Anglers say sorry

PUBLISHED: 11:44 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:07 10 June 2010

THE secretary of Exmouth s top fishing club has apologised after a dog swallowed a fish hook - but warned owners about letting their pets run free near anglers. Last week dog owner Kirsty Sheppard appealed to fishermen to dispose of their fishing tackle

THE secretary of Exmouth's top fishing club has apologised after a dog swallowed a fish hook - but warned owners about letting their pets run free near anglers.

Last week dog owner Kirsty Sheppard appealed to fishermen to dispose of their fishing tackle more carefully after her one-year-old border collie Willow swallowed a hook on Exmouth beach - and needed a £680 operation.

Simon Boeree Secretary of Exmouth Sea Angling Association, one of the oldest sea angling clubs in the South West, said that it appeared Willow had come across a carelessly discarded or lost fishing rig:

"I am also a sea angler and please let me assure Willow's owner and all beach users that no responsible angler would consciously discard hooks on the beach.

"On behalf of the Exmouth Sea Angling Association and all responsible anglers I can only apologise.

"While one stupid individual's careless management of their fishing gear ended up with Willow undergoing painful and expensive surgery, I hope beach users don't tar sea anglers with the same brush."

He said he always knew where everything was when fishing and always took his equipment home with him - but on the rare occasions tackle was lost, hooks normally ended up stuck fast on the sea bed before disintegrating quickly in salt water.

Anglers, he said, generally did their utmost to keep bait and tackle away from dogs but added a cautionary note: "On occasion dog owners seem to have little control or concern for their pets when near anglers and the unwary fisherman frequently finds 'Fido' delving deep into their tackle bag or bait-box devouring everything in sight while their fishing gear gets urinated on.

"I know dogs are dogs but owners need to be a little more aware of the potential canine dangers lurking in anglers fishing gear.

"That said the discarded hook Willow picked up should never have been there.

"Wishing Willow a quick recovery and sincere apologies from all responsible sea anglers everywhere.


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