Make sure you have your new rod licence and don't land a fine!

It’s that time of year again when your rod licence needs renewing, and forgetting to do so could result in a hefty fine!

Your current rod licences expire today so you’ll need to renew them before you go fishing again – if you’re using three or four rods then you will need two licences, although there will be some major changes coming to the system in 2017.

If you already had a rod licence for the 2015/16 season then you should have received a renewal reminder via email and it is as simple as clicking on the link to the renew for the coming season. Or you can buy your licence from the Post Office, including online, but avoid using any external company as most charge an additional fee for the same service! A full two-rod licence for coarse fish and non-migratory trout will set you back £27 for the coming season.

From next April, Fisheries Minister George Eustice has confirmed proposed changes including a full year rolling licence rather than a fixed season, like we have now, so whenever you renew you get a full year from that date.

For those who use three rods there is also good news as there will now be a licence to cover that, rather than having to buy two licences as you do currently.

To try and encourage more youngsters to get into fishing, the junior licence is going to be scrapped – currently that costs £5 for 12 to 16 year olds, and the loss of income from that is seen as being worthwhile if it helps with the future of our sport.

If you are caught fishing without a rod licence it will likely result in a court appearance and a potential fine of up to £2,500, plus Environment Agency enforcement officers have the power to seize fishing tackle being used illegally.

Money from rod licences sales goes directly towards improving fisheries and habitat across England and Wales, stocking fish, fighting pollution, tackling predation, and targeting poaching and illegal fishing – including paying for the staff who check licences.

To purchase a licence go to: http://www.postoffice.co.uk/rod-fishing-licence