for Baits and Lures regulations although opinion varied. It became clear during the Consultation that more clarity was required and therefore the group was put together.

Group members

  • Brian Davidson – Fisheries Management Scotland
  • Eddie Weatherly – River Tweed Commission
  • Paul Devlin – Glasgow Angling Centre
  • David Turnbull – Scottish Government
  • Valerie Lusk – Scottish Government


  • It is acknowledged that river characteristics and angling practices vary between areas of the country.
  • There are no recommendations by the group for any new legislation or a change in any of the existing legislation in respect of baits and lures. Voluntary measures made at a local level which may be in-bedded in local angling conservation codes is considered the best way to go as local knowledge of circumstances is important and it is difficult to prescribe rules that fit all circumstances.
  • The group consider education of anglers to be crucial and in particular the group looked at the material available on catch and release. Whilst the group acknowledge the benefits of photographs in attracting anglers to individual rivers they wish to emphasise the importance of the proper handling of fish after they are caught with the fish staying in the water in the landing net and released safely. Ideally any photographs should be taken of the fish still in the landing net in the water or held correctly just above the surface of the water.

Suggested examples of considerations which could be taken in to account and good practice.

  • Upstream spinning may be inappropriate depending on the circumstances as it may be used as a method to foul hook fish.
  • For bait fishing recommended single hooks not doubles or trebles.

Catch and Release Leaflet with information and advice which was updated by the group and funded by Paul Devlin.

Remit for Baits and Lures working group

Following consideration and analysis of the responses to the 12 week consultation on the Kill licence, 28 day advert and on-line discussion it was concluded that regulations on baits and lures would not form part of the proposed conservation measures advertised on 1 October 2015.

It was concluded that the whole issue of baits and lures requires further consideration before any decision is made on national measures.

Accordingly we are establishing a Baits and lures working group which will comprise  3 stakeholder representatives plus 2 Scottish Government representatives (1 sitting on the group for his expertise on baits and lures).

The basic remit of the group is as follows:

  • To recommend what equipment should be banned or restricted
  • To recommend whether any regulation of baits and lures should be at local or national level?

As part of this the group will discuss:

  • Other factors which have an effect on how much harm is done to the fish e.g. poor handling practices and the need for education of anglers.
  • How equipment use varies with river condition and season
  • How restrictions on equipment could result in reducing participation in angling, particularly the young, disabled or those on low incomes.
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