You need a rod fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in:
- England (except the River Tweed)
- the Border Esk region of Scotland
You must always carry your rod fishing licence when you’re fishing or you could be prosecuted.
You can be fined up to £2,500 for fishing without a rod fishing licence.
Children under 12 don’t need a licence.
You may also need:
- permission from the landowner if you’re fishing on private land
- an additional licence to fish in locks or weirs on the River Thames
You must follow national and local rules (byelaws) when freshwater fishing with a rod and line in England and Wales.
Types of licence
There are 2 types of licences:
- trout, coarse fish and eel licences that let you fish for non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish
- salmon and sea trout licences that let you fish for salmon, sea trout, non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish
Your licence is for freshwater fishing only, not for sea fishing.
Number of rods you can use with your licences
The maximum number of rods that you can fish with depends on the type of water and fish.
|Types of fish||Rivers, streams, drains and canals||Reservoirs, lakes and ponds|
|Salmon, trout and char||1 rod||2 rods|
|Coarse fish and eels||2 rods (or 4 rods if you buy an extra licence)||2 rods (or 4 rods if you buy an extra licence)|
Don’t count these rods unless they have hooks attached:
- spod rods (used to propel bait into water)
- marker rods (used to mark out lines)