As anglers I’m sure we often read in the press about someone who has been taken to court for fishing with no rod licence. Now while I have no issue with that, what I’ve always found surprising is what I see as the severity of the fine.
For example, I read today of an angler who ended up £814.00 lighter (fine, victim surcharge and costs). Although the average is lower, we’re still looking at fines in the hundreds of pounds.
When you read what shoplifters, burglars and motorists with no insurance, MOT, or tax get done, it does seem disproportionate. In fact while the three aforementioned would be seen as obvious offences, non-anglers that I talk to are surprised that a rod licence even exists.
And even more so when I tell them the penalties incurred if you get caught fishing without one. I had a conversation just recently with someone who said he might go fishing as I’d inspired him. He thought you could just turn up and cast out anywhere.
So, are fines too high? Just about right? Or too low? Personally I think they’re too high; not that I’m soft on crime but simply because of the comparison value. The maximum is £2,500.
You can drive around in a death-trap and get less than fishing with no licence. That can’t be right, can it? What do you think?