THE latest figure for rod licence dodgers show the courts are really toughening up on standard offences.

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Just a few years ago, the average fine with costs was often in the region of £80-£100, but courts seems to be toughening up.

For the latest monthly figures, 86 anglers were found guilty of fishing without a licence for a £38,936.32 total and an average of £452.

And two anglers even had fines of over £1,000 for standard rod licence dodging, where as in the past these fines were often reserved for people giving false names and addresses or giving violent or abusive behaviour to Environment Agency officers.

Trout and coarse rod licence image

The biggest fine was a whopping £1,335 for Stewart Jones, 35, from Lyde Green, West Midlands, who was caught at Oxfordshire carp mecca Orchid Lakes.

And Steven Herbertson, 25, from Manchester, who was caught at Lancashire’s Fir Tree Fishery got a £1,003 fine.

Both failed to turn up at court and were fined in their absence.

Luckiest anglers were Robin McDowell, 28, from Sheerness, and Jonathan McDowel, 27, from Cliffe Woods at Brasenose Lake 1, Linear Fisheries who were found guilty of setting up with the intention of fishing but received an absolute discharge and weren’t fined a penny.

The news comes at the same time as new 2016/17 rod licence went on sale, with a chub on the front of the coarse annual licence (pictured above).

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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