Angling correspondent on ‘when will we fish again?’

By John Sherlock, our angling correspondent

When we fish again!

With six weeks of lockdown now complete we are all looking for a semblance of normality in our lives whether it is returning to work or making full use of our leisure time.

I have been following social media quite closely and know that I along with many others are longing to be out with the fishing rods again, of course only when safe to do so.

Along with Boris Johnson’s comment about us seeing light at the end of the tunnel comes the news that the Angling Trust has been consulting leading names in the sport along with parliamentary supporters and produced a document suggesting guidelines for a phased return to angling.

The Angling Trust believe that angling is important for our health and wellbeing and has given reasons why it is important for angling to be permitted as and when measures are relaxed.

Angling is naturally self-isolating and social distancing and the government’s own scientists advise that relaxing these types of activities are unlikely to result in a rise of the infection rate.

Remember, these are only suggestions, we must not go fishing yet. A phased return could follow these suggested lines:

Phase 1 Angling to be undertaken alone and in a location that is local to you. Sea Angling from beach and shore to be allowed along with small scale private boat fishing. No sharing of fishing positions or tackle and no Keepnets or competition fishing. Online and electronic payment only for day ticket fisheries where possible and no opening of other facilities such as cafes and clubhouses. Obviously freshwater anglers need to be in possession of a relevant Environment Agency Licence and any government guidelines regarding symptoms of Covid 19 must be followed.

Phase 2 This would be subject to ongoing government advice. Private and guided boat fishing to return along with some limited charter boat fishing. Competition fishing and shared facilities to be restarted if possible. Social distancing should still be followed.

These are only brief details taken from the Angling Trust’s document. The full document can be seen on their website. Keep safe!