‘Watch out there’s a bailiff about’

Dear members, I just wanted to take the opportunity to update you on some of the work our bailiffs have been doing in highly challenging circumstances during the past 12 months and a word about how bailiffs presently  go about their duties with the current lockdown restrictions in place. The pandemic appears to be at its peak, so whilst we want to protect our fisheries, we also want to protect lives.

 We would all probably agree that this last year has been one of the most demanding and difficult many people have faced in their lifetimes and all parts of our lives, even fishing, have been affected by it.  The effects of the pandemic are all widely known and many activities have been restricted, but whilst fishing has been allowed to continue, our volunteer BAA bailiffs have carried on their work, looking after our fisheries across the Midlands.  The majority of our bailiffs have been out patrolling throughout this period either as a form of daily exercise and in some cases carrying out maintenance and security work as allowed under the regulations and it is to their credit that well over 4000 visits have been made to fisheries and over 8000 membership checks conducted by them.  Only around 4% of those checked were not BAA members.  This is by any standards a fine effort by our volunteers, especially against the backdrop of the Coronavirus health crisis, but whilst we applaud the work of the bailiffs, you may wonder what precautions are in place to keep everyone safe.

 Firstly, our primary concern has always been the welfare of our bailiffs and our members and there has been no expectation that bailiffs go on fishery visits if they don’t feel comfortable about leaving home and engaging with other people, so all bailiffing has been willingly and voluntarily carried out.  Secondly, to avoid the spread of the virus, all bailiffs have been instructed not to handle membership cards or physically touch any property belonging to members unless it cannot be avoided.  If you are checked, the bailiff should maintain a 2-metre distance between you both and it would be helpful if you could show your membership card clearly so it can be visually inspected.  Additionally, bailiffs have been given appropriate advice including the ‘hands-face-space’ rule which includes maintaining hand hygiene as much as possible. Finally, the Association encourages all bailiffs and members to take a COVID test if they develop symptoms and if the result is positive, to stop going fishing or bailiffing and to self-isolate immediately.

 We have achieved much over the past year, doing our bit to keep our fisheries safe against all the odds, so let’s all keep it that way and play our part by sticking to the rules, only fishing locally and supporting our bailiffs by complying with their requests to see your membership card in a safe and socially distanced way.

 Tight lines everybody and of course stay safe!


Kevin Pearson

Superintendent Bailiff

Birmingham Anglers’ Association








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