You must be sure to carry your fishing rod license with you at all times, or you risk a penalty fine of anything up to £2,500. Children fishing under the age of 13 do not require a rod license. Children aged between 13 and 16 can still fish for free but will require a junior rod licence instead.
Landowners, tenets and members of their immediate family living with them are exempt from fishing license requirements for waters on land they own or lease for agricultural purposes.
Types of rod license
There are two different types of rod license:
Trout, coarse fish and eel license
The trout license will permit you to fish for all species of freshwater fish and non-migratory trout. You can pay extra for a 12-month license that will allow you to fish using a three-rod setup, increasing your chances of success.
Salmon and sea trout license
The salmon and sea trout license will permit you to fish for salmon, sea trout and all non-migratory trout and freshwater fish.
If you have a salmon and sea trout license then you will need to report a catch return every year, even if you did not catch any fish. This is easy to do online using the reporting tool on the government website.
Remember to always check with the landowner as they may have different rules about how you are able to fish.
Where to buy a rod license
You can purchase a rod license for 1 day, 8 days or 12 months from your local Post Office branch or by calling the Environment Agency fishing licence service on 0344 800 5386. You will need your national insurance number and a credit or debit card to make the payment. If you are over the age of 65 it is possible to get a discount on the 12-month rod license. Disabled blue badge holders are also eligible for a discount. The money you spend on a fishing rod license goes towards improving and protecting local fisheries, so is beneficial for all anglers who contribute.