THE biggest rod licence upheaval ever is underway as the Environment Agency are going to advertise for massive changes this spring 2016. The changes are likely to start in 2017.


Proposals include making the licence valid for one year from date of purchase, allowing spessy anglers to pay for a third rod rather than for four, and scrapping the £5 juniors licence so all under 16s don’t have to pay.

In an answer to a parliamentary question, Fisheries Minister George Eustice confirmed proposed changes to the licence from April 2017, including “a full year rolling licence rather than a fixed single season; a licence for a maximum of three rods rather than the current two and a free junior licence for anglers under the age of 16.”

The Angling Trust welcomed these announcements because it has received a great deal of feedback from members that the current rod licence arrangements are not fair.


Anglers who fish three rods, but currently buy a pair of two-rod licences, will be better off.


Angling Trust campaigns chief Martin Salter, said: “Carpers will obviously be pleased but tench and bream anglers like myself, who usually fish large pits with two rods at a time, would sometimes like to use a third rod to switch quickly to a new method or to stalk a fish showing in the margins.

“Whilst many anglers I know won’t buy two separate licences at the moment, they would be happy to pay a fair price to use a third rod occasionally. We are particularly pleased that the EA have taken this forward and are prepared to forego the income from the £5 junior licence.

“I certainly wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for my own licence if it meant that more juniors under 16 could fish for free, because anything that attracts youngsters into our sport has to be good.”

This is just a short version of the full story that appeared in Angler’s Mail printed magazine. Get the magazine every week for top tips, big news, best products, and venues that are in form.

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  • Simon Marlow

    Shouldn’t the Angling press be fighting for either the abolition of the “Fishing Tax” or Rod License as it is commonly known or at the very least the cessation of the E.A. as nearly all clubs/syndicates maintain their own waters to superb standards with next to no help from the E.A.! Surely this is the BEST way to not only promote Angling but also to attract new Anglers into the sport, regardless of age!
    The Angling Trust’s “deal” is about as good for Angling and Anglers as the deal David Cameron got for Britain from the E.U.

  • John O’Connor

    Its okay to get help and good news for junior anglers, however when a match lake is decimated by cormorants and anglers are still obliged to pay environment licence and local AWAC fee’s but there is no real support, what then do we do? Birkenhead Parks upper lake was netted by bailiffs and Environment agents and produced less than 100 fish. It seems that nothing is being done by local authority to address this issue. If anyone can help please give us your ideas

  • Where does it say that we have to pay for 2? I only ever use 1 myself and I’d understand what you’re saying if it said we have to buy a double license.

  • Gary Bridger

    On the other hand . Some good news to take the kids and use the extra rod.

  • Gary Bridger

    With the weather and cost i went fishing 5 time from march last year. It it all woth iT?
    Cost of out lat . Not able to get a job , its become the rat trap . Stress society.
    I love fishing, only way to get away and take you mind from the jail of modern living and computers. But now this too comes at a cost.

  • Keith Collett

    a very unhappy fisher-person,

    just read the A/T and A/M, about the fishing licences, I see the Angling Trust is bowing down to the demands of the carpers and specimen people, can you please explain this in full, what about the fisher-persons who only fish with 1 rod all the time, the real fisher-person, these people are the ones who fish matches, or who fish free rivers with 1 rod, are you going to take these fisher-persons into consideration, why should these people bye a rod licence for 2 rods when they only use 1 rod, so this is what you should do, consider all types off fishing disciplines, , not just the carpers and specimen people, if you don’t, that, in my view, is discrimination, fisher-persons should be aloud to bye 1 to 4 rod licence, if you do bring out the 3 rod licence, is there going to be a senior concession for it as well, again if there is not, this can be classed as discrimination, I like to point out that I get a normal 2 rod licence plus a weir licence which I might add is 50p more the a normal rod licence, pulse I can only use 2 rods, so, I am paying more for using 2 rods then carpers do for using 3 rods, work that one out, do I bitch about it “NO”, because, I choose to get the licences, by the way, I have never ever seen a fisher-person fishing with 4 rods for Bream on the River Thames, seen lots of fisher-persons fishing for Barbel/Carp and pike, but never for Bream, one last by the way, the people bitching about the cost off the fishing rod licence are private carp syndicates, the people who make their own rules up to fish their waters, do not respect any other fish or fisher-persons but carp and other carpers, can you Angling Trust, please explain why you are going down this avenue, many thanks Keith Collett, Addlestone