TWO anglers were given a £600 fine for illegally fishing.

The two men were caught fishing without a licence at Manor Farm Leisure in Harvington, near Evesham.

John Barnett, of Orchard Place, was ordered to pay £247 after pleading guilty to fishing without a licence on June 22.

The 51-year-old's penalty included a fine of £80, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £32.

Darius Dee, 21, of Ellison Close, also pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence on June 22  and was ordered to pay a penalty of £339.

His penalty included a fine of £146, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £58.

Two Evesham men had their cases brought by the Environment Agency to Northampton Magistrates Court on October 23, with almost £600 between them now being owed. 

The annual fishing licence currently costs from £33.

Following the verdict, Nichola Tomlinson, Fisheries Enforcement Team Leader for the Environment Agency, said: "This case shows how seriously the courts take these offences and both men have been rightly punished for fishing without a licence.

"We hope the cases act as a reminder to anglers of the importance of having a rod licence before they go fishing and deter them from fishing illegally.

"All of the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of anglers.  For those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute."

Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence.

As well as cheating other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty.

How much is the maximum fine I can get for not having a fishing licence? 

Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.

Any angler aged 13 or above fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a license to fish.

A 1-day licence costs £6.60, and an annual licence costs £33 (concessions available).

Junior licences are free for 13 - 16-year-olds. 

Income from rod licence sales is used to fund Environment Agency work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, including enhancing habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, tackling illegal fishing and working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go.