Texas Fishing License | Online Fishing Licenses

Texas fishing license

All license fees are used to support outdoor recreation and conservation. Texas fishing license fees fund the Texas Parks and wildlife department for fishing and conservation education, wildlife management, fish stocking programs, hatchery management, habitat development, and other conservation-related activities to protect fish populations for future generations.

Purchasing a Texas fishing license is not only the law but is a great way to contribute to habitat restoration to promote a thriving environment for the local wildlife. In return, that means more and better outdoor activities for us to catch healthy fish and have quality hunting experiences.

Texas is a top-notch fishing destination and has endless opportunities between all its freshwater spots, special Lake Texoma fishing trips, state parks, and being near the Gulf of Mexico. Obtaining a valid fishing license is the only step needed to enjoy all the fishing Texas offers.

There are many options to purchase licenses. The most convenient way for most people is online, whether on the TPWD Texas Parks wildlife website or through their app. Another option is in person at many different types of stores located throughout the state. To get a fishing license or permit, you need your driver’s license and social security number.

Where To Purchase TX Fishing License

Online

Anglers can buy their fishing license and permit online at the Texas Hunting and Fishing Licenses website or through the app Texas Outdoor Annual.

Phone

Anglers can call and purchase a fishing license over the phone at (800) 895-4248.

The office is available Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM CST. They are closed for most state holidays.

In-Person

Texas recreational hunting & fishing licenses, permits, stamps, and tags, are available at about 1,700 locations throughout the state. Local retail locations include bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores, gun shops, department stores, discount stores, and even grocery stores.

Who Needs To Get A Texas Fishing License

Resident and Non Resident Requirements

Anybody 17 and over (who isn’t exempt) is required to have a valid Texas fishing license to legally fish in any public waters in Texas. This age requirement goes for both Texas residents and non-residents and applies even on freshwater fishing charters with a captain as well as when fishing from a dock or shore. Anybody actively participating needs to purchase a fishing license, whether they are netting fish, baiting hooks, or temporarily holding a rod.

Exceptions For Everyone

The following exceptions apply to both residents and non -residents. Under these conditions, anglers do not need to have a fishing license.

Texas Resident Exceptions

A Texas fishing license is not required for a Texas resident if they are:

  • Texas residents born before January 1931
  • A Texas resident with an intellectual disability fishing under the supervision of approved personnel employed by a hospital, school for intellectual disability, or residence does not need a license. This means an angler can fish license-free as part of a supervised therapy program. 
  • A resident with an intellectual disability does not need a license when fishing under the direct supervision of someone who is either a family member or authorized by the family and has a license.

The person with an intellectual disability needs to have a note from a doctor stating they have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.

Non Resident Exceptions

Licenses are not required for:

  • Louisiana residents 65 or older who possess a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License (includes Senior Fish/Hunt License)
  • An Oklahoma resident 65 or older
Oklahoma fishing licenses - ok  license

Texas Fishing License Info and Costs

Anglers need both a fishing license and an endorsement to fish legally in Texas, which usually will come together as a package. When purchasing your package, you can choose either freshwater or saltwater, or get both in an All-water package. A valid license with a freshwater endorsement or a saltwater endorsement is required to take mussels, clams, crayfish, fish, or other aquatic life in Texas’s public waters. A hunting license is required to take frogs and turtles. Once you have purchased a fishing license, you can always add an extra endorsement rather than buying a whole new package.

When purchased separately, freshwater endorsements cost $5.00 and saltwater endorsements cost $10.00 for residents, non-residents, and senior residents.

What Each License Package or Tag Gets you
  • License-year packages always expire on August 31, so if you purchase one in July, it will only be valid for about a month until August 31.
  • Year from purchase All-water packages are valid from the date of purchase through the end of the purchase month of the following year. Only Texas state residents can get the year from purchase all water packages.
  • One-Day All Water License allows you to fish both salt and fresh water on the day of your choice.
  • Red Drum Tag is needed to keep a redfish longer than 28 inches. The Red drum tag costs $3.00 but is included in the Saltwater and All water packages, the one-day license package, lifetime licenses, and saltwater endorsements. Therefore, the only time someone would need to purchase a red drum tag separately as if they were exempt from needing a fishing license or wanted to keep a second trophy redfish.

Freshwater Fishing License Year Package

A freshwater package includes a fishing license for a Texas resident, a senior resident, or a non-resident valid from the date of sale to August 31 of the same year and a freshwater endorsement. Anglers may also purchase a saltwater endorsement.

A senior freshwater package is available to all Texas residents 65 years of age and older, born on or after January 1, 1931.

  • Texas Resident Freshwater Package  $30
  • Non-resident Freshwater Package $58
  • Senior Freshwater Package $12

Saltwater Fishing License Year Package

Saltwater packages include Texas resident, non-resident, or a senior resident fishing license valid from the purchase date to August 31 of the same year, a saltwater endorsement, and a red drum tag. Anglers may also purchase a freshwater endorsement.

  • Resident Saltwater Package $35
  • Non-resident Saltwater Package $63
  • Senior Saltwater Package $17

All water License Year Packages

An all-water fishing license package includes a resident fishing license, a Texas senior resident license, or a non-resident license, as well as a freshwater endorsement and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag. An all-water license is valid from the date of sale to August 31 of the same year.

A senior all water package is available to all residents 65 years and older born on or after January 1, 1931.

  • Texas Resident All-Water Package $40
  • Year-from-Purchase All-Water Package for Texas residents $47
  • Non-resident All-Water Package $68
  • Senior All-Water Package $22

One-Day-All Water License

Valid for both fresh and saltwater on a day of your choice. A senior resident rate is not available.

  • Residents $11.00
  • Non-residents $16.00

Lifetime License

Lifetime Texas fishing licenses and tags are available for residents. They cost $1000 but allow you to fish anywhere in Texas and keep one trophy red drum each year. Residents can also upgrade these licenses to a Hunting/Fishing combo license for an additional $800.

law enforcement offices - Texas parks

Lake Texoma License

With a Lake Texoma license, anglers are permitted to fish both the Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma without any additional fishing licenses from either state. A Texas resident 65 and older does not need the Lake Texoma license to fish in the Oklahoma part of the lake. A Lake Texoma license is valid until December 31 of the year purchased. This license is only valid on Lake Texoma. If you have a regular Texas Freshwater Fishing Package, you can fish the Texan side of Lake Texoma without purchasing a separate Lake Texoma license. In this case, be careful not to stray into the Oklahoma portion.

Lake Texoma license for both residents and non-residents $12

TEXAS “THE LONE STAR STATE” Tour - Sunshine ToursMilitary Super Combo Package

The Super Combo hunting and All Water Fishing Package is a special fishing license in Texas for military personnel. This combo package includes everything one would need for Texas hunting and fishing, including the Red Drum tag. The super combo license is available to resident active-duty military personnel as well as veterans of any state with a 50% disability rating or who have lost the use of a limb. Disabled veterans can apply by submitting official proof of disability issued by the Veteran’s Administration. This package is entirely free and allows you to fish and hunt anywhere in Texas.

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