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Lockdown fishing: updated guidelines published
Anglers flock to join Angling Trust in record numbers since lockdown
After a hectic and successful week navigating the consequences for angling of the government’s decision to impose a third National Lockdown in England in response to the rise in coronavirus infections, the Angling Trust has published new comprehensive guidelines and FAQs to help anglers fish safely, locally and responsibly without falling foul of the law.
The news that fishing was to continue, when most other sports could not, was greeted enthusiastically by anglers with over 2,000 new members signing up as members of the Angling Trust in the last week (a new record) and staff working long hours responding to the mass of enquiries.
As well as the updated FAQs, which now includes advice on interactions with the police, Angling Trust Policy Chief Martin Salter, who has been at the centre of our campaign to keep us fishing during lockdown, has published a new blog telling the full story on how we got angling over the line, together with some essential reading on how to stay the right side of a very confusing set of rules.
The key messages are:
  • This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May. Read the government guidance
  • Angling is a ‘reasonable excuse’ recognised by Government as evidenced by Sport England
  • You should be able to show that your travel to go fishing is in accordance with the government’s instruction to stay local and you are following the Angling Trust’s travel guidelines
  • We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply
  • Should a police officer decide to issue you with a direction order or fixed penalty notice you should accept it and pack up immediately and return home if so instructed
  • Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing
  • The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever
  • To remain within the law you should follow the travel guidance and only fish locally
  • Avoid fishing in crowded places where social distancing could be difficult and might give rise to concerns over public health
  • We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.
Martin Salter said:
“Covid has caused an unprecedented and deadly global pandemic costing thousands of lives and putting our NHS staff under intolerable pressure. We are clear that angling must be part of the solution and not a cause of problems or concern. Getting ministers to recognise the case for local fishing was a huge achievement but it has understandably triggered hundreds of enquiries and requests for clarification. Foremost was to define ‘local’ - hardly an easy task since the government has not done so in the regulations as the Police have been pointing out this week and the Prime Minister has demonstrated with his recent seven-mile cycle ride. By bringing everything into one document we hope that we’ve provided everything anglers need to know in order fish safely, locally and responsibly during the lockdown without falling foul of the law.”
Scott Mann, North Cornwall MP and a keen angler, welcomed the continuation of angling saying:
“We have seen over the last 12 months the positive impact angling can have on people’s mental health. As a solitary pursuit it can be enjoyed without concerns about distancing from other, so I am glad we are now able to fish once again.”
Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO, added:
“ I couldn’t be prouder of the leadership role played by the Angling Trust throughout the Covid crisis. We have acted responsibly, professionally and effectively, much to the envy of many other sports, as has been acknowledged by Sport England, the Environment Agency, government ministers and officials and the thousands of anglers who have sent us messages of support or joined us in record numbers. But I must stress that the spotlight is on us like never before and we must all conduct ourselves responsibly and fish safely. Please remember we are extremely fortunate to be able to fish at all and we must all act as ambassadors for our sport.”​
Media contacts:
Jamie Cook - 07572 231329
Martin Salter - 07976 946033
Further information and links:
The Angling Trust
We are a not for profit organisation, representing anglers, fighting for fish, fishing and the environment. We are recognised by the Government as the National Governing Body for angling in England and partner with Visit Wales and Natural Resources Wales to promote Fishing in Wales. We are a member-based organisation made up of anglers of all disciplines providing a united front to represent, grow and protect our sport. By becoming a member of the Angling Trust you are helping to protect the waterways you fish in and the fish which live within them, ensuring their health and protection for future generations.
Click here for more information about membership
Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350
Angling Trust & Fish Legal, Eastwood House, Rainbow Street, Leominster, HR6 8DQ
Telephone: 01568 620447​
 

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It mentions "no overnight fishing" in your guidelines,but in the vid with Ali Hamidi,it mentions fishing until possibly an hour after dusk....could someone post a definitive guideline as to how long in to darkness is permissable?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It mentions "no overnight fishing" in your guidelines,but in the vid with Ali Hamidi,it mentions fishing until possibly an hour after dusk....could someone post a definitive guideline as to how long in to darkness is permissable?
In the same video at 20.20 Martin Salter answers that question perfectly. You are allowed to exercise once a day, not once a night, if you fish into the dusk for an hour, you are probably not going to be questioned, any later and you are not adhering to the government guidance. Different police forces may have different opinions on times when you must stop fishing and go home, you are being asked to use some common sense. There is no definitive time set by government that you can fish to.

They are not guidelines set by the Angling Trust, they are guidelines set by government. The AT did not make them up, they just copied the government guidelines and informed the angling communities under their position of the NGB for angling.
 

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The AT has done a good job here again. The definition of not fishing at night ( 1hr before sunrise until 1hr after sunset) is consistent with France in all public waters including the sea ... unfortunately, I haven’t had any chance to spend any time there in the past 12 month🙁
 

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There still seems to be confusion over the ‘local’ aspect.
Going by the ‘town, village or part of a city’, you would assume that means ONLY those who live in a town or village on the coast?
I do, as it happens, the sea is less than a mile from where I sit, but I wouldn’t think it too unreasonable for someone inland to drive a few miles to the coast?
There are already comments from the local police here that people are acting against ‘the spirit of the restrictions rather than the letter of the law’.
Which frankly is bollix. It’s either law or not. The ‘spirit’ of the law would be laughed out of court.
Once again it’s all far too woolly.

Personally, I plan, when I do choose to go fishing, to stick within a local radius of a few miles. Certainly travelling 30 or 40 miles would be stretching it a bit.
As far as night fishing goes. You can’t stay away from home overnight, but there’s nothing that says when within the 24 hours you can take your exercise.
So in my opinion, I see nothing wrong with fishing from say, 6-10pm.

Have been out and about on plenty of essential errands the past couple of weeks and not even seen a copper yet.
The irony is, if one does stop me, that’s the only person that I would come into contact with during the course of a fishing trip 🙄
 

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There still seems to be confusion over the ‘local’ aspect.
Going by the ‘town, village or part of a city’, you would assume that means ONLY those who live in a town or village on the coast?
I do, as it happens, the sea is less than a mile from where I sit, but I wouldn’t think it too unreasonable for someone inland to drive a few miles to the coast?
There are already comments from the local police here that people are acting against ‘the spirit of the restrictions rather than the letter of the law’.
Which frankly is bollix. It’s either law or not. The ‘spirit’ of the law would be laughed out of court.
Once again it’s all far too woolly.

Personally, I plan, when I do choose to go fishing, to stick within a local radius of a few miles. Certainly travelling 30 or 40 miles would be stretching it a bit.
As far as night fishing goes. You can’t stay away from home overnight, but there’s nothing that says when within the 24 hours you can take your exercise.
So in my opinion, I see nothing wrong with fishing from say, 6-10pm.

Have been out and about on plenty of essential errands the past couple of weeks and not even seen a copper yet.
The irony is, if one does stop me, that’s the only person that I would come into contact with during the course of a fishing trip 🙄
I believe the AT wholeheartedly agrees with your comment but they don't make the rules, government do. As the national governing body for all angling they have a remit to disseminate government instructions to anglers.

Both freshwater commercial venues close to me and both Shoreham Harbour arms are remaining closed. Our boat is finally back in action and it's too rough to take the boat out. Very frustrating, but at least my family is safe. We will all get through this, Covid-19 will soon be a distant memory and we will be back to normal and it will feel all the more special for it.
 

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I believe the AT wholeheartedly agrees with your comment but they don't make the rules, government do. As the national governing body for all angling they have a remit to disseminate government instructions to anglers.

Both freshwater commercial venues close to me and both Shoreham Harbour arms are remaining closed. Our boat is finally back in action and it's too rough to take the boat out. Very frustrating, but at least my family is safe. We will all get through this, Covid-19 will soon be a distant memory and we will be back to normal and it will feel all the more special for it.
Hi Reg, it wasn’t a pop at the AT, just a frustration with the vagueness of the rules (or is it guidelines?)
Appreciate you can only pass on what the government has decided but I find it deeply annoying they couldn’t just stipulate a radius limit, be it five miles or whatever, and make that iron clad law.

As far as Covid goes, my family is probably safer when I go fishing than when I go to the supermarket.

Anyway, I’m not having a go, just venting my opinion really...
 

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Hi Reg, it wasn’t a pop at the AT, just a frustration with the vagueness of the rules (or is it guidelines?)
Appreciate you can only pass on what the government has decided but I find it deeply annoying they couldn’t just stipulate a radius limit, be it five miles or whatever, and make that iron clad law.

As far as Covid goes, my family is probably safer when I go fishing than when I go to the supermarket.

Anyway, I’m not having a go, just venting my opinion really...
Thank you

Yes it is frustrating
 

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Well done to the AT for getting us all the opportunity to do some much needed fishing time during the lockdown, we can all pick away and find faults with the Angling Trust, but make no mistake without them going to the government so quickly we would not be allowed to go fishing now, and wouldn't be going anytime soon either.

There are going to be many further restrictions proposed to our hobby/sport down the road ... More marine conservation zones being one, both beaches and offshore, and sooner or later the issue of livebaiting, this will affect course and sea fisherman alike ... worm, maggots, fish, crab etc anyone who thinks this isn't on it's way is kidding themselves, and the Angling Trust are the only organisation that have any say with the Government, this has just been shown.

I joined when the Government did their quick u-turn two weeks ago as i now realize we are going to need an organisation to represent angling more and more in the future.
 
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