When you need a 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)
- 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 may also need:
- permission from the landowner if you’re fishing 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.