The good news is that children under 13 do not need a licence and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free!
If you are over 16 you'll need to purchase a rod fishing licence to fish legally in England, Wales and the borders Esk region of Scotland.
The licence fees enable the Environment Agency to carry out projects such as stock surveys, improving fish stocks and waterways and promoting the sport to a wider range of people. It's also used to fund work to maintain, improve and develop fisheries, fish habitats and angling, all to ensure that fishing has a future and nature has a home.
When starting out on the bank, there is a choice to make; do you want to fish with a traditional rod setup, or a pole? Both require a little bit of thought, a road obviously requires a reel and line, but in terms of setup it is very straight forward, almost self-explanatory.
Whereas a pole is a little bit more complex to setup, you will need to choose an elastic that you feel comfortable with, one of our Angling Direct colleagues in-store will be more than happy to help with this, some of our stores also offer an elastic service.
However, once setup, a pole is probably easier to use – there isn’t a lot in it, both are relatively straightforward, but you need to make a choice either way, this will likely depend on what species you are targetting, if its bigger carp you’re after opt for a rod and reel, if you’re happy catching silvers and F1s on a match venue, opt for a pole.
There are many different types of line that you could purchase to load your reel with including braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon.
As a beginner it's important you match the line or braid that you're using to the species and size of fish you are targeting, for the beginner we’d recommend the use of monofilament on your spool as it covers numerous fishing situations.
As a general rule if you are targeting small species like roach, rudd and perch then you’d be best to use a line with breaking strain of up to 4lb, giving you the strength to land small fish but also the odd bigger one if they come along.
Insert waggler floats are best for beginners as they are suitable for a range of weather conditions, offering better visibility in choppy water, also when fishing at range or into shaded areas.
These floats wont drag under too easily, especially when fishing over-depth.
Split shot are essential to set your float correctly so that you can see when you have a bite. Too little and the float wont stand in the water, too much and your float will disappear under water.
All floats will have a guide printed on them to help you with the amount of shot and weight of shot required.
Hooks come in two forms, on their own and already tied to nylon - which is perfect for the beginner. It cuts out the need to know how to tie multiple knots. All you need to do is attach the hook to nylon to your mainline.
Sharp hooks are important to ensure you don't lose your catch!
Plummets help to gauge the depth of water that you'll be fishing in.
Correct use will allow you to present your bait perfectly, whether it be on the bottom or mid way up the water column.
Your bait is important, without it you’re going to struggle to get a take.
There are lots of different types of bait available for the beginner angler, each of which is designed to attract a different species, be used in a different manner, or be perfect for different water conditions.
To keep it simple and catch your first fish, bait like pellets, maggots, sweetcorn & luncheon meat will guarantee you a bite.
Our website sells all bait except fresh maggots which are available in-store only, so why not pop in on your way? Our staff are also more than happy to give you any last minute tips or advice you may need.
An important piece of fish care tackle, the disgorger. If you haven't hooked the fish but the lip, chances are you'll need one!
Used to safely remove hooks that have ingested your bait, these ensure the hook is removed safely and quickly to minimise any stress to the fish.
Land those fish safely and easily with a landing net and extendable handle. Most fisheries require the use of landing nets.
It saves the fish and you any unnecessary stress, imagine having your new PB sitting next to the bank with no way to land it, then having it get loose and swim off!
Unhooking a fish isn't always as simple as it sounds, and it is important to have a safe surface on which to rest your fish whilst you negotiate the hook from its mouth.
Instead of your catch flapping around on gravel, mud or foliage, give them the care they deserve.
As much as we'd like to think we'll be on our feet all day at the bank, reeling in catch after catch, unfortunately this isn't the case – for any of us.
Sure, the bank side might be pleasant enough to sit on for a one off summer afternoon, but the rest of the time we think you'll probably be after something a little more comfortable.
Do your body a favour and invest in a chair or seatbox, you'll enjoy your fishing sessions more, and the nature that comes with. The bonus of a seatbox is it's also the luggage for your other tackle.
Whatever the question, whatever the focus we’re here to help you navigate the world of angling.
If you're looking for some tips & tricks or inspiration, check out our ADTV channel