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How to Get a Florida Fishing License


Find out everything you need to know about Florida recreational fishing licenses to stay compliant with the latest rules and regulations.

Get a Florida Fishing License Fishing License

Florida Fishing Licenses

In Florida, most people are required to have a license to engage in fishing activities in the state. Even if you catch and release, you still need a license. There are several exceptions to this rule, however. The Florida fishing regulations specify that the following individuals don’t need a license.

  • Youth under 16 years of age
  • Resident seniors age 65 or older
  • Those freshwater fishing in their county of residence on their homestead or homestead of a spouse or minor child
  • Residents who are totally and permanently disabled and possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person’s Hunting and Fishing License
  • Residents who are members of the armed forces and are not stationed in Florida and are home on leave for 30 days or less
  • Individuals who are observing or filming someone fishing but not assisting in the take
  • Disabled veterans or active or reserve duty military service members and their family members and assistants who are participating in an outdoor recreational event that holds a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit

There are also specific exemptions from license requirements for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

The following are exempt from a freshwater fishing license in Florida:

  • Florida residents accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Those fishing in a pond of 20 acres or less located entirely within the private property of its owner
  • Individuals fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or more whose owner has a fishing pond license
  • Individuals who possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License
  • Those with a valid Georgia fishing license who are fishing in the St. Mary’s River or Lake Seminole
  • Those fishing during a free freshwater fishing day
  • Residents fishing with live or natural bait using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism and fishing for noncommercial purposes in their home county

These saltwater anglers don’t need a saltwater fishing license:

  • Florida residents accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Those fishing from a for-hire vessel with a valid charter license
  • Individuals fishing from a vessel whose operator has a valid recreational saltwater vessel license
  • Those fishing during a free saltwater fishing day
  • Individuals fishing from a pier with a valid saltwater pier license
  • Those with a valid saltwater products license of FWC charter captain license
  • Residents fishing for mullet in fresh water who have a valid resident freshwater fishing license
  • Residents fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who are eligible for food stamp, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid by the Department of Children and Families
  • Residents fishing with live or natural bait using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism and fishing for noncommercial purposes in their home county

Keep in mind that it can be confusing sometimes to know if you need a freshwater or saltwater license in areas where the waters commingle. In these cases, license requirements follow the species of fish, regardless of where they are caught.

Types of Fishing Licenses

For both freshwater and saltwater fishing in Florida, there are various types of licenses that may be right for you depending on the activities you plan to take part in.

  • Freshwater Fishing Licenses: A freshwater license is needed to take or attempt to take native or nonnative freshwater fish.
    • Resident License: You can get either an annual or five-year license
    • Non-Resident License: Annual, three-day and seven-day options are available
    • Combination License: If you want a combined freshwater and saltwater fishing and hunting license, you can purchase one at a reduced cost
    • Sportsman’s Licenses: For those interested in other activities like hunting, archery, using muzzleloading guns and more, you have the option to purchase one license that covers all
    • Youth License: While not required, you can get a license that’s valid from ages 8 to 15
    • Lifetime License: These licenses remain valid even if you move out of Florida.
  • Saltwater Fishing Licenses: A license is required to take saltwater fish, crabs, clams, marine plants or other saltwater organisms.
    • Resident License: One-year or five-year options are available to residents
    • Non-resident License: Non-residents have the choice between an annual, three-day or seven-day license
    • Shoreline Only: If you plan to only fish from shore, you can get a shoreline license for no cost
    • Combination License: This license is for those who want a saltwater license combined with a freshwater and/or hunting license
    • Sportsman’s License: If you plan to do other activities, this type of license includes fishing, hunting, archery, using muzzleloading guns, and more
    • Youth License: While optional, this type of license is intended for youth ages 8 to 15

License Fees

Except for processing costs, all of the fees for licenses go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to help sustain the state’s fish and wildlife resources. Since the fees can change every year, it’s best to visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website to check for the current costs.

In addition to the prices listed on the website, the license vendor may also charge an issuance fee of fifty cents.

All license fees are non-refundable.

Buy Your Florida Fishing License

Ready to buy your license? You can purchase a license online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or through the Fish|Hunt FL app. You can also get one in person at a license agent or tax collector’s office or by phone using 888-FISH-FLORIDA.

 

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