IT'S the news many anglers have been hoping for - night and match fishing will be able to resume from March 29th.
In a statement from the Angling Trust earlier today, they confirmed 'intense discussions' had taken place with government officials for a return of all forms of angling. Under new Covid guidance for the return of outdoor sports and recreation, night fishing, match fishing and charter boat angling will once again be permitted.
Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said:
"I’m pleased that the multiple benefits that angling delivers have again been acknowledged and that we can all look forward to a return to the angling opportunities we were able to enjoy last summer and autumn.”
The Angling Trust is publishing initial guidelines to help clubs and fisheries prepare for a full return for angling at the end of the month.
Angling Trust Head of Policy, Martin Salter added:
“The return of outdoor sports was fully expected from the 29th March but we had to make sure that the civil servants recognised that match fishing to the Angling Trust guidelines doesn’t constitute ‘a gathering’ and could resume safely.
"Night fishing was always going to be tricky ahead of the promised return of camping on April 12th but I’m pleased that the distinction with ‘fishing into or through the night’ has been recognised and that these anglers can now enjoy the Easter break. Likewise for sea anglers wanting to book a charter boat trip.”
Angling Trust statement on fishing in England from March 29th:
Fishing will remain permitted as outdoor recreation or exercise for up to 6 people, or in a larger group if everyone present is from the same two households. A ‘household’ can include the support bubble linked to that household [if eligible].
Outdoor recreational activities and exercise may take place at night so you may fish into or through the night. There are no time limits on outdoor recreation. However, you may not go on holiday to go fishing or use fishing as a pretext for a camping trip as overnight stays for these purposes remain prohibited until April 12th (Step 2)
Match fishing will be enabled as an organised outdoor sport from March 29th. Organised outdoor sports will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies to ensure appropriate steps, including risk assessments, are taken to make it Covid secure in line with the law. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants - not spectators.
Private boat fishing under the Rule of 6 and charter boats operating in accordance with Covid precautions should now both be allowed. However, where fishing takes place on a partially enclosed boat (eg with a cabin or lounge area) with the exception of the skipper, those outside the household support bubble must not go indoors (except for access to/use of the toilet).
The statutory stay at home restriction will be lifted but the guidance will encourage you to minimise travel outside of your local area. This means avoiding making unnecessary journeys, combining trips and avoiding travel at peak times where possible. People should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to take part in, or during, their activity.
Tackle shops and other ‘non-essential retail’ can fully open at Step 2 (April 12th) but can continue to offer click/call and collect until this point. Fisheries offering self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen at this time.
For more information on the latest regulations visit: Angling Trust