From April 1st 2017 a range of innovative changes will be made to the rod licence which the Environment Agency hopes will benefit anglers and see more people in England getting out there and fishing ! Angling Trust has lobbied hard for a number of changes and to be fair to the Environment Agency, not only were they a receptive audience, but they have worked very hard in the last 18 months to get everything ratified by Government and put make it all happen. So what are the changes are why have they been made ? Well let’s look at them one at a time…
Getting young people into angling is frought with difficulty these days. Online gaming, consoles, social media and a vast array of easy to access leisure pursuits mean that getting kids out on the bank is tougher than it’s ever been. The world has changed a lot since I took myself off down to the river with some mates at the age of 8 or 9 back in the 1970’s and the freedom to roam that my Mum and Dad gave me back then would probably lead to a social worker coming round if parents did the same today ! The fact that everyone over 12 years of age needed to buy a rod licence, was just another little blocker, that prevented youngsters making that decision to give fishing a go, so we are delighted that from April 1st under 17’s will now be able to apply for a free rod licence. It’s certainly a change that I think is only right, we don’t tax kids to play football, rugby or when they play on their X-box so why should we tax them to go fishing !
Three Rod Licence
For many years now, carp and other specialist anglers have been forced to buy two rod licences to legally fish with a standard three rod set-up. A three rod licence was at the top of the Angling Trust wish list when it came to licence changes and thankfully from April 1st that’s exactly what you will be able to buy. Priced at £45, which will be exactly 1.5 times the cost of a standard two rod licence (which now costs £30) the new Three rod licence will mean that for the first time carp anglers will be able to legally fish three rods without having to fork out over the odds for an extra licence. The EA have even put a picture of a beautiful mirror approaching a zig rig on it !
Licences now last 365 days
Getting people to get out there and fishing more often has long been one of the major ambitions of the Angling Trust and The Environment Agency, however in recent years we have seen a lot of casual anglers not getting round to a fishing trip till quite late in the season and then deciding to buy a day or week licence instead of a full years licence, because they felt they wouldn’t get their moneys worth out of a licence that would only be valid for a few months. So from April 1st all 12 month rod licences will last for 12 months from the date you buy them. This will mean better value for those buying a licence later in the year and will encourage and incentivise people to always go for a year long licence rather than a short term one.
Anglers have been complaining about the complexity of the old Post Office run website that was used for selling the rod licence for years, so it’s great to hear that the Environment Agency have now taken the website “in-House” and having used it myself I can confirm that it is much simpler and easier to use than it’s predecessor. Take a look for your self at
All in all the changes look like a very positive step so get your licence bought now and look forward to a years worth of fantastic fishing in 2017/18