Fish safely, locally and respect the ‘rule of two’ during lockdown

 04 November 2020

Having now examined the government’s new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations the Angling Trust is pleased to be able to offer some initial guidance and interpretation to anglers and fishery providers. Our formal guidelines will be published following further consultation with colleagues at Sport England and DCMS once Parliament has debated the regulations today and passed them into law.

Overall the Angling Trust is pleased that ministers have recognised the value of allowing angling and some other forms of outdoor recreation to continue through the forthcoming lockdown period. However, the new rules are more complicated than we had hoped and anglers should be fully aware of what we can and can’t do in the next 28 days.

How to Fish

The regulations are clear and you can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual. The Rule of Six is now effectively the Rule of Two for most of us. The tightening of the rules on ‘gatherings’ means that match fishing or any other organised fishing event is prohibited by law during lockdown. However, competitive fishing will be able to resume once there is a return to the three tier system of restrictions.

On this basis we can announce that all Angling Trust competitions are suspended for the period covering 5th November – 2nd December 2020.

Where to Fish

Angling is deemed a permissible form of ‘outdoor recreation’, and a lawful reason to leave home. It can take place, without time limits, within the provision allowing people  “to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation”.

A ‘public outdoor space’ is defined as an ‘outdoor place to which the public have, or are permitted, access (whether on payment or otherwise).’ We believe this clearly includes riverbanks, towpaths, beaches and stillwaters that can either be accessed freely or on the payment of a day ticket or subscription levied by the owner or leased to a publicly available fishing association. The government clearly intends for people to be able to take their outdoor exercise and recreation in the form of angling and these regulations allow this to occur.

Fisheries are not on the published list of businesses that the government has ordered to close and there is no reason that they should do so providing that they operate in accordance with the rules

It does not permit club outings or organised amateur sporting activities of any sort. All indoor or social facilities in any way connected with a fishing venue must close or refer to the relevant Government guidance. Fishing tackle shops, whether onsite or not, can only operate a ‘click and collect’ service.

Travelling to fish

Whilst the government have chosen not to write their travel guidance into law we are urging anglers to respect the advice which states that it is permissible to travel in order to:

“to spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)”

Put simply, you can travel to go fishing but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’. Sea anglers should focus on their local beaches and fishing marks and freshwater anglers should not be travelling hundreds of miles in search of fishing during lockdown. It is up to the individual to apply common sense and act within the spirit of the government’s guidance. You absolutely cannot leave home to fish if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.

How long to fish

There are no limits on the time that can be spent on outdoor recreation which means that anglers are able to continue fishing into and through the hours of darkness providing the other rules are observed.

Fishery Management

Essential fishery management work, which clearly cannot be undertaken from home, can continue as can any necessary, socially distanced working parties fall within the provisions for ‘voluntary work’. Appropriate risk assessments must be in place and numbers should be sensibly managed.

Summary

This is going to be an extremely difficult period for everybody and as anglers we must recognise that we are fortunate that our chosen form of recreation can continue even though there are restrictions on what we can do. The Angling Trust made the case for fishing based on the health and wellbeing benefits that angling offers coupled with the importance of reducing pressure on other open spaces by allowing us to continue to safely enjoy the social isolation and peace that fishing brings. It is incumbent on us all to continue to act responsibly and to fish safely, fish locally and respect the Rule of Two.

WHAT OUR CEO SAYS

“We are obviously pleased that fishing can continue during lockdown even with the restrictions that are in place which have temporarily suspended match fishing. Angling has conducted itself safely and responsibly throughout this pandemic and the Angling Trust is determined to ensure that our chosen form of outdoor recreation remains part of the solution rather than the problem. To do this anglers must continue to fish safely, locally and responsibly.” Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO

Results of the CFWAC match held on Sunday 6th Sept.

1st Paul Smith 23lb 1oz peg 20

2nd Steve Bonwick 19lb 3oz peg 4

3rd Jeff Beasley 16lb 3oz peg 22.

Some great catches of quality fish, tench to 5lb 9oz and perch to 2lb 9oz.

There were also good backing weights….

Barry Fowler 13lb 5oz peg 5, Matt Davis 11lb 13oz peg 18.

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Kenn still producing

by Clevedon FWAC on

Head Water Keeper Matt Davis had a good day on the Kenn peg 9. Two big bream, two tench, 25 eels and a small mirror carp. He also hooked another “zoo creature “, second time within a week and broke another rod! He still hasn’t seen whatever he’s been hooking.Do you want to catch the Kenn Monster? Yes…. Then get down there but make sure you tie one end of a rope around a tree and the other end around your waist!

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Kenn on form

by Clevedon FWAC on

River Kenn in great condition at the moment. Today Barry Fowler was on peg 7 and had a lovely bag of fish on the waggler (photo below). Head Water Keeper Matt Davis was on peg 8 and had 40 eels plus broke his rod on a big fish (unseen).

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Trout on the Kenn

by Clevedon FWAC on

Now this is a turn up for the books, a rainbow trout at 2lb 8oz caught from peg 16 on the Kenn, long pole and double red maggot. We suspect it is an escapee from Jacklands Trout Fishery in Tickenham and made its way down the stream and onto Nailsea Moor before finally reaching the Kenn.

Stephen Wills with his surprise catch which was returned.

Young anglers Guy Clement and Connor Smith had a nice session on the Kenn today (9th July). A small carp put in a surprise appearance.

Guy Clement, River Kenn, July
Guy Clement, River Kenn, July
Connor Smith, River Kenn, July.