Chippenham Angling Club

Fishing Update


As from the 13th of May 2020 the fishing lakes will reopen.

There will be some additional rules that all anglers

MUST adhere to.

Please read the below statement from the Angling Trust.

The lakes will be regularly monitored by bailiffs.

The Government guidance rules set in place could change at any time.


Advice for individual anglers from the Angling Trust

Phase 1


You should travel to fishing venues on your own or with members of your household – abide by current guidelines on social distancing whilst fishing.



Maintain a distance of 15 metres from other anglers whilst fishing.



Only travel based on what is allowed under current Government guidelines.



Many clubs & fisheries are using booking systems. Check you are permitted to fish before travelling. Fishing without permission is illegal.

Any changes will be updated on Chippenham A.C website.



Pay careful attention to club & fishery notices – if you are unsure speak to a venue for guidance.



Use hand sanitiser before & after touching locks, gates etc. Disposable gloves are recommended.



No sharing of fishing tackle or other items under current guidance.



Do not leave home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and follow Government advice on self-isolation.



No sharing of fishing positions / pegs except by members of the same household.


Please make sure you leave space between others.

If the lakes are full please leave and try another day


UPDATE – November 4:


Having now examined the government’s new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations the Angling Trust is pleased to be able to offer some initial guidance and interpretation to anglers and fishery providers. Our formal guidelines will be published following further consultation with colleagues at Sport England and DCMS once Parliament has debated the regulations today and passed them into law.


Overall the Angling Trust is pleased that ministers have recognised the value of allowing angling and some other forms of outdoor recreation to continue through the forthcoming lockdown period in England. However, the new rules are more complicated than we had hoped and anglers should be fully aware of what we can and can’t do in the next 28 days.


How to fish


The regulations are clear and you can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual. The Rule of Six is now effectively the Rule of Two for most of us. The tightening of the rules on ‘gatherings’ means that match fishing or any other organised fishing event is prohibited by law during lockdown. However, competitive fishing will be able to resume once there is a return to the three tier system of restrictions.


On this basis we can announce that all Angling Trust competitions are suspended for the period covering 5th November – 2nd December 2020.


Where to fish


Angling is deemed a permissible form of ‘outdoor recreation’, and a lawful reason to leave home. It can take place, without time limits, within the provision allowing people  “to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation”.


A ‘public outdoor space’ is defined as an ‘outdoor place to which the public have, or are permitted, access (whether on payment or otherwise).’ We believe this clearly includes riverbanks, towpaths, beaches and stillwaters that can either be accessed freely or on the payment of a day ticket or subscription levied by the owner or leased to a publicly available fishing association. The government clearly intends for people to be able to take their outdoor exercise and recreation in the form of angling and these regulations allow this to occur.


Fisheries are not on the published list of businesses that the government has ordered to close and there is no reason that they should do so providing that they operate in accordance with the rules


It does not permit club outings or organised amateur sporting activities of any sort. All indoor or social facilities in any way connected with a fishing venue must close or refer to the relevant Government guidance. Fishing tackle shops, whether onsite or not, can only operate a ‘click and collect’ service.


Travelling to fish


Whilst the government have chosen not to write their travel guidance into law we are urging anglers to respect the advice which states that it is permissible to travel in order:


“to spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)”


Put simply, you can travel to go fishing but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’. Sea anglers should focus on their local beaches and fishing marks and freshwater anglers should not be travelling hundreds of miles in search of fishing during lockdown. It is up to the individual to apply common sense and act within the spirit of the government’s guidance. You absolutely cannot leave home to fish if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.


How long to fish


There are no limits on the time that can be spent on outdoor recreation which means that anglers are able to continue fishing into and through the hours of darkness providing the other rules are observed.


Fishery management


Essential fishery management work, which clearly cannot be undertaken from home, can continue as can any necessary, socially distanced working parties fall within the provisions for ‘voluntary work’. Appropriate risk assessments must be in place and numbers should be sensibly managed.




This is going to be an extremely difficult period for everybody and as anglers we must recognise that we are fortunate that our chosen form of recreation can continue even though there are restrictions on what we can do. The Angling Trust made the case for fishing based on the health and wellbeing benefits that angling offers coupled with the importance of reducing pressure on other open spaces by allowing us to continue to safely enjoy the social isolation and peace that fishing brings. It is incumbent on us all to continue to act responsibly and to fish safely, fish locally and respect the Rule of Two.







COVID 19 restrictions as of 6/10/2020




Running Competitions

Competitions will be permitted on all waters where social distancing guidance can be adhered to. This would include commercial fisheries, canals, rivers and lakes.

All competitors will fish on allocated “pegs”. It is the organisers responsibility to ensure that these pegs are appropriately spaced to ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times


Booking in and payment of pools

Anglers should "book on" to a competition as per the organiser’s instructions, usually in advance by phone.

Pools and peg fees should be paid as stipulated by the organiser. Please see Payout section.

Travel / Arrival to venue

Competitors should travel in accordance with current Government guidelines only. On arrival at the venue vehicles should pay strict attention to signage and park under the instructions of the fishery/organiser.

On leaving the vehicle, strict social distancing measures must be adhered to at all times maintaining a minimum of 2 metres apart. No physical greetings handshaking etc. to take place.


The Draw

The draw should be held in accordance with the organiser’s pre-stated process to ensure social distancing is maintained

Where an on-site draw is necessary, to comply with rules on organised gatherings the draw should take place outside conforming to the rules on social distancing.

If using a “raffle style” approach it is recommended that the organiser should be the only person to draw.

When a peg is allocated the angler should immediately make their way to the fishing location as normal.

The draw will will now be a rolling draw starting at 8am. This will help keep the numbers down at anyone time at the draw. Anyone who is not there after the advertised time for the draw in the licence will not be aloud to fish.

Please wear face masks at the draw.



Keepnets and Weigh in

Keepnets are permitted for use in competitions and should be used in accordance with the local fishery rules. Check fishery rules for permission to use if pleasure fishing.

At the end of the competition competitors will be expected to remain at their pegs until the weighing official arrives. Strictly no anglers are permitted to follow the scales.

The use of a self-supporting weighing sling where the angler and the weighing official maintains a two-metre distance at all times. Anglers should remove their keepnet themselves and transfer the fish into the weigh sling without breaching social distancing guidance (weigh slings of a self supporting design achieve this). The angler must then step away to allow the weighing official to come in and weigh the fish. The weighing official then calls the weight and the anglers must agree that they are happy with it. The weighing official then returns the fish to the water. The process is then repeated if several weighs are required. Social distancing guidelines (ie. 2 metre rule) should be obeyed at all times.

Once weighed in the angler will pack up and return directly to their vehicle. In order to avoid breaching Government rules on organised gatherings special attention should be made to the announcement of results at the end of the match.



The match organiser should consider posting results online for competitors to view.


Cash will be excepted but must be placed in the bucket that will be provided.

Social distancing must be observed at all times.


Bring the correct money NO change will be available

£10 for club matches and £20 for opens


These are strict rules and if anyone is found to be breaking them

they will be asked to leave the fishing match.

No refund of pools will be given.


All above subject to Government guidelines








Chippenham Angling Club COVID-19