Press release

Wellingborough man fined for fishing without a licence

The Environment Agency is reminding anglers of the importance of having a rod licence after a local angler was ordered to pay over £400 in fines after being found guilty of fishing illegally.


Sean McMaster, of Priory Road, Wellingborough, was fined £457 today (12 April) after being found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) in August 2015. On 2 August 2015, McMaster was found to be fishing at Castle Ashby Lake, Wellingborough without a rod licence.

The case heard at Northampton Magistrates’ Court was brought by the Environment Agency.

Following the verdict, an Environment Agency spokesman said:

We are pleased with the outcome and hope that it will provide a deterrent for any angler thinking of fishing without a licence.

All the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and those cheating the system will be prosecuted.

Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence. As well as swindling other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty. Getting caught without a licence could land you with a fine of up to £2,500.

Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. An annual licence costs from just £27 (concessions available). You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office here, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 61 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Published 13 April 2016