Whether you are new to angling or wanting to renew your licence for another year, now is the time to get that renewal ready. This guide to Fishing Rod Licences will answer the common queries beginner and returning anglers deal with when purchasing a licence.
A rod licence gives you the legal right to use a fishing rod or pole in the UK. To find out about rod licences elsewhere in Europe, you can find more information on Fishinglicense.eu
If you have been fishing for a few years you will know that annual licences can now run from the date you choose when buying it, unlike previous years where it was fixed at April 1 to March 31.
All the money made from rod licence sales goes directly back into angling, which we will cover in more detail later in this guide.
There are much more options than just an annual rod licence, for those that only like to fish in certain seasons there is the 1-day and 8-day license. Additionally, you need to register how many rods you use and the type of fishing whether it be carp, coarse or salmon.
1. Trout, coarse fish and eel licence
2. Salmon and sea trout licence
With the correct rod licence, you can enjoy your freshwater fishing, sea fishing as long as there are non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish.
With the Trout, Coarse and Eel Licence you can choose to fish with:
If the one and rod options do not meet your fishing needs, you can also buy a 12-month licence that lets you use 3 rods for freshwater fish. This licence covers the same species as the original two-rod licence, however, for anglers who want to fish with three rods, this licence means that you no longer have to invest in two two-rod licences. It is important to remember that the rules regarding trout apply to this licence.
If you purchase the Salmon and sea trout licence you must use your licence in one of 3 ways. Either choose to;
If you want to get a young one into the sport, the good news is that children under 13 do not need a licence and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free! From the 1st of April 2017, children from age 13 to 16 get a free UK fishing licence. Make sure that if you want to take your child aged between 13 - 16 years of age fishing that you still register then with a Junior's Fishing Licence.
The Environment Agency wants to encourage younger anglers to get involved with fishing and hopes that this will help to maintain younger angler’s interest in the sport.
NOTE: 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.
In addition to fishing licences being free for 13 - 16-year-olds and not needed for children under 13, there are plenty of events ran by Angling Trust and other angling organisations and charities that encourage youth to take up fishing.
Cost-wise, licences have stayed the same price as they were in 2020, with the Environment Agency freezing the 2021 price for the fifth year running! The Environment Agency is continuing to offer great value for money at just £30 for an annual permit. By keeping prices affordable, EA wants to encourage as many people as possible to join the highly-rewarding sport of fishing.
Rod licence prices do depend on the type of fish you are fishing for and the number of rods you use.
A two-rod annual coarse fishing licence costs £30, a three-rod licence £45, concessionary £20/£30 respectively.
All juniors are free, but 13-16-year-old have to register online. The cheapest rod licence is a one-day coarse licence which is £6 but there is better short-term value £12 for eight days. The salmon licence is £82 a year, £12 a day or £27 for eight days.
If you are over 65 or a blue badge holder, you can get 1/3 off the 12-month price.
You can purchase your fishing rod licence in 3 ways:
NOTE: The Post Office no longer sells Rod Fishing licences on its website on the behalf of the Environment Agency.
Purchasing your rod licence online (although telephone and Post Office services are still available), makes obtaining a fishing licence easier than ever and it ensures that the joy of angling is accessible to all. You can buy a 1-day, 8-day or 12-month license online via GOV.UK
Once you get your rod licence sorted, you also need to make sure to meet the expectations and rules depending on where you fish.
1. You must seek permission from the landowner to fish on private land and sort an additional licence to fish in locks or weirs on the River Thames.
2. You must follow national and local rules (byelaws) when freshwater fishing with a rod and line in England and Wales.
3. You must report a catch return every year even if you did not fish and your chosen place to fish may have additional rules about how many rods you can use there.
It is also important to consider other restrictions, too, including the close season on UK coarse rivers which runs between 15th March and 15th June, annually.
There is some good news as not all rods require to follow such 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.
The Environment Agency is committed to putting the money you pay back into the sport of fishing. The funding from licence sales enables the Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the Environment Agency to carry out vital projects supporting anglers and fisheries across England, such as;
Fishing licence income is also used to fund work to maintain, improve and develop fisheries, fish habitats and angling. With plenty of flooding occurring of late, the Environment Agency use the money raised by the rod licence to improve river habitats and construction of methods to improve fish passage, amongst other crucial projects.
The money raised also encourages people to try angling for the first time, and to successfully prosecute angling crimes – including poaching. You can find out more about the planned actions for 2021 and have your say on what you think needs improving to Angling Trust.
The Environment Agency unveiled the new fishing licence images back in March 2020, all of which has been created by the famous fish and wildlife painter David Miller. One of the pictures shows the Wensum River roach, a favourite fish of the angling legend John Wilson MBE, honouring his support to the angling community.
As many of you may know, John Wilson inspired countless anglers to take up the sport with his famous TV series, Go Fishing. Wilson was even recognised by the Angling Times in 2004 as the Greatest Angler of all Time! John was awarded an MBE in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding services to angling and now with the Wensum River Roach, anglers can continue to appreciate Wilson’s work even after his passing in late 2018.
Every year nearly 1 million anglers buy their fishing licence. Your licence money helps to protect and improve fisheries, which helps to improve the places you love to fish.
We, here at Angling Direct encourage you to join these anglers in getting your hands on this year’s rod licences. Buying a fishing licence is quick and easy and will encourage more anglers to fish safely and legally.
Despite the months of anglers being in lockdown during 2020, the Environment Agency saw a huge rise in Fishing Licence sales. Figures provided by the Countryside Alliance show that between 13 May 2020, when the restrictions were lifted, and 9 June 2020 over 335,000 licences were sold presenting a rise of over 230% in less than two months.
We here at Angling Direct reported and reflected on these increases in our End of 2020 article, read it here.
If you are struggling to find the answer you need check out the following links and contacts.
Environment Agency https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences
Fishing Events https://www.getfishing.org.uk/
Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre (general enquiries) on 03708 506 506
Environment Agency Fishing Licence Service on 0344 800 5386
Or pop into your local Angling Direct and the AD team will happily answer your fishing relations questions and queries. Find your local Angling Direct.