Information to help new or returning anglers get started.
Get into fishing
Download the new booklet Get into Fishing. Packed with loads of information about the fun of fishing, what to do, where to go and how to find out more:
Buy a rod licence
Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in England (except the River Tweed), Wales or the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland MUST have an Environment Agency rod licence.
Rod licences are available from the Post Office, online, by direct debit and over the telephone on 0844 800 5386. The phone line is open from 8.30am to 8.00pm daily from March to September and 8.30am to 6.00pm from October to February.
Permission to fish
A rod licence does not give you the automatic right to fish on any river, lake or canal. You must obtain permission from whoever owns or rents the fishing rights before you start fishing. This is usually the adjacent landowner or an angling club. Not all owners allow fishing on their waters and some restrict fishing to club or syndicate members only.
Where fishing is allowed, permits are usually available as day, week or season tickets. You can get these from the fishery owner, a local angling club or tackle shop, or from the club baliff. Some waters have a public right of fishing and some offer free fishing.
It is a good idea to read our Where to go fishing pages before you go fishing:
Other things I might like to know about
Who else can help to get me started?
The major angling representative organisations are featured in the links below for coarse, game and sea fishing. These websites can help get you started and understand a bit more about angling. Coaching for angling is organised by the Joint Angling Development Board (JADB).
Every summer, hundreds of angling events are organised through National Fishing Week (NFW). Most of these events are aimed at giving new anglers a taste of what fishing is all about. So if you are a beginner or have children who want to start, then the NFW Fish4U events are for you.