When and where to go fishing?


The below is general guidance. You should read:


Coarse fishing close season

The annual close season for coarse fishing is 15 March to 15 June. It applies to:

  • all rivers, streams and drains
  • most stillwaters that are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
  • some canals


Yorkshire byelaws

The close season for:

  • salmon is 1 November to 5 April
  • sea trout is 1 November to 2 April
  • all non-migratory trout in rivers, streams, drains and canals, and for brown trout in all waters other than enclosed stillwaters, is 1 October to 24 March

There is no close season for rainbow trout in any stillwater, or for brown trout on enclosed stillwaters.


Fishing for eels during the coarse fishing close season

You can fish with a rod and line for eels all year in waters with no coarse fishing close season. You must return any eels you catch, including in coastal waters, to the same water unharmed.



It is illegal to take trout shorter than 23cm.

You must not take more than 6 trout per day without the written consent of the owner or occupier of the fishery.




Where the rights aren’t owned by fishing groups much of the Don catchment is free fishing. Firstly, to make sure you’re not trespassing check the reach of river you want to fish isn’t privately owned. After that all you’ll need is your rod licence (https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences) and fishing equipment and you’re good to go. Here’s a few suggestions of where to fish on each sub-catchment along with links to local fishing groups.



Clubs/tickets required:

Most of the River Don from Wharncliffe Side to Sprotbrough is free. Try the following locations:

Upper Don – Oughtibridge, Beeley Woods, Club Mill Road, Wardsend Cemetery

Middle Don – Salmon Pastures, Stevenson Road, Jessops Riverside, Rotherham Central

Lower Don – Long Sandall, Barnby Dun



Day ticket required:

 Most of the River Dearne is free fishing. Try the following locations:

Barugh, Pastures Road and Denaby



Club/ticket required:

 Everywhere else along the Rother is free. Try the following locations:

Somersall Park (River Hipper), New Whittington

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