Get Fishing Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for angling events and competitions

Following the Government’s statements about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak the Angling Trust, as the National Governing Body for recreational fishing has the following advice and guidance to staff, volunteers, competitors, stewards and participants organising or attending angling events and competitions.

Like many sporting organisations across the UK, the Angling Trust are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The advice on this page reflects the current Government and NHS position. Because of the continually changing nature of this outbreak, we will update this page regularly and recommend that you check back on this page daily. To be notified about changes to this page via our emails simply subscribe to our newsletter.

Angling is a sport and pastime that takes place outdoors and can be carried out alone or with family members. Now, more than ever, angling can play its part by keeping you and your family active outdoors in the fresh air, while at the same time reducing anxiety and stress associated with the Coronavirus outbreak. If you want to go fishing or if you are running a fishing event or competition we recommend that you follow this advice, which is divided into three sections – please find the part(s) most relevant for you:

  1. General Advice about restricting the spread of Coronavirus
  2. Advice for Organisers, Staff, Volunteers, Stewards and other ‘Administrative Staff’
  3. Advice for Attendees/Competitors

1] General Advice about restricting the spread of Coronavirus

  • Postponement of Events or Cancellation of Competitions
    Event and Competition Organisers should consult with Administrative Staff and volunteers about the feasibility of running your session, match, competition or event according to the advice on this page, given by Government and the NHS. It’s your call – if you need to postpone your fishing event or cancel a competition that the Angling trust or Get Fishing are involved in by way of funding, advertising or promotion, please let us know. Simply email [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch with the right person here to give you advice about what to do next.
  • NHS Advice
    There is advice about Coronavirus at
    The following was taken from that page on 18th March 2020:
    COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus
    Stay at home if you have either:
    1] a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
    2] a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
    IMPORTANT: Therefore, please DO NOT come to events or competitions if you have either of these symptoms. This applies to all Administrative Staff, Participants, Stewards and Competitors. Stay at home!

2] Advice for Organisers of Events and Competitions

  • Groups of Anglers
    Work only with single family groups. When working with competitors, modify your match/competition practices to avoid contact between anglers (for example during weighing in – see notes below). This will assist you to keep hygiene requirements to a high standard and lower the risk of transmission. Matches should be strictly ‘competing angler only’ events, with partners and bank runners not allowed onto site.
  • Meet and Greet
    Avoid handshaking .
    On meeting the participants or competitors for the first time please ask these three standard NHS questions:
    Q1) Have you travelled abroad in the last 14 days?
    Q2) Do you or any of your immediate family have any COVID-19 symptoms? (persistent cough, high temperature, a shortness of breath)
    Q3) As far as you are aware, have you been near anyone with these COVID-19 symptoms?
    If the answer is YES for any of these then please politely decline their participation in the event/competition and recommend that they follow Government advice on COVID-19
  • Participant Data Collection or Competitor Registration
    – Do not to let participants or competitors fill in data collection or registration/entry forms themselves.
    – Best practice is to gather this information via a question and answer process.
    – If this is not possible regularly wipe down pens, clipboards and forms with anti-bacterial wipes
    -Competition anglers using tickets should not pass them to the organiser
    -Any unused/used entry or registration paperwork should be disposed of them in a bin provided for this purpose
  • Session Volunteers and Competition Volunteers, Organisers, Stewards and Staff
    (i.e. this part covers all “Administrative Staff”)
    – All Administrative Staff involved in the event/competition should ideally wear protective latex gloves.
    – If gloves are not available then regularly use anti-bacterial hand sanitiser between contact with each participants or competitor.
    – We always recommend that Administrative Staff involved in an angling event/competition should wear eye protection, because of the inherent risk associated with handling and using fishing rods, line and hooks. During the Coronavirus outbreak, this practice should be extended to include ALL Administrative Staff – this is because the virus can be transmitted through contact with the eyes.
  • Participants and Competitors – hand washing
    Ensure that all participants and competitors should either use the onsite facilities to wash hands (minimum of 20 seconds) or use hand sanitiser before and after their angling sessions/competition.
  • Operational Practice – handling equipment, distancing, facilities weighing-in and other practicalities
    – For angling events, after each individual session you should wipe down the fishing equipment with an anti-bacterial wipe. Pay special attention to the area around the reel and rod or pole handle.
    – Avoid “double pegging” families.
    – Clean peg numbers with an anti-bacterial wipe after each use
    – Wash/clean your  hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser after handling peg numbers, cash, weighing scales or other equipment.
    – Clean weighing-in equipment with an anti-bacterial wipe after each use.
    – At weigh-in, organise the procedure to ensure a space of 2m between competitors and Administrative Staff or volunteers carrying out the weigh-in.
    – This might mean carrying a large weigh-sling or clean, wet tarpaulin (for example) to place the keepnet on to avoid direct transfer from competitor to the Administrative Staff or volunteers carrying out the weigh-in.
    – Keep a distance of at least 2 metres between angling activities/pegs
    – Where possible try to leave access gates/doors open – this avoids contact with entry/exit gates and doors. If this is not possible due to livestock (etc.) then wipe down the gate/door with an anti-bacterial wipe after each use.
    – Money: Any handling of entry or pools money should be kept to a minimum. Ask competitors to bring exact amounts of money. Use the new-style plasticised notes. Consider using a bucket to collect money.
    – For competition/match draws: Employ a “rolling draw” where anglers are able to draw their peg as they arrive and register. To avoid creating crowded areas, immediately after drawing their peg anglers should be asked to move to their peg rather than congregate in groups. Where facilities and conditions allow organisers should conduct the draw in an outdoor environment. If an indoor draw is the only option available, organisers should restrict the number of anglers permitted within the drawing space at any one point in time.
    – For any events or competitions using a results/presentation process, once the event/competition has finished, only those anglers who need to should remain on site (for example section or overall winners). If a participant or winner would like to leave immediately, ensure that you have collected the person(s) contact details, in order to pay any prize money or deliver any prizes after the event. It is important to avoid all physical contact and minimise the duration of any awards, presentation or prize giving.
  • Facility Maintenance
    – Increase the frequency of cleaning, particularly of surfaces that are often touched, such as banisters and door handles.
    – Ensure all toilet facilities are continually topped up with anti-bacterial soap.
    – Ensure all toilet facilities have warm hand-washing water.
    – Provide hand sanitiser in addition to soap and anti-bacterial wipes whenever they can be sourced.

3] Advice for Attendees at Events and Competitions

  • Event Time-Slots
    If you have pre-booked the angling session please only attend at your allotted time – this will reduce overcrowding on site
  • Handling Fishing Equipment
    When you touch fishing equipment it might have been used by a previous participant or competitor. Make sure the equipment has been sanitised before you/your family handle it.
  • Spacing and Distancing
    Because it’s a new illness, the NHS do not know exactly how Coronavirus spreads from person to person. However, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. You can reduce the risk of transmission by staying 2m away from other people.
  • Sanitiser and Hand Washing
    Wash your hands regularly and after contact with people and equipment or surfaces. Use soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available then use hand sanitiser.
  • Your Age
    Currently, Coronavirus appears to have more significantly damaging health outcomes for elder people. If you are over 70 please do not attend events or competitions.
  • Your Health
    If you are over 70 please do not attend events or competitions. NHS advice says that you may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with Coronavirus “if you have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine,, are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy, have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia), have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma or have another serious health condition.

Any Questions?
Please contact [email protected]

Issued by:
Angling Trust Competitions Team
Angling Trust Participation Team

Angling Trust, Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
0343 5077006 | [email protected]

You might also be interested in…

You might also like