A Manatee County official is warning anglers that a popular rig to catch bait fish could be a thing of the past.

Sabiki rigs are lightweight fishing line with many small hooks. They're used to catch baitfish. A county commissioner is working to pass a county-wide ordinance banning the use of the hooks because, she says, they are killing too many local birds.

Carol Whitmore says her proof is pictures of hundreds of birds hooked and killed by people being careless with their lines along Manatee fishing docks.

After receiving approval from the county commission, Whitmore has been going to Manatee County leaders and showing them the pictures.

She is hoping the county and city of Bradenton can work on an ordinance that outlaws the use of sabiki rigs and other multiple hook lines on city and county property. She says that so far, local leaders have agreed that something needs to be done.

"I have had overwhelming support for this," Whitmore said. "Because they realize it’s such a problem and they are seeing a lot of our wildlife dead and it can be prevented."
Whitmore’s next step will be to have a public hearing on the matter. She says an ordinance could be in place within the next six months.

Experienced fishermen say anglers should use a heavy enough sinker so that the birds can't get into the line in the water.