Barn owl caught in discarded fishing line


Staff member
Site Supporter
Sep 18, 2001
Back in 2005 I was on a visit to Elphicks fishery with another member on here Andy aka TheHat, in a bid to help him catch a Golden Tench from one of the lakes on the complex. That day we ended up sharing the lake with a pair of swans and their four cygnets that resided at the fishery.

About 5pm I noticed that the Swans had moved to the next lake, but one of the Cygnets was missing, However Andy noticed it limping into the lake, and it swam across to our bank. I took some sweetcorn and sprinkled it on the bank and stood back.
Soon it found the corn and as it was tucking in I walked up behind it. I was gobsmacked to see about 3 ft of carp rig trailing behind it.
I placed my foot on the line, but it must have felt it and tried to waddle off. I knew it was now or never and managed to rugby tackle it and get it’s wings folded in to control it,

Fortunately Andy was on hand to help and when he came over we were both horrified to see that there was a large barbed hook embedded in it’s foot, with a rig that consisted of a size 8 barbed hook attached to heavy braid to a swivel,3ft of heavy clear leader (30lbs B.S.+ at a conservative estimate) spliced into about 8 inches of snakeskin or something similar. Whoever made that rig up knew full well what they were doing and decided to use a barbed hook despite them being banned on the fishery. The Cygnet wasn’t fully fledged, so hadn’t flown to another water to pick the rig up.

Luckily Andy had a pair of side cutters and we managed to cut the hook and remove the barbed point as it had come through.
Just in the nick of time as a very angry Cob came stamping and hissing up the bank. Off went the Cygnet to re-join it’s family apparently none the worse and it was soon feeding on our leftover pellets and corn as we called it a day.


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jan 30, 2010
Ever forget some not a nice chap on Seahouses pier hooked a massive gull. One of them that’s twice the size of the other ones. It must of took about 100 yards of line off his reel and he cut the line at his reel. So there was a gull flying around dragging yards and yards of line.
Also remember as a youngster fishing in a park where fishing wasn’t allowed with a hand line and live baiting a perch and caught a duck. And all the mothers and kids were feeding the ducks. Got some abuse but still pulled it in and got the treble out of its beak. Then ran. 🤣

Nicky Dodds

Regular member
Feb 24, 2018
Me too Peter mate. That and rubbish. Rubbish is my pet hate. We’ve no excuses when you see ground bait and worms bags left on the bank. And those pink cable ties that Willy Worms use to seal their worm bags I see all over our canals. 😡😡
Willy worms are addressing that particular problem and have been using those re-usable ones with the little press tabs.