Angling in Wales – Green Light for Night Fishing


Following representations by the Angling Trust, Angling Cymru, and others overnight fishing in Wales clarification has finally emerged giving the green light to night fishing.

A letter released by the culture and sports division of the Welsh Government on 11th June, states:

“Any outdoor activity, including night fishing, can now be undertaken as long as it is local, this generally means within 5 miles of your home, and is in line with the physical distancing restrictions.”

Angling can be practised alone, with your household or with a member of one other household.  Social distancing must be observed. There is no specific guidance on how long an angler can participate for and no restriction on when fishing can take place.

Through our “When We Fish Again” campaign we have agreed a principle with the Westminster government for the safe resumption of angling in England.  Our view is that the same guidance should be applicable in Wales and we are working towards achieving that aim. The current Welsh Government position means anglers in Wales are advised to only fish in a local location. The term “local” does not carry a definitive restriction, though the Welsh Government’s guidance points to it being within five miles of a person’s home. The Welsh Government do however note the need for travel to be reasonable, so in the case that you do not live within five miles of a fishery, it should be deemed reasonable to travel to the fishery closest to your home geographically.

In England, the Angling Trust has been able to secure clarification on certain key points and as the recognised Governing Body have been instructed to interpret guidance for the sport. In Wales that instruction has not been forthcoming so it is harder to give definitive guidance, however, based upon the details available, anglers should be able to fish for as long as they wish provided they are adhering to the terms of any licence required and the rules and/or restrictions of the fishery owner.

Camping is not permitted, however, as we have clarified in England, fishing is not camping and in the Welsh guidance, angling is covered under the section covering sports and exercise. You are not permitted to stop fishing and camp; however, you can continue fishing for an unrestricted period of time.

The Angling Trust will continue to work to align the guidance on angling across both countries and offer an interpretation that we hope will support anglers to adhere to while enjoying their fishing.