When you need a licence
You must have a rod fishing licence for England and Wales if you’re fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in:
- England (except the River Tweed)
- the Border Esk region, including the parts of the river that are in Scotland
You can get a fine of up to £2,500 if you’re fishing in these areas and cannot show a valid rod fishing licence when asked.
There are different rules for fishing in the rest of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Children under 13 do not need a licence.
Licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free. You’ll still need to get a junior licence.
Other permissions and licences you may need
You also need:
- permission from the landowner to fish 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. There may be more rules on private land.