English Fishing licence

Fishing Licences Explained

If you fish in freshwater in England & Wales then legally you need to have a valid fishing licence. The good news is that a licence is easy to buy and inexpensive. Annual fishing licences now last for 365 days from the day you buy them and they offer far better value for money than short term licences. So get yourself a licence and get fishing !

When do I need a fishing licence ?

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)
  • Wales
  • 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 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.

You will also need:

Permission to fish from the landowner or whoever holds the fishing rights. This is usually via a fishing club membership or day ticket. The Fishinginfo website is a brilliant way to find out who sells memberships and permits.

There is a special licence needed for fishing for salmon or sea trout.

Where can I buy a Fishing Licence ?

The easiest way to buy is via the government website

You can also buy a licence at (for over16’s) at post offices

or you can buy a licence by phone by calling:

Environment Agency
Telephone: 0344 800 5386
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturdays, 8am to 1pm (from 1 March to 31 May)
Bank holidays, 8am to 6pm (from 1 March to 31 May)  remember call charges may apply.

What does a fishing licence cost ?


Licence typeTrout+coarse 2-rodTrout+coarse 3-rodSalmon+sea trout
1-day£6Not available£12
8-day£12Not available£27
12-month – over 65 or disabled£20£30£54
12-month – junior (13 to 16)FreeFreeFree

You can get a 12-month disabled person’s licence if you’ve got a Blue Badge, or you get Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (any rate) – you’ll need your National Insurance number to prove this.

You can also get a discounted 12-month licence if you’re over 65. You cannot get a discount for a 1-day or an 8-day licence.

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