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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Anglers net huge fines for illegal fishing trips

Anglers net huge fines for illegal fishing trips

A trio of anglers from Nuneaton and Bedworth have netted themselves court fines after being caught fishing illegally.

They were caught as part of a huge summer-time swoop on pools in Bulkington , Worcester, Market Bosworth and Earlswood.

Christopher Beasley of Princes Avenue in Nuneaton , Daniel Soar of Leicester Street in Bedworth and Shane Mctigue of The Laurels in Bedworth were found guilty of fishing without a licence under Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

  • Beasley, aged 24, who was proved guilty in absence, was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £30, making the total penalty £597. Mr Beasley was caught on July, 23 last year 2017 at Bosworth Water Trust, Market Bosworth.
  • Soar, aged 21, who was proved guilty in absence, was fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £30, making the total penalty £817. Mr Soar was caught on August 18 last year at Parkers Pool, Bulkington.
  • Mctigue, aged 25, who was proved guilty in absence, was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £44, making the total penalty £611. Mr Mctigue was caught on July 14 last year at Parkers Pool, Bulkington.

The trio were among 11 caught by the Environment Agency operation, which saw Northampton Magistrates’ Court issue combined fines of £7,113. Environment Agency officials say that, overall, all the anglers were given higher than average fines with the highest total fine of £853 given to an angler from Redditch for fishing illegally at Weston Lawns in Bulkington, which is 28 times more than an annual £30 licence.

Andrew Eardley of the Environment Agency said: “We’re continuing to see anglers receive significant fines for fishing illegally which is why I can’t understand the reasons some anglers continue to flout the law and risk prosecution for fishing without a licence. A licence costs just £30 and now lasts for twelve months from the day you buy it. Fishing licence money is invested into England’s fisheries and rivers; improving the sport of angling.

“Most anglers fish legally and are happy to have their licence checked, the minority that fail to buy a fishing licence are cheating their fellow anglers and the future of the sport. Fishing licence cheats risk a criminal conviction, a significant fine and could lose their fishing equipment.

“With most anglers fishing legally it seems ridiculous the minority still risk a significant fine like these we’ve seen here.”

Environment Agency officers on patrol.
(Image: Image courtesy of the Environment Agency.)

Children under 12 fish for free. Anyone aged 12 to 16 also fish for free, but do need to have a valid Environment Agency fishing licence. Anyone over 16 must pay for an Environment Agency fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England.

Anyone who witnesses illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline, 0800 80 70 60. Information can also be reported to the Crimestoppers hotline, which is free to call from a landline and confidential, on 0800 555 111.

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