Safety tips for anglers

Thousands of people enjoy fishing along our waterways all year round, rain or shine. When preparing for a day of fishing, it’s important to make sure you’ve considered yours and your group's safety next to the water.

Piccadilly Basin, Manchester Piccadilly Basin, Manchester

Safety tips for anglers

  • check the weather forecast and weather conditions before you go fishing
  • make sure you let someone know where you are going to fish
  • make sure you know exactly where you are – consider something like an OS locate app for a smart phone or a map
  • give friends or partners an idea of when you are likely to return
  • take a fully charged mobile phone and check signal strength, know how to use it and who to call in an emergency
  • double check your fishing spot. Is it safe? For example, riverbanks can erode and just because it was safe one day doesn’t mean that it still is
  • always dress appropriately - sturdy footwear, sun hat in hot weather and warm layers in cold
  • make sure you have a change of clothes and a blanket in case you fall in
  • although it looks shallow, don’t wade in the canal.  The silt can be deeper than you think
  • always take a landing net with you – you don’t want to lift out your catch by hand and fall in
  • take hand sanitiser to use before you eat – veil’s disease

Fishing on a canal

Most of our canals are ideal fishing locations and are as safe as any fishery can be. It makes them great places to learn to fish or for young people to fish in safety. There is virtually always a flat level area close to the waters’ edge which can safely accommodate the angler’s box.

The majority of our narrow canals have shallow water near the edge with perhaps 60cm depth in the margins and maybe 1.5 metres in the central channel. Some of the ship canals such as the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation are much deeper and extra care needs to be taken when fishing on these locations.

Last date edited: 18 June 2018