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Medlar has been publishing fishing books since 1994 and we are proud to have produced works by many of the finest angling writers. In our Blog we’ll give you an insight into the new books we’re working on, provide the occasional extract from our Books of the Week, author news, book reviews and loads of angling snippets (from how to fish to fishing history, fishing tackle, great angling literature and much more).

No Fishing

Jon Ward-Allen
Stacks Image 1132

No Fishing

Jon Ward-Allen

As the Covid crisis deepens, the Government have once again introduced a lockdown to England, and fishing is among many sports and pastimes to be shut in accordance with the new rules. Here's what the Angling Trust have to say in a statement issued on the 5th of January by CEO Jamie Cook:
'The regulations have now been published and confirm this evening’s message from the Cabinet Office that the Government have taken the decision that fishing will not be permitted during this national lockdown period. Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place; to help save lives and support the NHS.

'Individuals should not go fishing from midnight tonight (5th January) and clubs and fisheries should close their waters to anglers. We will be publishing more detailed guidance on specific areas like bailiffing and fishery maintenance once the Government regulations have been examined.

'Over the past few weeks we have been in communication with the Government at the highest possible level. We have presented a strong case on how fishing could continue safely during the third national lockdown. We have explained that fishing benefits physical health and mental wellbeing and that it is regularly the only form of activity individuals undertake. You can read our representations to Cabinet Ministers here.

'My team and I have consistently presented the arguments ahead of the changing government guidelines, which have allowed fishing to remain permitted continuously since the first national lockdown was lifted in May. We have been successful when other sports have not as all anglers will know.

'However, with 60,000 new infections announced today, the Government have taken the decision that leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period.

'I thank you for your support and for being a credit to our sport. As members, you can rest assured that the Angling Trust will continue to represent our sport at the highest level and will present proposals for the resumption of angling when it is safe and sensible to do so. We will come through this period of national crisis. We will fish again, but until then, please, stay safe.'
To keep abreast of the crisis, the Angling Trust have set up a very informative Support Hub, which can be accessed here. Of course, things are not so simple over the whole of the UK. In Scotland the following guidance was issued on January 5th:

Fishing in Scotland - Scottish Government Guidance

The latest restrictions were imposed by the Scottish Government from the 5th January 2021. The First Minister noted the importance of outdoor activities for physical and mental health during lockdown.

Local outdoor recreation is considered an appropriate reason for leaving home and the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

Outdoor non-contact activities like walking, cycling and golf are allowed, as is angling (provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households). Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number. Fishing competitions, club outings or group meetings etc. are not permitted under the current restrictions.

Full details, together with links to further guidance, can be found by clicking on the link
The current guidelines for Wales (taken from the Fishing in Wales web site) are as follows:
Fishing In Wales COVID-19 Guidance

Coronavirus lock-down rules in Wales are different to England.

Maintaining physical and mental well-being is important, but if you are fishing in Wales please follow and respect the Welsh Government coronavirus regulations and guidance.
A Welsh alert level 4 lock-down has been announced. This came into effect at midnight 19th December and will continue until further notice, reviewed every three weeks.

During the level 4 alert people will be expected to stay at home with travel only allowed for essential reasons. Non-essential businesses will have to close. Therefore, during the alert level 4 lock-down travel to go fishing in Wales and travel to and from England to go fishing will be restricted.

Exercise (including fishing) will be allowed, either alone or with members of your household. However according to the Welsh Government regulations exercise should start and finish at home:

”Your exercise should start and finish from your home and generally, this should not involve people driving to a location away from home. However, we recognise that some people, such as those with specific health or mobility issues, may need to travel from their home in order to exercise.”

Effectively this means you should walk or cycle to the venue only, unless disability prevents you from being able too.

More information on exercise, outdoor activity and angling during an alert level 4 lock-down can be found

Key points for anglers:

1. Anglers resident in Wales can go fishing, if you can walk or cycle to a local venue (provided it is open and the species you intend to fish for are in season)

2. Anglers cannot drive to a venue, unless disability prevents you from being able to exercise without driving to somewhere suitable.

3. You should fish alone or with a member of your household only.

4. Non-essential businesses will close during this time, so expect fisheries that are run as businesses and tackle shops to be closed during the level 4 alert.

5. Outdoor meetings are banned, therefore no angling competitions should take place in Wales.

6. Welsh Anglers should not travel to England to fish, or take part in competitions in England.

7. Anglers from England should not travel into Wales to fish or go on an angling holiday during the level 4 alert lock-down.
Fishing In Northern Ireland

The NI Executive have introduced additional coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland (NI) to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the Health Service. The angling restrictions on the site are a bit ambiguous to say the least - I couldn't really make head nor tail of it. Nothing seems to have been updated since the 26th of December, so I'm not sure what now applies! Before you go fishing though, please check for the latest Northern Irish Government information here.

Remember, if all else fails you could stay at home and read a fishing book . . .
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