An Angler’s Guide to Getting a Fishing Licence UK

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An Angler’s Guide to Getting a Fishing Licence UK


Buying a fishing licence is quick and easy and will encourage more anglers to fish safely and legally. Whether you are new to angling or want to renew your licence for another year, why not get all the fishing documents ready now for when you hit those banksides?

This ultimate angler’s guide to Fishing Rod Licences will answer the common queries beginner and returning anglers deal with when purchasing a licence so that they can legally fish in the UK.

What is a Fishing Rod Licence?

A rod fishing licence gives you the legal right to use a fishing rod or pole in the UK. Up until recently, your fishing licence was only available as a physical card but you can get digital copies now too. 

Your rod licence will display the expiry date, the type of fish you are allowed to fish for and the number of rods that are covered to use by the licence.

You Need a Fishing Licence If…

You need a rod fishing licence if you are aged 13 or over and you want to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line anywhere in England (except the River Tweed), Wales and the Border Esk region of Scotland.

The need for a rod licence applies when fishing all waters, including commercial, privately owned or club fisheries.


Do you need a rod licence for private lakes?

Fishing Licence for Carp RodsFishing Licence for Carp Rods

Not only do you need the correct type of rod licence for fishing on a private lake but you will also need the permission of the lake owner to fish there and possibly a day ticket, season ticket or the requirement of local fishery membership.

Types of Fishing Licences:

There are a few options when it comes to selecting your rod licence and it can be a little confusing if you are brand new to angling. 

Carp Team England’s manager; Rob Hughes answers questions like 'Do you need a licence for sea fishing?' and 'What is the best licence for carp anglers?' in the video below! 



Be sure to register how many fishing rods you use AND the type of fishing you plan on doing, whether it be carp, coarse or salmon fishing.

There are two main types of Fishing Licence in the UK: 

1. Trout, coarse fish and eel licence

2. Salmon and sea trout licence


With the correct rod licence, you can enjoy your freshwater fishing.



What Restrictions Apply When Fishing for Salmon in the UK?

If you purchase the salmon and sea trout fishing licence, you must follow the fishing restrictions set by the Environment Agency.


Fishing Licence GuideFishing Licence Guide

How Long Does A Fishing Rod Licence Last?

There is much more than just an annual rod licence, for those that only like to fish in certain seasons, there is the 1-day and 8-day licences. 

You must always carry your rod fishing licence when you’re fishing or you could be prosecuted! Anglers who fish without a rod licence could be fined up to £2,500, so it really is worth the investment.

Rods Not Affected By Fishing Licence Limits

If you use spod rods (used to propel bait into water) or marker rods (used to mark outlines), these are not affected by licence limits unless they have hooks attached.

When Do I Need to Renew My Licence?

If you have been fishing for a few years you will know that annual fishing licences can now run from the date you choose when buying it. Your fishing licence can start on any date within 30 days of the day you buy it.

Be sure to inform the Environment Agency when you change your address for fishing licence renewal.


Environment Agency logoEnvironment Agency logo

How much is a Fishing Licence in the UK?

Fishing licence prices do depend on the fish species you are fishing for and the number of rods you use.

Cost of Fishing Licence UKCost of Fishing Licence UK
Fishing Licences: How Much, sourced from Gov.UK on 12/1/2023

By keeping the cost of fishing licences affordable, EA wants to encourage as many people as possible to join the highly-rewarding sport of fishing.

Kids Rod Licence Prices

If you want to get a young one into the sport, the good news is that all juniors are free, but 13-16-year-olds have to register online. 

Young children who are under 13 years old do not need a licence to fish, however, the person supervising them needs the proper permit to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.

What is a Concessionary Rod Licence?

A concessionary rod licence is offered to seniors (over 65) or a blue badge holder. These allow for reduced or discounted licence costs. 

Fishing Licence to Chill CampaignFishing Licence to Chill Campaign

Where can I buy my rod fishing licence from?

In the video below, Carp Team England’s manager; Rob Hughes explains the ways you can purchase your fishing rod licence for UK fishing.


Go Digitial with your Rod Fishing Licence

You no longer have to get your fishing licence from the post office! Have your rod licence as an email or a text message so show any bailiffs when at a venue, or you can continue to get your licence card decorated with David Miller’s artwork in the post.


I Have A Rod Licence, Now What?

Once you get your rod licence sorted, you also need to make sure to meet the expectations and rules depending on where you fish, whilst also taking closed seasons into consideration.

Check all Nationals and Local Bylaws for Fishing on the Government website. 

What Should I Do If I Lose My Rod Licence?

If you dropped your licence in the lake or it fell out of your pocket, simply get in contact with the Environment Agency to order a replacement.


Where Does the Rod Licence Money Go?


What Does the Rod Licence look like?

What Does the Fishing Licene Look Like?What Does the Fishing Licene Look Like?
3 rod fishing licence UK3 rod fishing licence UK

2022/23 Rod Licences - Designed by David Miller

With annual rod license prices starting from just £30, what are you waiting for? Get out on the bankside, dip your toes into angling and support the angling industry with a rod licence. 

Still need help with your Fishing Licence?

If you are struggling to find the answer, check out the following links and contacts.

Environment Agency  

Fishing Events with Get Fishing


Or pop into your local Angling Direct and the AD team will happily answer your fishing relations questions and queries.

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