What sort of fishing licence do I need ?


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.

Where can I buy a Fishing Licence ?

The easiest way to buy is via the government website

You can also buy a licence (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.

Which Licence do I need ?

If you intend to fish for Salmon or Sea Trout you will need to buy a Salmon & Sea Trout licence, however this also covers you to fish for trout and coarse fish with up to 2 rods at a time. If you are not targeting Salmon or Sea Trout but wish to fish in freshwater, then you should buy a Trout & Coarse licence. The standard licence covers you to fish with up to 2 rods at a time, however if you are a specimen angler and wish to fish with three rods, you will need to buy a three rod licence. If you are aged between 13-16 you need to get a free rod licence which can be obtained online or via the phone service. Under 13’s do not need to hold a rod licence.

What does a fishing licence cost ?


Licence type Trout and coarse 2-rod Trout and coarse 3-rod Salmon and sea trout
1-day £6 Not available £12
8-day £12 Not available £27
12-month £30 £45 £82
12-month – over 65 or disabled £20 £30 £54
12-month – junior (13 to 16) Free Free Free

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.

One thought on “What sort of fishing licence do I need ?

  1. So Basically the government does not trust two grown ups, one who seeks permission from the land/riparian right owner, the other who maintains and is steward to the water and where both have no intention of causing either any offense or to commit a crime.
    I fail to see ANY common law crime being committed nor either party seeking a third party to report a crime to or to recover, report or give witness to lost or stolen property. The issuing of a license in this scenario seeks to manufacture a victimless crime for the only intention of causing financial loss, physical harm, loss of property and denying the lawful rights to the fisherman?

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