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Fishing rights not necessarily access rights

Fishing rights not necessarily access rights

Sportvisserij Nederland (the Dutch Angling Association) often receives the question of whether the VISpas allows you to enter the banks next to waters marked in dark blue in the VISplanner. The answer to that question is occasionally ‘no’. The right to fish in certain waters does not automatically give you the right to enter private property.

The free VISplanner app and the mobile website ( can show you at a glance which waters you are allowed to fish in with your VISpas (these waters are marked in dark blue), and whether cardholders are permitted to walk on the property.
In that case, you can be sure that you are allowed to enter the property and fish from the banks. If the VISplanner does not mention the right of access, make sure to check the rules for the property before entering. In general, you can fish from the banks along most waters, but not everywhere. Some banks are simply private property or nature reserves, where fishing from the banks is prohibited. These waters are therefore only accessible by boat. 

General rule

Rules for accessing areas apply to everyone, including anglers. In the Netherlands, property is generally considered to be open to the public unless it is enclosed with a fence, hedge or water. Anglers also may not enter areas marked with a sign or notification posted by the property owner stating that the area is not open to the public. The only exception to this rule is if the property owner has granted access rights along with the fishing rights. For more information about these areas, please see the VISplanner app.


Climbing over fences, ignoring private property signs or entering prohibited areas is punishable by law, even if the water is marked in dark blue in the VISplanner. These forms of misconduct not only have negative consequences for you, but also for all other anglers. Sportvisserij Nederland (Dutch Angling Association) regularly receives complaints about anglers who think that they can fish from another person’s garden. Such behaviour often results in a general prohibition on fishing in that location, which is detrimental to the sport of angling as a whole.

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