Advice for individual anglers
This is our dedicated area for individual anglers. We’ll post all our latest guidance around staying safe whilst fishing here as well as updates around the hundreds of events and competitions we manage that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Do the current government restrictions still allow me to go fishing?
No. We must all do what is required of us by the Government for the benefit of our own health and that of our communities, and we should therefore refrain from fishing and work together to fight this pandemic and save lives.
We strongly recommend that all fisheries remain closed in order to comply with the current restrictions on ‘non-essential travel’ and permissible reasons for leaving home.
These now have the force of law under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020
Currently the restrictions are as follows:
People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
- one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
The Government have made it clear that angling is not currently categorised a permitted exercise and travelling to go fishing is not allowable. The police can now issue fines for being outside without good reason.
The Government’s own fisheries and aquaculture agency, CEFAS, has issued the following guidelines in respect of recreational fishing:
“The requirements on social distancing mean you should not be leaving your house in order to go fishing recreationally.”
This is fully supported by the Environment Agency.
Both Sport England and the Government have made it clear that all outdoor sporting activity should cease and all the major governing bodies have issued advice accordingly, including the Angling Trust.
However, the Angling Trust is working on a set of guidelines for recreational fishing that we will be putting to ministers, once the virus has peaked, that could be applied when relaxing the rules to allow certain, largely solitary activities to resume. We will publish these in due course.
Until the situation changes the strong advice is not to fish but to STAY SAFE, STAY HOME, SUPPORT THE NHS and help SAVE LIVES.
Competitions & other events
Are your competitions still running?
The Angling Trust and partners have taken the decision to postpone all competitions up to and including 18th April 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This decision includes scheduled Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers.
This summer’s Fish ‘O’ Mania final has been postponed and will now take place on Saturday, August 29th, starting at 11:30am at Hayfield Lakes, Doncaster.
We hope that this will allow the postponed Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers to be re-arranged, ensuring a full schedule of 18 UK qualifying matches can take place.
The new Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifying schedule, along with information on how to transfer or refund your qualifier entry ticket, can be found here.
The Angling Trust will continue to carefully monitor the situation and update anglers.
Who can I speak to about a competition I have entered?
All ticket holders for postponed events will be guaranteed spaces for the re-arranged dates.
Ticket holders with questions should contact Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 822 4519.
What about your other events such as Get into Fishing and Regional Forums?
We have taken the decision to postpone all events up to and including 18th April 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
We will notify those on our distribution lists via email as well as through social media about changes to this on an ongoing basis.
You can always check back here for our latest guidance.
Our latest updates
Sport England Community Emergency Fund to provide financial support for community sport organisations including angling clubs.
More information about the Self Employment Income Support scheme and how to make a claim.
Our FAQs for clubs, fisheries and other angling organisations have been updated and now includes a downloadable Accreditation Form for club bailiffs and volunteers.