ROGUE coarse anglers were handed a whopping £8,000 in fines and costs after being caught without a valid rod licence.
At a time when new annual rod licences are being bought in their biggest numbers, by law-abiding anglers, 11 anglers were proved guilty of offences in their absence by Northampton Magistrates.
The largest fine was handed to Christopher Downing, 29, of Willenhall, West Midlands, who was charged with fishing without a licence and failing to state his name and address at Lunt Pool in Bilston, last July.
He was fined a total of £880 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £193.47.
Telford duo Adrian Statham, 27, and 37-year-old Jamie Falconer were also hit hard for leaving baited rod unattended and fishing without a licence at their local Middle Pool
Statham was fined a total of £660, plus costs of £171.47 and Falconer was fined £440 and costs of £157.47.
And four were each fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £171.47 each for fishing without a licence at Baden Hall Fishery, Eccleshall.
The four were: Jobe Cresswell, 22, of Wednesbury, Jack Capper, 20, of Stoke-on-Trent, Gary Traynor, 34, of Yarnfield and Callum Mcmanus, 23, from Wednesbury.
A further three offenders were caught at popular Cudmore Fisheries and also fined £440 each and ordered to pay costs of £161.47.
The Cudmore culprits came from the north west and were Manchester duo John Short, 55, and Raymond Young, 34, plus Conor Thompson, 21, from Liverpool.
Lastly, Kenny Wilkes, 32, of Wednesbury, was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £171.47 after being caught without a licence on his local Tame Valley Canal.
In addition, Magistrates fined Adam Parry, 38, of Brierley Hill, £400, plus costs of £157.47 after he submitted a plea of guilty to fishing without a licence on the River Severn at Holt Fleet and with failing to give his name and address.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “It’s important anglers have a licence before fishing as the money is invested into improving the sport.
“Money from fishing licence sales is invested in England’s fisheries and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers including; protecting stocks from illegal fishing, pollution and disease, restoring fish stocks through re-stocking, eradicating invasive species and fish habitat improvements.”
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