Coronavirus Update: Coarse match fishing ‘under COVID-19 rules’

Angling Trust submits new plans to get match fishing permitted under COVID-19 rules

The Angling Trust reports: The Angling Trust has been working with leading anglers and fisheries in the match fishing community to gain agreement for competitions to resume in compliance with the Government’s guidance on organised gatherings and sporting events.

Riverfest organiser Dave Harrell, England internationals Steve Ringer and Dean Barlow and Lindholme fishery boss Aaron Grantham are amongst a group of highly experienced match fishing enthusiasts who have been working with the Angling Trust to deliver robust new guidelines to bring competition fishing in line with COVID-19 procedures which, it is hoped, will secure the necessary agreement from Government to allow match fishing to resume as soon as possible.

The current Government guidance states:

The limit on gatherings – no more than two, unless members of the same household – means that it is unlikely to be possible to organise amateur events or competitions at this time. The Government is clear that sports participation should be restricted to participants exercising by themselves, or with members from their same household, or a minimum of two metres apart from one member of another household, observing social distancing guidelines. Venues are advised to display signs to this effect. The police have been given powers to enforce these measures.

Some fisheries have argued that because angling competitions can be arranged without any form of gathering of more than two persons and that individual competitors will always be at 2 metres distance, it is possible to comply with the Government’s coronavirus guidance. The Angling Trust are seeking formal clarification from the Police and Government and have submitted the new best practice guide for match fishing in support of their case.

The Angling Trust best practice document has been presented to Sport England and the Government.

Jamie Cook, Angling Trust’s CEO, said: “We committed to move from phase 1 to phase 2 of our plan as quickly as practically possible. Whilst sports are restricted to participation with no more than one other individual we are confident that angling competitions can be conducted within social distancing guidance and as a result we have worked with the match fishing community to present a blueprint which can offer a compliant return to competitive angling.”

“The Government state that it is unlikely it would be practical to organise amateur events or competitions under the current restrictions. However, we believe we have shown how this is safely achievable and are working on behalf of competition anglers of all disciplines.”

Angling Trust Best Practice Document: WWFA-Competitions-2

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