Fishing License In Florida | Non-Resident and Resident
All license fees are used to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to help sustain Florida’s fish and wildlife resources. Every license holder is also assisting the Florida wildlife conservation commission to recover excise taxes from the Federal government from related items such as fishing tackle and fuel.
Purchasing a Florida fishing license is not only the law but is a great way to help our wildlife management area and contribute to habitat restoration. In return, that means more and better outdoor activities for us to catch healthy fish and have quality hunting experiences.
Florida is considered one of the top fishing destinations in the world, offering endless opportunities between all its freshwater and saltwater spots. Obtaining a valid fishing license is the only step needed to enjoy all the fishing Florida offers.
There are many options to purchase licenses. The most convenient way for most people is online, whether on the FWC website or through their app. Another option is in person at many different retail stores located throughout the state. To get a fishing license or permit, you need your driver’s license and social security number.
Where To Get Florida Fishing License
Anglers can buy their fishing and hunting licenses and permits online at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website or through the app FishHuntFL.
You can click on the picture of the 5-year fishing license above and go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and get your fishing license online for whatever date you will be fishing. (note: The actual paper license is not needed, bring a printout or take a picture of the approval number from the website, which is all that’s required.)
You can call the toll FREE number at any time, even the morning you go fishing to get your license. 1-888-347-4356 or 1-888-FISH-FLO
Florida fishing and hunting licenses and permits are available at many retail locations throughout the state. Local retail locations include bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores, gun shops, and department stores. This method does keep you from paying an online or phone convenience fee with the other two options. The most common places to get your fishing licenses and permits in person are Walmart Supercenter or Bass Pro Shops.
Who Needs To Get Florida Fishing Licenses
Residents between 16 years of age and 65 and all non-residents over the age of 16 (who aren’t exempt) must have a Florida fishing license. Even those only practicing catch and release still need a fishing license.
- This requirement applies even on freshwater fishing charters with a captain.
- Individuals of age (who aren’t exempt) need a saltwater fishing license to catch saltwater fish privately in Florida, whether from the ocean, lagoons, or bays.
- Saltwater anglers onboard a saltwater fishing charter with a licensed captain do not need a saltwater fishing license since it is covered under the captain’s license.
- Florida residents can get a free shoreline fishing license, which allows you to fish for saltwater species from land.
Florida doesn’t offer discounted licenses for non-residents. All non-residents over 16 need a standard non-resident license. This rule includes non-resident seniors, active and former military personnel, and those with disabilities.
Freshwater Fishing License Exemptions
Anglers who fall under these conditions do not need to have a fishing license in Florida.
- You are a child under 16 years of age. (Also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements.)
- You are a Florida resident age 65 or older possessing proof of age and residency or possessing a Resident Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. Residents age 65 or older may obtain, at no cost, complimentary hunting and fishing certificates from county tax collectors’ offices.
- You hunt or freshwater fish in your county of residence on your homestead or the homestead of your spouse or minor child, or if you are a minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead of your parent.
- You are a Florida resident certified as totally and permanently disabled, and you possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
- United States military personnel who are Florida residents, not stationed in this state, and are home on leave for 30 days or less. (upon submission of orders).
- You are someone observing or filming someone else fishing and not assisting in the take.
These exemptions do not apply to the federal duck stamp. You do not need a freshwater fishing license if:
- You have been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Department of Children and Family Services. The department must furnish proof to such clients.
- You are a resident who is fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, and you are fishing for noncommercial purposes in your home county. However, you must have a valid fishing license to fish by any method in a fish management area.
- You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or less, which is located entirely within the private property of its owner. A fish pond is a man-made pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the owner’s property lines and with no surface water connection to public waters.
- You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or more, whose owner has purchased a fish pond license at a fee of $3 per surface acre.
- You possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial License.
- You are fishing in the St. Mary’s River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license.
- You are freshwater fishing during Free Fishing Weekend (the first weekend of April and the second weekend in June).
Exceptions for saltwater fishing licenses
- You are a Florida resident and a client for developmental disabilities services with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
- You are fishing on a saltwater fishing charter with a captain that has a valid charter license.
- You are fishing on the free saltwater fishing day (first weekend in June, first Saturday in September, and Saturday after Thanksgiving)
- You are fishing from a Florida pier with a valid saltwater pier license
- You are a resident fishing for mullet in freshwater who have a valid resident freshwater fishing license
- You are a resident fishing from land or a structure fixed to land and is eligible for temporary cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid by the Department of Children and Families
Florida Licenses and Costs
It is recommended to get a license covering both saltwater and freshwater species because they often overlap in Florida’s waters. For example, many saltwater species like tarpon and snook find their way into freshwater canals. However, if you are not covered for a specific species that you catch, simply throw it back right away.
Annual Freshwater $17
Annual saltwater $17
5-Year Saltwater $79
Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Combo $32.50
3-Day Freshwater $17
7-Day Freshwater $30
Annual Freshwater $47
3-Day Saltwater $17
7-Day Saltwater $30
Annual saltwater $47
Most Florida fish are covered under a regular freshwater or saltwater license as long as they are legal to target. Snook, Tarpon, and Spiny Lobster are the only three exceptions to this that require the purchase of an additional permit or tag in Florida to keep them; otherwise, anglers must practice catch and release.
- Tarpon is catch and release only unless you purchase a Tarpon tag, which allows one per year for anglers pursuing an IGFA record. Price: $51.50 per year.
- A Snook permit is needed to keep one per day during the open season. Price: $10 per year or $50 for five years (residents only).
- Anglers planning to take Spiny Lobster need a permit. Price: $5 per year or $25 for five years (residents only).