• Pic: Steve Cooper
    Pic: Steve Cooper
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A FISHERY in the UK has vetoed the use of white bread baits amid fears it is unhealthy for  fish such as carp.

Instead, fishermen have been urged to use wholemeal and granary bread as bait in popular lakes. Experts say white bread lacks the protein of brown bread and too much of it leaves fish bloated, lethargic and with bad guts. White bread has also been commonly used as bait for centuries and is even referenced in the fisherman's Bible The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton in 1653.

But a fishery in Hampshire has become the first in England to ban white bread because of the poor dietary effects it has on the fish. The move follows a sporadic trend across the country of members of the public being banned by local authorities from throwing white bread to ducks.

UK coarse fishermen tend to berley with bread on the surface to attract fish like carp. In some cases, anglers use up to eight loaves in a fishing trip.

Graham Mabey, whose company FLE Angling own Greenridge Farm Fishery near Romsey, defended the scheme, saying they did not want to "discourage the tactic of using a surface bait".

"But we found that people were turning up with up to eight loaves of white bread which is an extraordinary amount," he said.

"People leave whole discarded slices floating on the water as well as on the banks which can attract rats.

"The salt and sugar levels in white and brown loaves are similar but in a typical white sliced loaf there is 3.5 grams of protein per slice compared to the 5.6 grams in brown bread."

He added: "There is not much nutritional content in the white bread compared to the brown. It's just like people, the fish tend to get lethargic and bloated if they consume too much white bread."

"We have put a note on our website and on our board of rules that no white bread is allowed. We'd rather baits that are better for the fish and will give them a normal healthy gut were used."

But many anglers expressed doubt that white bread can harm fish.

Malcolm Coller, of the Carp Society, said: "In my experience bait bans are the last refuge of the uninformed.

"Carp have been around since Biblical times so they will probably survive eating white bread.

"But if it is being done because of the quantity of bread being used then I can understand it because too much of one thing isn't good for anybody."

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