Fishing can be a fantastic way to kick back and relax either on your own or with friends. It’s also a sport that comes with many rules and regulations, and with fines of up to £50,000 it’s important to be aware of them! That’s why, here at The Insurance Emporium, we’ve made this handy introduction to UK angling laws – so you can make sure you’re doing the catching, not being caught!
Licence to fish!
Before you head out with a rod, you’ll need to have first applied for a fishing licence! The licence is necessary when fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line. Children under the age of 13 won’t need a licence, however children between 13 and 16 will require a junior licence. You might also need additional permission if you’re on private land.
Local laws, for local fish!
There are a set of national angling laws for England and Wales, but just to confuse matters, each region also has its own separate by-laws! These cover closures, types of baits, weights and lures that aren’t mentioned in the national law. You might want to also look out for other local restrictions that may be imposed due to safety or outbreaks of natural phenomena such as algae.
A fish for all seasons!
UK angling law gives anglers guidance on what they’re allowed to fish and when. There’s a closed season between the 15th of March and the 15th of June, during which coarse fishing is banned on all rivers, streams and non-canal byways! This is enforced as it’s the time of year fish are most likely to be mating. The by-laws for different areas will most likely feature some other restrictions for particular locations, so be sure to have a good read!
Fish out of water
There are limits on the number of each fish species you can take away from the water, as well as their size. For example, you can usually only take one pike home with you, but it can’t be any larger than 65cm! Any eels you might hook (except conger eels) need to be returned to the water. However there are no restrictions on small tiddler species, ornamental and non-native fish. Which means fishing for koi carp is totally legal – although not on private property without permission!
Count your fishes!
No matter how successful or not your angling year might be, if you have a licence to fish, you’ll need to fill in a catch return! This is a form declaring how many and what species of fish you’ve managed to take home over the past twelve months. The data allows authorities to keep track on fish levels in our waters, assessing methods to ensure stock remains plentiful!
Whether you’re an experienced angler or casting off on your first adventure, it’s important to stay up to date with both national and local by-laws! It could also be a good idea to consider taking out insurance to protect your equipment. The Insurance Emporium offer up to 30% discount* on Fishing Insurance, and offer a range of Elective Benefits such as Family Member Cover and Extended Public Liability to choose from. Catch a policy today at The Insurance Emporium!
* The 30% discount is made up of 25% Introductory Discount plus 5% Over 60’s Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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