Allow Angling

Fishing is self isolating. Fishing should be allowed in local lochs and rivers starting with just being able to walk there

Why the contribution is important

Good for physical and mental health

by Charliewhelan on May 05, 2020 at 01:00PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 98 votes


  • Posted by gdr1852 May 05, 2020 at 13:05

    I'm not an angler but agree that the hobby is about as self isolating as it gets - maybe not in fishery ponds but certainly in rivers.
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    Cannot see any reason why people shouldn't restart this activity
  • Posted by Switchqueen May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    If this doesn’t impact on public transport or involve mingling with other households, then it could be safe.
  • Posted by judesayer May 05, 2020 at 13:09

    Agree with above . Having a blanket approach to restriction - same restrictions urban areas and rural areas - a relaxation of rules should be trailed in rural populations given a lesser density of population.
  • Posted by Jimmywaugh May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    A good hobby and usually self -isolating or limited numbers
  • Posted by Monty May 05, 2020 at 13:13

    Absolutely allow it. We hear so much about mental health and yet do little to address the issue. This is a past time which many find relaxing and enjoyable, but like everything else it must be done with consideration to others. No mad exodus from the cities in mass groups, the mind set should be consider others, keep your distance.
  • Posted by Rowboat10 May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    Living in a rural area and with limited walking ability, in order to enjoy this much missed exercise I would need to be able to drive an approximate 3 miles each way. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to have this quality time for my physical and mental health reinstated
  • Posted by NormanCoburn May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    I agree but think all form of angling should be allowed as long as people are not driving huge distances., so a reasonable limit could be set on this. However the angler does need to be able to use their car due to the amount of gear they need. I can see my loch from my house, but I still need to drive the two miles there as carrying equipment would be impractical.
  • Posted by gamebird33 May 05, 2020 at 13:20

    Allow, it is self isolating and helps the rural economy.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 13:20

    Fully support this .
  • Posted by twentyoneforever May 05, 2020 at 13:31

    Not an angler but from what I’ve seen they are many metres apart and for many it’s a solitary sport.
  • Posted by larrymorrison May 05, 2020 at 13:37

    Fishing by it's nature is a self isolating sport with just a few tweaks needed with regards to payment methods.
  • Posted by dvd8n May 05, 2020 at 13:49

    Not an angler but totally agree. No reason why all solo outdoor sports should not resume.
  • Posted by AlexMD May 05, 2020 at 13:57

    I have no problem with angling but as an item on its own, it is a nonsense. If there is to be no golf, no tennis, no opening council car parks, etc, etc, etc. Then there should be no angling.
  • Posted by sy278 May 05, 2020 at 15:12

    unnecessary, has very little exercise benefits
  • Posted by home4now May 05, 2020 at 18:47

    It should be allowed . It's a self isolating sport and brings well over £113 million to the Scottish economy.
  • Posted by cameroia May 06, 2020 at 12:39

    We should allow river fishing for trout/salmon again to allow for exercise and to obtain the mental health benefits. For angling club members, they should be allowed to fish their club rivers as long as they fish alone, and withing a small radius of home (eg less than 5 miles). For day ticket waters, angling should be allowed where it is possible to buy permits online; the beat owners could restrict the number of day tickets to ensure that social distancing is maintained. I don't think we should allow people to travel large distances to fish just yet, as this risks potential spread as people buy fuel, provisions etc
  • Posted by Jaseola May 06, 2020 at 12:47

    It should be allowed, with anglers entrusted to maintain social distancing. Most, if not all angling associations, have rules with regards to anglers maintaining a minimum distance (far greater than two meters) from each other out of angling courtesy anyway.
  • Posted by GavinStevenson May 06, 2020 at 12:55

    given the natural social distancing I would allow fishing to resume, particularly for members of angling clubs where access to rivers can be controlled by the clubs
  • Posted by andrewwill May 06, 2020 at 13:01

    It should be allowed, when fishing never within close proximity like a contact sport. Social distancing can easily be maintained with or without a fishing rod.
  • Posted by Dobby1901 May 06, 2020 at 14:58

    Fishing should be aloud to resume on rivers within say 5 km from there home. This is what Ireland has In place. Social distancing can be adhered to at all times when fishing and is in a open space if on a river , it's good for the mental wellbeing of all involved. Also I do class this as a exercise currently you can walk a dog along a river so I see no difference in holding a lead to holding a rod. Cyclists are allowed to continue to cycle and are far more at risk of being hit by a car or falling off there bicycle , feels like there's no reason fishing can't be resumed adhering to social distancing . Keith Wood
  • Posted by Craiks May 06, 2020 at 15:08

    Angling should be allowed to resume. We are more social distancing than many other things....more so than visiting a supermarket, or DIY store. Plus with angling people will be outdoors enjoying fresh air. As long as huts/ buildings remain closed I can’t see any problems with it.
  • Posted by tony2770 May 06, 2020 at 15:13

    Sea fishing from the shore should be allowed. It’s physical and helps mentally after being stuck at home for weeks. Social distancing will be easily kept in quiet areas were often no one else is around. There are more people walking on local beaches now keeping social distancing and fishing spots can have less people around making it safer. Fishing with others keeping social distancing but travelling separately should be as safe as driving to the shop.
  • Posted by John1960 May 06, 2020 at 15:50

    I am an angler , and agree that fishing could be resumed as it is a safer alternative to some activities which are already allowed , and would help some immensely with their mental well being
  • Posted by CCorbett May 06, 2020 at 15:52

    Of course fishing should be allowed, what better way of self isolation than being alone on the river bank. More people will stay away from DIY shops etc which can only help. The estates and fisheries need to re-open before they financially collapse.
  • Posted by WillietheFish May 06, 2020 at 15:57

    Most times I go fishing I don't see anyone apart from the ghillie. The industry was suffering due to the lack of fish. We need to preserve this as it brings in so much needed revenue to Scotland
  • Posted by alan89 May 06, 2020 at 15:58

    the fishing needs to be reopened not just for physical health but also peoples mental health it is the most socially distanced sport there is and alot of people rely on fishing for time to relax and clear their head and at the moment i think we could all use time to clear our heads
  • Posted by GBatchelor May 06, 2020 at 17:38

    Angling is pretty much a solitary sport and as such should be allowed during this difficult time with people observing social distancing when necessary.
  • Posted by cameronguest95 May 06, 2020 at 18:09

    I think angling shouldn't of stopped, its the best thing for self isolation, especially with mental health, its alot better than going to the shops full of people
  • Posted by KenB May 06, 2020 at 18:31

    Support the allowance of angling. As an angler this sport is relaxing, ties in with social distancing and in general is good for mind and health. There will need to be restrictions introduced for those taking part as there will be should other sports such as golf, tennis be allowed. As an association member we already have rules in place for non interference with other anglers so see social distancing as not being a problem.
  • Posted by Raymondthomson May 06, 2020 at 18:57

    I fish both river and lochs and think both can still be done while maintaing social distancing .it's great exercise great for your mind too . There is more chance getting something from quing to get into shops than from alone on a waters edge
  • Posted by Stewarthenderson76 May 06, 2020 at 20:17

    Social distancing is never a problem when fishing and with the benefit to physical and mental health it would make sense that this is one of the first activities to be allowed again.
  • Posted by Goneploppin May 06, 2020 at 20:59

    Allow angling on rivers and lochs, it is by its nature a self isolating pastime with incredible benefits to the participants , Paticularly the physical and mental well being of the angler. not to mention the economy ,🐟
  • Posted by lurch May 06, 2020 at 21:44

    The recently announced Irish approach makes a lot of sense, first locally within 5 miles then farther afield. I do normally fish regularly. we can get a bit tetchy when people get near us on the river. When I say close I mean within 50 metres.. Anyone who says it not excercise needs to try and wade against the river current for an hour or so, they will soon change their minds.. As for mental health I find it the best method possible to clear my mind, a sensible, staggered approach would be most welcome. This is the best month to fly fish right now, please consider it. Police and regulating boards/ bailiffs are montoring rivers as it is to deter poaching or fising as it is. Keep this presence to a degree to monitor it is being practised in a healthy manner, 90% of anglers will respect any regulations. Many people will benefit greatly if they can safely do a days fishing, as it is some rivers are giving back permit money collected. Many small associations run on a volunteer basis and don't make any profit, these will suffer badly from the lack of permit sales. I think for many reasons it's a good idea to open up the rivers again
  • Posted by lurch May 06, 2020 at 21:46

    If normal fisherman/women and baliffs are back out on the river, poachers are less likely to be around. Would save resources by not needing police monitoring, win win situation
  • Posted by Angling_Al May 06, 2020 at 22:29

    Fishing is my main hobby and activity, also my main form of exercise I need it to be re-opened for my mental health and physical health, its my escape from life and working, it's the best form of social distancing as you need at least a rod length between casting anglers, plus we wore masks and gloves before they were cool.
  • Posted by RoryKennedy May 06, 2020 at 23:01

    Let’s have some common sense - sports like fishing and deer stalking are inherently based on isolation. There is virtually no contagion risk if carried out following commons sense principles. If there is no reason for a restriction then it’s not a public health measure, it’s a pointless abuse of civil liberties.
  • Posted by Teamg May 07, 2020 at 06:23

    Angling is a sport of solitude, so by its very nature you are already social distancing. The sport also allows for fresh air and exercise so has both physical and mental health benefits. There is no scientific reason as to why this ban should not be lifted.
  • Posted by Ewangoil May 07, 2020 at 07:49

    Angling should be allowed on your local waters only within an agreed radius of your home.
  • Posted by DawsonHenderson May 07, 2020 at 08:51

    Naturally self isolating. Fishing within a limited radius of home should be allowed. Some consolidation of the ideas needs to be undertaken on this site.
  • Posted by jannjulie May 07, 2020 at 09:49

    i think that fishing within a sensible radius of home whilst still social distancing should be allowed. Many anglers live some distance from their fishing locations so it makes sense to allow a reasonable travel radius, starting short and extending over time as evidence is collected. Angling is naturally socially isolating, so if anglers are restricted to fishing alone or only with members of their own household it would be good exercise, good for mental health, and also good for monitoring poachers and others who would seek to take advantage of the current lock-down to steal from rivers and lakes whilst they are empty and unmanned. Many anglers have to travel 25-50 miles to the coast or their chosen lakes/rivers so somewhere on this range would be a good starting point; not many are lucky enough to live within a few miles of their chosen lakes/rivers or the coast. In addition, Scotland's economy also has a vested interest in fishing as a massive tourist attraction beneficial to the economy, employing many people and supporting an infrastructure of accommodation, equipment and food suppliers who are finding times hard, so restarting access to out wonderful rivers and lakes so that they can begin a slow return to work whilst maintaining personal safety and social distancing would be an additional benefit.
  • Posted by CraigH May 07, 2020 at 10:15

    I’ve fished my whole life and it’s the isolation that is the greatest appeal. You can spend a whole day on the river without coming into contact with anyone. If your fishing a beat with say 4 others it would be easy to follow social distancing guidelines. My fingers are crossed that we will be allowed to get back on the rivers soon and we get some rain!
  • Posted by TheUnfamousFly May 07, 2020 at 11:30

    Fishing is exercise for many- I have mild mobility issues myself and it's a great motivator to move- you walk into a fishing spot and can walk miles along river banks and in and out to wild lochs, it's also fabulous for mental health and can be done safely with plenty social distancing. Some rules about going alone and how far you can venture for your piscatorial fix (5-10 miles would seem reasonable to me) need to be laid out and enforced. Loch fishing too can be done safely in boats where either the boat pair are from the same household or boats are restricted to a solo angler and are sanitized between uses. I would add that in areas where dog walkers use rivers and lochs as bathing pools for their pets, it needs to be made clear to them to keep their pets on leads and away from anglers fishing and distancing responsibly.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 07, 2020 at 14:08

    Allow access to our rivers, lochs and coastline where fishing and other outdoor activities can be easily and safely undertaken in accordance with social distancing rules.
  • Posted by KevMack May 07, 2020 at 14:50

    Fishing is about enjoying the outdoors and forgetting about your worries and by its very nature you are already social distancing. Even in the first instance to only allow travel a short distance either by car or only if you can walk or cycle to the local river/loch (could even place a limit on the time you could fish). It would be great if the ban was lifted soon.
  • Posted by Wilsmce May 07, 2020 at 15:40

    Disagree with this. Daresay it may be possible in some places but can assure you that, in my area, it is not possible to socially distance from someone fishing from the riverbank. Only way it could be done here would be to havd fly-fishing only (meaning the angler would actually be IN the river)
  • Posted by Stagdad May 07, 2020 at 17:56

    Loch fishing is or can be a solitary pursuit with clear mental health benefits. It should be allowed subject to being undertaken alone and in local areas only.
  • Posted by angelamcd May 07, 2020 at 21:09

    no ! not a good idea ,why are people not realising there is a pandemic on and how on earth would you control this.
  • Posted by Noblec May 08, 2020 at 06:58

    Thoroughly support a isolated outdoors pursuit
  • Posted by Lockdown_2020 May 08, 2020 at 07:29

    I have a river about 100 yards from my house, why I can't walk to the river myself and do a spot of fishing is beyond me.
  • Posted by Ivor73 May 08, 2020 at 09:14

    Fishing, on river, loch or sea provides excellent outdoor exercise and is usually a solitary activity, so social distancing would not be a problem. After a long time in lockdown I believe the activity of fishing, either alone or with a single family member, would provide a tremendous uplift in both physical and mental health.
  • Posted by MikeJohnston May 08, 2020 at 10:46

    Yes it's all very unfair. The sport of cycling is still allowed, although they can be puffing and panting all over the place.
  • Posted by Inverness May 08, 2020 at 12:55

  • Posted by jurdywul May 08, 2020 at 13:36

    The submission by David Ogg from Angling Scotland @ provides a sensible and fairly comprehensive approach to allowing fishing of all types to resume. This would however mean lifting restrictions on travel to some extent to allow access to most venues. This could be restricted to no more than a 1 hour car journey. For most anglers living in the Central Belt and other major centres of population, this would be sufficient to reach many private and commercial freshwater fisheries as well as the coast. In my case it would be about 20-30 minutes to my club waters. The way most anglers fish does mean they are some distance apart and meeting the current social distancing requirements. I think most freshwater clubs and commercial fisheries could easily set up simple but effective booking times, staggered sessions etc to allow cleaning of boats, keep the numbers of arriving and departing anglers to a minimum and provide plenty of space at boat piers, car parks etc. I think there should also be similar easing of restrictions for most other outdoor activities that don't involve team sports or large gatherings e.g. golf, hill walking, bird watching.
  • Posted by SGAFishingGroup May 08, 2020 at 15:40

    Local angling is something which could potentially be happening now because, providing certain conditions are met, it largely observes the current government advice on social distancing (as of May 8th). If people are to be allowed outdoors longer, as things progress, there are virtually no barriers to the safe reintroduction of local fishing from the river bank. For more detailed thoughts on how this could be introduced by Government safely, see: Not only would this be good for physical and mental wellbeing, it could slowly begin to get at least some money back into fisheries which have been hit hard by the suspension of the 2020 season. Thank you for allowing comments: The SGA Fishing Group.
  • Posted by gduthie May 08, 2020 at 15:41

    I am in full support of the proposal that fishing should be allowed as a form of exercise provided the distance of travel required is limited. I am fortunate enough to be able to walk to my closest available fishing and it is frustrating to be able to walk to the river but not be allowed to fish. Fishing a solitary sport by its nature avoids other people, we seldom come within even 100 yards of another angler so social distancing would be easy. In many places numbers of anglers in one place is limited to for example 3 or 4 over say a mile of the river. The risk here is probably lower than taking daily exercise by walking or cycling and would certainly provide some mental stimulation for the people who are missing their fishing.
  • Posted by erniedavidson May 08, 2020 at 15:56

    You are more than capable of practising social distancing whilst fishing, you have more of a problem doing this when doing the shopping once inside a shop.
  • Posted by KevinP May 08, 2020 at 17:38

    Couldn’t agree more. Probably one of the most self isolation sport/hobby on the list. Benefits significantly outweigh the risks.
  • Posted by nickjktaylor May 09, 2020 at 13:18

    Fishing is exercise. Anyone who has rowed a boat on on off for 12 hours or waded up and down a river in waders carrying gear on them will know. The psychological benefits are enormous. If its acceptable to walk a dog in a park then there should be no difficulty in permitting angling. People also need to remember that fish are grown and stocked; so they need to be placed in fisheries and caught to allow the fish farms and fisheries to continue to operate economically and ensure continuance of facilities after the lockdown and beyond.
  • Posted by samboman May 09, 2020 at 16:44

    Anglers have been "Social Distancing" since Izaac Walton's days, but weren't aware of it.
  • Posted by Scott_Doig May 10, 2020 at 15:31

    I am in absolute agreement with allowing outdoor activities to be permitted again, in particular angling. Angling for most us a solitary sport with little or no contact with others. To see non essential places such as B and Q having permission to reopen and deemed as safe and solitary sports such as angling not permitted is nothing less than ridiculous.
  • Posted by NPC May 10, 2020 at 16:41

    As a doctor, and as a river fisherman, I write in support of opening up angling for its physical and mental health benefits. I am lucky in that I live close to 2 rivers and am a member of the local angling club. I would have to drive to fish but only a few miles and am aware of many others in this area who would benefit also. It is imperative that social distancing and other government messages are strictly promoted and adhered to when people resume fishing. Also there should be clear advice against any long distance travel to pursue fishing, at least in the earlier phases of relaxing the lockdown. As the situation improves with time then further relaxations can be brought in.
  • Posted by Echtman May 10, 2020 at 17:05

    Fully support that fishing be allowed.
  • Posted by TempusFugit May 10, 2020 at 21:02

    I am in absolutely favour of allowing fishing on a river as a form of exercise, Fishing on a river is naturally a solitary activity which is known to benefit mental and physical health & boosts the immune system keeping those that fish fit healthy and away from the NHS. River fishing can easily be undertaken under the current social distancing rules with some promotion . For those that can walk or cycle to the river this form of exercise should be allowed now that the once a day rule has been eased. Some limited local travel by car should also be allowed so not to discriminate against those who would find it difficult to reach the river so they can also benefit.
  • Posted by mikem May 11, 2020 at 10:37

    I very rarely meet anyone else on my syndicate water, and when I do it's not difficult to keep 2m apart. We're all grown-ups so understand the requirement to keep our distance. What we can't understand is why it's OK to walk a dog along a river bank but not OK to fish.
  • Posted by DSinclair May 11, 2020 at 18:46

    I’ve been fishing all my life and feel this is a sport that should be easy to social distance on and therefore think this should restart as soon as possible.
  • Posted by Rolca123 May 11, 2020 at 18:56

    It seems crazy that fishing isn't allowed. Anyone I've ever known who fishes does this as a solitary activity perhaps taking a child along to teach them/spend time together.
  • Posted by paulc May 11, 2020 at 19:04

    Just to add my voice to the above. Great for mental health; by nature angling is self-isolating, and why should we be left behind England on this issue? Petty point scoring comes to mind.
  • Posted by Jerry May 11, 2020 at 19:16

    Going fishing on a river should be allowed it would be so easy to do the social distancing and is a great way to de-stress , keeping it banned just doesn’t make sense I’m sure all anglers are responsible enough to know how to stay safe .
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas