Fishing masks are the safer way for some anglers now

THIS angler is one of thousands of anglers taking extra precautions during the Covid-19 crisis.

Colin Etherington wears a fishing mask

The man in the fishing mask, Colin Etherington, really enjoyed his first trip back on the bank after lockdown restrictions were lifted for angling.

Colin, whose family owned and built the much-admired Wintons Fishery in West Sussex, worked for a fine mixed bag on his first trip back out to a club lake. The catch included this tench (above), roach-bream hybrids to 2 lb and bream.

But why the fishing mask? And will YOU be wearing one at any time on the bank of waters you fish?

Anglers across England – and also now across much of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have been getting back to the waterside.

Staying safe at all times has been a very high priority for anglers and venue controllers.

A few fisheries insist on face-coverings being worn when talking to the bailiff. And many anglers, like Colin, are being extra careful for the course of their session to avoid the nasty and contagious Covid-19 virus.

‘People are thinking that this terrible illness is over’

Colin told Angler’s Mail: “I’m wearing mask for a while as I’m conscious that because we are allowed to go fishing then people are thinking that this terrible illness is over.

“I’d like to respect and remember those that aren’t so fortunate. Also, it is to remind people NOT to come too close to me.

“I’m a very approachable person and consequently a lot of people stop for a chat. I’m going to carry on wearing it for a while.

“I take my hand sanitiser with me, too, so that I’m comfortable getting through pad-locked gates and the like,” added Colin.

And as for his first fishing session, Colin was more than chuffed with his results…

The 51-year-old from Burgess Hill, West Sussex said: “It was a tricky day with a cold north easterly stiff breeze.

“I was on a Haywards Heath DAS club water using pellet and a small feeder fished tight to the emerging lily pads,” he added.

Latest from fisheries as they reopen

Carp have been spawning hard on many waters over the past week, many tench have spawned early, too.

But there’s some great action being enjoyed – plus the sheer pleasure of being back out again.

The expert Angler’s Mail Where To Fish team reveal their pick of the in-form waters in the magazine – check it out.

Wherever you are going fishing next, be sure to check the very latest rules with the venue or controlling club. It’s wise to do so before you travel to avoid disappointment.

Many new rules have been imposed, and some venues now have special booking systems.

Most waters are working closely to the Angling Trust guidance which includes the latest advice below. Social distancing is key.

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