Following discussions between the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency on the passionate & justified issues raised by specimen anglers, carp anglers & junior anglers, the use of multiple rods will be increased to 3, with juniors fishing for free.
When it was raised in parliament this week, Fisheries Minister George Eustice confirmed that the changes to the licence will take place from April 2017, with “a full year rolling licence rather than a fixed single season; a licence for a maximum of three rods rather than the current two and a free junior licence for anglers under the age of 16.”. The changes will be advertised from Spring.
This is welcomed news for both carp and specimen anglers alike, who until these changes are in force, were having to buy two rod licences in order to fish with 3 rods. Abolishing the junior licence altogether is aimed at encouraging more youngsters to take up the sport. The new licence will be a 365 day rolling licence with no 31st March end date as it currently is. This is a far fairer to anglers who buy a licence mid-way through the season, meaning they won’t have to fork out for a full 12 months for part of the year.
The changes have been welcomed by members of the Angling Industry. Martin Salter, Campaigns Chief for the Angling Trust, said:
“Carp anglers will obviously be pleased, but tench and bream anglers like myself, who usually fish large pits with two rods at a time, would sometimes like to use a third rod to switch quickly to a new method or to stalk a fish showing in the margins. Whilst many anglers I know won’t buy two separate licences at the moment, they would be happy to pay a fair price to use a third rod occasionally. We are particularly pleased that the EA have taken this forward and are prepared to forego the income from the £5 junior licence. I certainly wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for my own licence if it meant that more juniors under 16 could fish for free, because anything that attracts youngsters into our sport has to be good for the future of angling.”
Lee Jackson, former world carp record holder from the Tackle Box in Kent, said:
“Excellent news and not before time, too. It will be of great benefit to anglers, especially carpers, and how brilliant it is to be able to get youngsters into the sport without having to worry about a licence. Well done to the Government, the EA and the Angling Trust for applying common sense.”
Clive Copeland, Head of Angling Development at the Angling Trust, added:
“Our research tells us that the majority of anglers start fishing when they are young. It is vitally important that we make it as easy as possible for young people to take up fishing and having a free junior licence will help us to do this. Healthy numbers of young anglers are obviously crucial to the future of our sport.”