It is a common misconception that coarse angling in Scotland is all ‘free.’ The land reform act gives the public the right to roam in Scotland but it does not give people the right to fish, even for coarse species. Permission to fish must still be sought from the land owner. Confusing I know, but not knowing your law can land you in hot water.
To help clear the waters a bit, use the following links to make up your own mind whether or not to fish. This site is by no means a legal certainty, I’m just trying to advise readers on the best course of action when planning an angling trip.
As always, the best course of action if approached is to remain polite, never admit liability and claim you were ignorant of the facts. This approach will not work every time but can be the difference between fishing another day or having all your gear confiscated. Having said all that, if you are caught poaching deliberately, you know you are doing wrong and I generally have no sympathy for you.
Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003
Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003