announcement 

Following the announcement by the First Minister that recreational fishing can recommence from 29th May 2020, Angling Scotland set up this page to both provide advice and guidance for anglers, clubs and fisheries and answer Frequently Asked Questions.

On 9th July the First Minister’s Announced that we would move to stage three of the Routemap. Competitive and recreational angling continues to be permitted in line with approved, discipline specific guidance developed by the three SGBs, and provided that it remains consistent with current Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene.  This guidance will be continuously updated to take account of the latest announcements by the First Minister to ensure the conditions based, safe conduct of angling activity across Scotland.  We therefore encourage all anglers to regularly visit this page of follow our social media pages for the latest updates.

This page was last updated on 16th April 2021 and the linked guidance is effective as at 16th April 2021

Angling Scotland Ltd continues to work with sportscotland and the Scottish Government to ensure that angling in all forms can continue safely through this pandemic. While is it hoped that these extended Level 4 Restrictions will continue to help to get the ‘R’ number back under control, the new strains of COVID that have recently emerged are more infectious and present greater risk of transmission.  We must all therefore continue to follow the FACTS Guidance and pay our part in overcoming this pandemic.  While recent downward trends in infections, hospitalisations and deaths, coupled with the excellent progress with the vaccination program are extremely encouraging, infection levels remain high and there can therefore be no guarantee that restrictions won’t need to be reintroduced in the coming weeks and months. Public health and well-being remains the most pressing priority and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue to suppress the spread of the virus. Therefore, we are still strongly encouraging individuals to only travel as far as is necessary to participate in angling activities. All anglers are asked to follow the guidance in the same exemplary manner as they have throughout this pandemic. If individuals feel in any doubt at all then please interpret the guidance within the spirit of the day and place personal safely and the safety of others as the over-riding priority.

During Phase 3 – Remember FACTS:Face coverings, Avoid Crowded Places, Clean your Hands Regularly, Two meters Distance, Self Isolate and Book a Test if you have Symptoms.
 Download the leaflet below:

Frequent questions

Your questions answered in relation to the guidance for fishing clubs, fisheries, and sea, game and coarse anglers on returning to our sport in Scotland.

Can I travel to my preferred fishing spot?

Under the Government guidance individuals will be permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but are advised to stay within a short distance of their local community and travel by walking, wheel or cycle where possible. 5 miles was stated as a guide, not a fixed distance, but should be considered in decision making. Fishermen are therefore advised to exercise best judgement with respect to travel and to stay as local as possible.

Why do we have to book in advance? (freshwater fisheries)

Fisheries need to know that you are coming in advance to ensure that they can maintain physical distancing – i.e control numbers for capacity reasons. It will also help to keep a record of contact details which may help in future track, trace and isolate steps.

Whose role is it to monitor fishermen and ensure they adhere to the Phase 1 protocols?

It is the individual fisherman’s responsibility to adhere to the laws of the land. Fisheries however must ensure the sport is practised safely and in accordance with the protocol.

Are fishermen exempt from Government public health measures now?

No, fishermen are always expected to observe ALL public health guidance.

Is there a time limit of how long I can fish?

All fisheries are asked to put guidelines and measures in place to manage use of facilities to ensure social distancing at all times. It is a matter for each venue to determine availability / capacity and whether to impose time limits.

Can members of the same household share tackle and fish together?

Yes – provided they live in the same household. You should update a fishery ahead of arrival, and make them aware of the situation.

Can over 70s fish?

Yes – however, members who are in the highest risk (shielding) group outlined by the Government are advised to practise caution and stay away from risk.

Do fishermen need to bring their own hand sanitiser?

It is recommended everyone brings their own hand sanitiser and uses frequently during their fishing session

Can our planned club outing go ahead if we maintain social distancing?

No – not in this phase. The Government guidance only permits individuals to arrange to meet with one relative or individual from another household at a time, and this must be outside and socially distanced. Despite applying the social distancing measures and complying with the travel restrictions, the government does not yet want us meeting in large groups due to the increased risk of spreading the virus. Planning to meet individuals from outside the household therefore breaches this guidance. We would advise everyone to take the opportunity to get out fishing but to do so alone until the restrictions on social gathering are eased further.

When can we fish competitions again?

Competitions will return at a later stage once restrictions on social gatherings are eased further. They are not permitted in this phase. The Government guidance only permits individuals to arrange to meet with one relative or individual from another household at a time, and this must be outside and socially distanced. Despite applying the social distancing measures and complying with the travel restrictions, the government does not yet want us meeting in large groups due to the increased risk of spreading the virus. Planning to meet individuals from outside the household for a competition therefore breaches this guidance.  We would advise everyone to take the opportunity to get out fishing, but to do so alone for the time being. We have developed proposals for the way in which competitions could safely resume under COVID-19 restrictions and will be engaging with Ministers for these to be considered for implementation as soon as it is safe to do so.

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