Bow fishing

chrispy

New member
Just a quick one, are you allowed to fish with a bow in the UK?
 


Gryff

New member
No.

I Asked British environment agencies last September and its a firm no:

"Thank you for your enquiry about using a bow and arrow to catch fish.

Our fisheries specialist has advised the use of a bow and arrow to catch fish in England and Wales would be illegal. The bow and arrow would be classed as an illegal instrument under Part 1 Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 ( since incorporated into subsequent Acts). Please read the extract from section 1 below.

Section 1.
Prohibited implements.
(1) Subject to subsection (4) below, no person shall—
(a)
use any of the following instruments, that is to say—
(i) a firearm within the meaning of the Firearms Act 1968;
(ii) an otter lath or jack, wire or snare;
(iii) a crossline or setline;
(iv) a spear, gaff, stroke-haul, snatch or other like instrument;
(v) a light;
for the purpose of taking or killing salmon, trout or freshwater fish;
(b) have in his possession any instrument mentioned in paragraph (a) above intending to use it to take or kill salmon, trout or freshwater fish; or
(c) throw or discharge any stone or other missile for the purpose of taking or killing, or facilitating the taking or killing of any salmon, trout or freshwater fish."

To read Section 1 in full please follow the link below:

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Primary&PageNumber=53&NavFrom=2&parentActiveTextDocId=1673768&ActiveTextDocId=1673772&filesize=5719

You may be intersted in visiting the fishing section on our website. There is useful information on how to obtain a rod licence, fishing byelaws, where to fish and fisheries publications.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/default.aspx
"


Sorry :(
 


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chrispy

New member
I notice it does'nt mention seafishing. Does anyone know whether tidal estuaries and the seashore are off limits as you are allowed to use a speargun in these areas.
 


Nightimer

New member
You cant use a bow,it would be cruel.
But you can wait with a rod and hook the little bugger in the mouth (or he might take it further down).
Then play about with it until its exhausted then get it on land and extract the hook then club it to death or shove it in a keep net and release it later.
Some of our laws are ridiculous.
A quick kill with a well placed arrow (presuming you want to eat your catch) is farless cruel that faffing about with it on the end of a line.
 


TJ Mason

Soaring
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
American Shoot
You can't bowfish in inland waters, as stated in the above response from the EA, but I've had "an opinion" from the EA that you can bowfish in coastal waters, subject to the same rules as spear fishing:

By "an opinion", I mean that the law is not explicit on the use of archery gear for fishing, but the people at the EA and Defra believe it would fall under the same laws as spear fishing.
 


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chrispy

New member
You can't bowfish in inland waters, as stated in the above response from the EA, but I've had "an opinion" from the EA that you can bowfish in coastal waters, subject to the same rules as spear fishing:
http://www.archery-interchange.net/forum/general-archery-discussion-news/4085-bow-fishing-5.html#post57290

By "an opinion", I mean that the law is not explicit on the use of archery gear for fishing, but the people at the EA and Defra believe it would fall under the same laws as spear fishing.
Many thanks for the info, I think i,ll go and bag some mullet as I can never catch them with a rod!!!!!!
 


John OSF

New member
I've done it.... it's a challenge as diffraction has to be allowed for ( unless the fish is directly underneath you) please pm me for kit details and tips. John
 


Phil Sheffield

New member
You have to bear in mind that there are people who have the money power and influence to enforce their belief that;

A) wild animals and fish

B) running water ... no matter how fast or slow

can be owned or controlled by themselves and others or the state, and that these 'owners' can claim exclusive rights to all the above.

So archaic laws exist to prevent the non-owners of these things hunting and fishing in ways that the 'owners' can't control.

This is why we, along with other controls, are not allowed widespread gun ownership or to hunt with a bow (actually I think its arrows not bows that can't be used) , regardless of what some people will say about prevention of cruelty and suffering etc at the time these laws were made the laws were put there to impose control, no regard for the welfare of the quarry or safety of others was ever more than the slightest of considerations.

They sometimes sell permits or licenses for hunting and fishing of wild and free creatures on land they own, As does in various guises the state.

If you walk in a river from a point where access is permitted ( or drop into it from a public bridge or over hanging tree) and then follow it up or down stream either in a boat or not and catch fish including any of the so-called game fish by hand, hand-line or a rod I believe that in the UK you catch what you like if you stay away from the banks.

I have no idea where people stand when it comes to sea fishing within coastal waters or exclusion zones. Fishing and hunting out at sea is I'm led to believe a minefield of rules and regulations even in so-called international (ie. un-claimed or owned) waters.

I may have some of the points above wrong they are essentially correct I belive but I have little doubt others will put me right and hopefully those that will do so will do so from an informed position and not from a knee jerk gut feeling.
 


If you walk in a river from a point where access is permitted ( or drop into it from a public bridge or over hanging tree) and then follow it up or down stream either in a boat or not and catch fish including any of the so-called game fish by hand, hand-line or a rod I believe that in the UK you catch what you like if you stay away from the banks.

Complete fallacy I am afraid. Hand or set lines not allowed. Rods are so long as you have permission.
Just because you access the water on a public area does not give you carte blanche to fish where you want. Even from a boat you need permission from thr Riparian owner. Not being on the bank does not make it legal. You also need a rod licence to fish if over 12.
Yes rules are antiquated but imagine the free for all if everyone followed your advice...
Also we are allowed licensed guns in uk so long as no previous convictions. Luckily we are not America though.
Dave
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
I'm not sure how using a bow and arrow in a public area, such as coastal waters.
would not come under the offensive weapons law.

- - - Updated - - -

I'm not sure how using a bow and arrow in a public area, such as coastal waters.
would not come under the offensive weapons law.
 


Kimblefade

New member
Just a quick one, are you allowed to fish with a bow in the UK?
Yes you can. But ATM only on the River Fal in Cornwall and only for Mullet. There's a few companies offering canoe/bow fishing trips on the Fal but they are quite expensive. Typically about ?300 for a day!!!
 


Ghenghis khan't

New member
The law on archery & air guns states that you must be at least 100m from anywhere the public has access to, public or private(e.g. a holiday camp) I believe. So they could probably have you practically anywhere along the coast. From what Gryff says, you could potentiually be done for being in possession of the gear even on the way to somewhere where it might be legal. I expect they don't want reckless kids shooting carelessly all over the place, plus the fear & myth that arrows are more cruel than bullets. (the opposite is true as sharp broadheads are relatively surgical, while bullets create extensive bruising).
Basically all bow-hunting is illegal, except maybe in Scotland.
 


Big George

Supporter
Supporter
You‘re going have to provide a link to the law that requires archery to be 100m from public access. I’ve never heard of it and it’s totally impractical given where most archery clubs actually shoot.
 


TJ Mason

Soaring
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
American Shoot
There are all sorts of word-of-mouth stories about what laws apply to archery, and I've repeated a few of them on AIUK myself. But there's actually no law about distance from areas the public can access. You can shoot anywhere with the landowner's permission, but you have the usual legal obligations to consider the safety of others.
I would dispute the suggestion that arrows are a nicer way of killing animals than are bullets. I've read an awful lot of bowhunter stories on US forums where people talk about tracking gut-shot animals for miles to find the animal. Almost every time, a bullet will drop an animal more cleanly than an arrow would.
 


BillM

Member
TT, my air gun license application clearly stated that my use would be for control of rabbits and possibly rats (old watermill near the house) in the garden and the license was granted. The Authorities maybe turn a 'blind eye' to this in Scotland.

BillM
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
I was referring to the poster's comment on Bowhunting. All bowhunting is illegal in the UK. Even in Scotland, even vermin. Air guns are different.
 


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