Grandfather David Hopper was caught red handed stealing fish from a Northumbrian Water reservoir.
Hopper of Eden Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, pleaded guilty by post before Darlington magistrates today (29 June).
He was fined £115 for theft and ordered to pay £75 costs.
Northumbrian Water also banned him for a year from fishing its reservoirs and Hopper told the court in his letter that his biggest disappointment was having to tell his nine-year-old grandson that he can no longer take him fishing.
Senior ranger Steven Bissett caught Hopper on a routine patrol of Grassholme reservoir, Teesdale, with 12 trout when his permit only allowed him to take a maximum limit of eight fish.
Paul Kelly, prosecuting for Northumbrian Water said: "Northumbrian Water is the leading provider of stillwater trout fishing in the North East and several of its reservoirs are among the best attended of all fisheries in the country.
"The continued success of the fishery is dependent upon anglers complying with the fishing rules. Theft of fish is a serious problem as it reduces the number of stocked fish and thereby spoils the enjoyment of law-abiding anglers," said solicitor Paul Kelly.
There have been some 3,500 angler visits to Grassholme since the season began in March this year.
Northumbrian Water have a region-wide policy to police its waters and prosecute those committing offences. So far this season there have been a total of some 18,400 angler visits at its trout fishing reservoirs of Kielder Water and Fontburn in Northumberland, Derwent in County Durham, Grassholme, Hury and Cow Green in Teesdale and Scaling Dam on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors near Guisborough.
For further information contact Alistair Baker 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793493.