Bait prices set to soar in New Year

Your weekly bait bill is set to rise after Britain’s biggest coarse pellet manufacturer announced that it will have to increase its prices next year by a rumoured 10 to 15 per cent.

Aquaculture feeds producer Skretting, whichmakes more than 90 per cent of all coarse fishing pellets in the UK and Irelad, has blamed the rising cost of raw materials for the move, which will comeinto force from January 2010.

But it’s not only match, pleasure and specimen anglers who will be hit by the price hike ¬ experts think that the predator-fishing industry will also be affected as many thousands of kilos of pelletseach year go to rear fish for use as deadbaits.

The increases are linked to he rising cost of, and demand for, fishmeals and oils sourced from South Aerican countries such as Peru and Chile, although John Roberts, product deelopment manager for Skretting, claimed that the company does not yet kow exactly how much prices are set to rise by.

“We‘ve fought it long and hard, but now it’s got to the point where we have no choice but to put up the prices of pellets early next year. What I can promise is that we will keep the price of the bait down as much as we possibly can because times are tough for everyone,” John said.

However, AT columnist Neville Fickling said that his own Lincolnshire tackle shop has received paperwork stating that the company anticipates a rise of between 10 and 15 per cent.

“I charge £2.80 for a kilo bag of standard Skrettng pellets, but it now looks like that will have to go up to £3 a bag. Te same goes for my deadbaits because these fish are farmed and fed on suc pellets, and this will have more of an effect on fishing than some might think,” Neville said.

Wendy Lythgoe, of European Groundbaits, which markets Van Den Eynde and Bait-Tech, said that rising fishmeal prices were already taking a considerable effect.

“I made an enquiry on a purchase recently and it was £100 more expensive than a few weeks before. This just shows you what a difficult situation pellet manufacturers are in,” she said.

Perhaps the one area of angling set to be hit the hardest however is commercial fisheries, many of which insist that visitors use their ‘own brand’ of pellets ¬ nearly all of which are made by Skreting. Despite this, bosses at some venues, such as Lindholme Lakes near Doncaster, say that they will not let their customers incur the rising cost.

“I will swallow the increase and keep my pellets at £2 per bag. They are a cheaper alternative to the major brands and, as one of the first waters in the North to implement the use of its own pellets, I owe it to the people who have come here week in, week out,” said owner Neil Grantam.