Here’s when you could be able to go fishing again - and how to keep your tackle in good condition

By Helen Johnson
Monday, 11th May 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 11:58 am
If you regularly partake in a spot of fishing, you may be eager to get back out on the open water or riverbank again (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you regularly partake in a spot of fishing, you may be eager to get back out on the open water or riverbank again.

But with the UK still under lockdown, when will the public be able to fish?

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Here’s everything you need to know.

When will I be able to fish again?

According to the Government's new lockdown rules, angling and water sports are allowed to resume in England from Wednesday (13 May).

If you are planning to go fishing in lakes or the sea you must be within your own household and two metres from other households.

However, outdoor swimming pools, indoor swimming pools, and gyms remain closed for the foreseeable future.

But the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not replacing the “stay home” message with Johnson’s new “stay alert” slogan.

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has ordered those in Scotland to follow different advice on outdoors exercise.

Although this will now be unlimited, Sturgeon said there must be “no sunbathing, picnics or barbecues”, which is in contrast to Johnson’s new advice.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said that Wales would allow more frequent exercise and the opening of garden centres, but that said schools will not reopen from 1 June.

Is fishing allowed in other European countries?

This report sets how recreational fishing could be permitted, alongside drawing on experience in other European countries including Germany, Holland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Norway.

Angling has been allowed to continue in these countries under certain conditions during the pandemic.

On 4 May angling resumed in Belgium, and many countries have now also announced timetables for lifting restrictions on activities that allow social distancing to continue, such as fishing.

The Angling Trust explains that Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has already confirmed to MPs that ministers are actively considering how low risk outdoor activities such as angling and golf might be permitted in the first phase of easing restrictions.

How can I prepare to fish again?

The Angling Trust has launched a new Fishing Buzz website which has lots of angling news, advice, tips and videos to keep the whole family entertained.

With regards to staying at home during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, Angling Trust says, "We must all do what is required of us by the Government and work together to fight this pandemic. Therefore until further notice we should all refrain from fishing. This is about saving lives and supporting the NHS.”

The EA has also advised on other ways that keen anglers can keep busy and prepare for when they can head back out to fish again.

“First up, take some time to get your tackle into top condition so you’re ready to go when we can return to the bankside and enjoy our favourite pastime again,” adds the EA.

They advise thoroughly cleaning and drying fishing nets and gear in order to ensure diseases and invasive species are removed to help to protect waterways and fish stocks.

They also advise disposing of old bait and preparing new bait, alongside tying rigs or flies.