THE government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust, who promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing, especially during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

They have been able to present a case to which the government have listened. On this basis, fishing will now be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.

The DCMS confirmed the following: “Fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local (within your village, town or city), gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors.”

This has also been confirmed by DEFRA, who said: “Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling/fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”

The Angling Trust said: “We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted.

“With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.”

They continued: “This is a strictly limited resumption of local fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since last May.

“We are in a national lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.

“The government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.

“Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.

“The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.

“To remain within the law you should follow the government’s guidance, and only fish locally.

“If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.

“We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.”