Florida Fishing License

John Lewis

Florida Fishing License 2023-2024: Ultimate Guide to Legally Fish in Florida!

Fishing License, FL Fishing License, Florida Fishing License

Welcome to the informative article about the Florida fishing license. Understanding the procedures and rules around getting a fishing license is essential if you’re a fishing enthusiast looking to cast your hook in Florida’s stunning waterways. This page attempts to provide you with important information on Florida fishing licenses, whether you live in the state or are just visiting. We’ll go over everything you need to know to have a safe and fun fishing trip in the Sunshine State, from the variety of available licenses to the procedures for getting one. So, let’s dive in and discover everything there is to know about getting a Florida fishing license!

About Florida fishing license

Content Highlights

Recreational fishing in Florida requires a Florida fishing license. Fishing in Florida’s ocean, bays, lagoons, lakes, and rivers is allowed with the license. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) issues fishing licenses to ensure fishers follow state rules and conservation activities. Florida individuals with severe impairments and Florida-based military members may qualify for complimentary fishing permits. Short-term and long-term Florida fishing permits vary in price depending on residence and tenure. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sells licenses online, in stores, and by phone. Fishing licenses help protect Florida’s unique aquatic environments.

Florida Fishing License Options

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Freshwater Fishing License TypeDescription
Resident LicenseAnnual or five-year license for Florida residents
Non-Resident LicenseAnnual, three-day, or seven-day license for non-residents
Combination LicenseCombined freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and hunting
Sportsman's LicenseCovers fishing, hunting, archery, muzzleloading guns, and more
Youth LicenseOptional license for youth ages 8 to 15
Lifetime LicenseRemains valid even if you move out of Florida

Saltwater Fishing License

Saltwater Fishing License TypeDescription
Resident LicenseOne-year or five-year license for residents
Non-Resident LicenseAnnual, three-day, or seven-day license for non-residents
Shoreline OnlyNo-cost license for fishing from the shore
Combination LicenseCombines saltwater fishing with freshwater and/or hunting
Sportsman's LicenseCovers fishing, hunting, archery, muzzleloading guns, and more
Youth LicenseOptional license for youth ages 8 to 15

FL Fishing Licenses Fees

Freshwater Fishing Licenses Fees

Fresh Water Fishing LicenseFee
Resident Annual$17.00
Resident Five-Year$79.00
Non-Resident Annual$47.00
Non-Resident 3-Day$17.00
Non-Resident 7-Day$30.00
Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing|Saltwater Fishing Combination$32.50
Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing|Hunting Combination$32.50
Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing|Saltwater Fishing|Hunting Combination$48.00
Annual Resident Sportsman's License$80.50
Annual Resident Silver Sportsman's 64+$13.50
Five-Year Resident Silver Sportsman's 64+$61.50
Annual Resident Gold Sportsman's License$100.00
Five-Year Resident Gold Sportsman's License$494.00
Annual Resident Military Gold Sportsman's License$20.00
Resident Youth Freshwater Fishing License$17.00
Resident Youth Gold Sportsman's License (with completion of hunter education requirements)$100.00

Residents Only Lifetime Licenses

Lifetime License TypeAgeFee
Lifetime Gold Sportsman's4 or younger$401.50
Ages 5-12$701.50
Ages 13+$1,001.50
Lifetime Hunting4 or younger$201.50
Ages 5-12$351.50
Ages 13+$501.50
Lifetime Saltwater Fishing4 or younger$126.50
Ages 5-12$226.50
Ages 13+$301.50
Lifetime Freshwater Fishing4 or younger$126.50
Ages 5-12$226.50
Ages 13+$301.50

Salt Water Fishing Licenses Fees 

Saltwater License TypeFees
Resident Annual$17.00
Resident Five-Year$79.00
Non-Resident Annual$47.00
Non-Resident 3-Day$17.00
Non-Resident 7-Day$30.00
Saltwater Shoreline-Only (Resident Annual)No-Cost
Fishing and Hunting Combination
(Saltwater Fishing and Freshwater Fishing)
Annual Resident$32.50
Annual Resident$48.00
Gold Sportsman's License
(Includes Saltwater Fishing, Hunting, and Freshwater Fishing)
Annual Resident$100.00
Five-Year Resident$494.00
Military Gold Sportsman's License
(Includes Hunting, Saltwater Fishing, and Freshwater Fishing)
Annual Resident (Military)$20.00
Youth Licenses
Resident Youth Saltwater Fishing$17.00
Resident Youth Gold Sportsman's
License (with hunter education completion)$100.00

Florida Saltwater Fishing Permit

Saltwater Fishing Permit TypeAge RequirementFeeAvailability
State Reef Fish Angler Designation16 and older$0.00 Annual
Shore-based Shark Fishing16 and older$0.00 Annual
SnookAll$10.00 Annual, Five-Year (Residents Only)
Spiny LobsterAll$5.00 Annual, Five-Year (Residents Only)
Tarpon TagsAll$51.50 Annual (Available at tax collector's offices only)
Trap Registration - Blue Crab16 and older$0.00 Annual (Available at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com)
Trap Registration - Stone Crab16 and older$0.00 Annual (Available at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com)

Recreational Vessel & Saltwater Fishing Pier Licenses

LicenseFee
Vessel - Recreational License (Annual)$2,001.50
Saltwater Fishing Pier License (Annual)$501.50

How to buy a Florida fishing license?

MethodDescription
Online - GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or Fish Hunt FL appVisit the website GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or use the Fish Hunt FL app to purchase your license online.
In Person - License agent, tax collector's office, sporting shops, and moreHead to the nearest license agent, tax collector's office, sporting shops, Walmart, or bait and tackle shop to apply for a license in person.
Phone - Toll-free hotlinesCall the toll-free hotlines: 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356) or 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (888-486-8356) to purchase a license over the phone.

License-Free Fishing Days

Type of FishingLicense-Free Fishing Dates
FreshwaterFirst consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April
Second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June
SaltwaterFirst consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June
First Saturday in September
Saturday following Thanksgiving

License Exemption

License Exemption
Child under 16 years of age
Florida resident 65+ with evidence of age and residence
Fishing using live or natural bait on poles or lines without a line-retrieval system.
Georgia-licensed fishing in the St. Mary's River or Lake Seminole
Freshwater fishing in homestead or spouse/parent's county.
Florida inhabitant with a Florida Resident Disabled Hunting and Fishing Certificate
Resident US Armed Forces personnel not stationed in Florida, home on leave for 30 days or fewer, upon receipt of orders.
The Agency for Persons with disability accepted you for developmental disability services, with documentation.
Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License
License-Free Freshwater Fishing Days are April 6-7, 2024, and June 8-9, 2024.

Fishing Privileges in Private Fish Ponds within Property Lines

Fish Pond Fishing
Fishing in a fish pond that is 20 acres or smaller and is totally restricted inside the owner's own land
Using a fish pond license, which costs $3 per surface acre, to fish in a body of water larger than 20 acres

Fishing Seasons and Limits

Statewide Season Limits

Fish SpeciesBag LimitLength Limit
Black Bass (including largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, Choctaw, and shoal bass)5 per person, 1 of which may be 16 inches or longerNo minimum length for largemouth bass
Suwannee, Shoal, Spotted, and Choctaw BassNo kill or possession below 12 inchesN/A
Chipola River and its tributaries (Shoal Bass)Catch and release onlyN/A
Panfish (bluegill, redear sunfish, flier, longear sunfish, mud sunfish, shadow bass, spotted sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish)50 per personN/A
Crappie (speckled perch)25 per personN/A
Striped Bass, White Bass, Sunshine Bass20 per person, up to 6 can be 24 inches or longerN/A
Striped Bass (Suwannee River and tributaries)3 per person, at least 18 inches in total lengthN/A
Striped Bass (Lower Ochlockonee River)3 per person, only 1 can be 24 inches or longerNo minimum length
Butterfly Peacock Bass2 per person, only 1 can be 17 inches or longerN/A
Alabama Shad, American Shad, Hickory Shad, Blueback Herring10 per person, hook and line gear onlyN/A
American Eels25 per angler per day, must be 9 inches or longerN/A

FL Special Season Limits

LocationBlack Bass (Length Limit)Striped Bass, White Bass, Sunshine Bass (Length Limit)Crappie (Length Limit)Panfish (Does not include crappie)Pickerel (Length Limit)
Jim Woodruff Reservoir, Lake Seminole10 (12 inches or longer)15 (no more than 2 can be 22 inches or longer)305015
St. Marys River and its tributaries10 (12 inches or longer)2 (both must be at least 22 inches)305015
Lake Talquin, Leon and Gadsden countiesN/AN/ACrappie less than 10N/AN/A
Silver Glen Springs in Lake and Marion counties and Salt Springs in Marion CountyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rainbow Springs, Marion CountyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wildcat Lake, Marion County (Ocala National Forest)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
St. Johns River Water Management Area (Farm 13, including the Stick Marsh)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Fellsmere Water Management Area (Headwaters Lake and Egan Lake), Indian River CountyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
S.N. Knight Tract, Indian River County (Kenansville Lake)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Lake OkeechobeeN/AN/ACrappie less than 10N/AN/A
Perdido River1015 (only 5 can be 22 inches or longer)3050N/A
Lake Jackson (Walton County)5 (all must be 12 inches or longer, only 1 can be longer than 22 inches)15 (only 5 can be 22 inches or longer)3050N/A

Florida Fishing License Requirements

Age GroupDocumentation Required
Under 13- Certified copy of child's birth certificate
- Social Security Card
- Copy of Florida driver's license of one parent on birth certificate
13-18- Student ID Card (from a Florida school)
- Parent's proof of residency (accompanied by parent at purchase)
16 and older- Valid Florida Driver's License or Identification Card
with residency verified by Florida DHSMV

Residency Requirements

FL Fishing License Residency RequirementAccepted Proofs of Residency
Primary ProofFlorida DHSMV-verified driver license or ID card.
Florida Military Orders active-duty US military and their immediate families stationed here.
Alternate Proof (for residents without a Florida Driver License or ID Card)Florida voter registration card
County clerks issue domicile declarations.
Florida homestead exemption
Additional Proofs (for youths under 18)Florida student ID
Proof of residence - youngster must be accompanied by a parent while purchasing.
Additional Documentation (for lifetime license for child under 13)A lifetime license for a kid under 13 requires additionally documentation.

Note: Landlord certification is no longer considered a valid form of residence identification.

Shoreline license requirements

Shoreline LicenseRequirements
License TypeSaltwater Shoreline Fishing License
EligibilityResidents who only saltwater fish from the land or a structure attached to land
ExclusionsDoes not cover fishing from a boat or from an island accessed by a boat
Documentation Required (Residents)None
License Cost (Residents)Free
Eligibility (Non-Residents)Non-residents are not eligible for this license
Non-Resident OptionsNon-residents must purchase a 3-day, 7-day, or annual non-resident saltwater fishing license unless covered by a charter or pier license
Shoreline License Requirement Effective1-Aug-09
Who Needs a Valid Shoreline License?Resident saltwater anglers fishing from shore or a structure affixed to shore unless exempted or holding a regular saltwater license
Regular Saltwater LicenseResident regular saltwater fishing license ($17) covers fishing from shore and vessel
Wading into the WaterAnglers wading into the water for saltwater fishing are considered fishing from shore if they stand on the bottom and not arrive by boat
Arriving at Fishing Spot by BoatIf arriving at the saltwater fishing location by boat, a regular saltwater fishing license is required
Nonresident Shoreline LicenseNot available to nonresidents
Exemptions- Residents age 65 or older
- Children under age 16
- Resident disabled persons who meet certain qualifications
- Active duty military personnel while home on leave
- Anglers fishing from a licensed pier
- Resident anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid with proof of identification and benefit issuance
or program identification card issued by DCFS or AHCA
- Anglers using a pole or line without a line retrieval mechanism (such as a reel) in their home counties
Gear Exemption (Pole or Line)Resident saltwater anglers using a pole or line without a retrieval mechanism, using natural bait, exempt in home county
Gear Exemption (Net, Crab Basket, etc.)Anglers using gear other than hook and line (e.g., traps, baskets, nets) are not exempt from license requirements
Exemption for Gathering Shellfish by HandNo exemption for gathering shellfish or marine animals by hand
Upgrading to Regular Saltwater LicenseAnglers with a shoreline license can purchase a regular saltwater fishing license if needed
Federal Registration RequirementThe shoreline license requirement was passed to exempt resident anglers from a federal registration requirement and fee
Freshwater Shoreline LicenseNo general exemption or license requirement for fishing from the shore or structure attached to the shore in freshwater
Additional InformationMore information about license requirements is available at MyFWC.com
Snook Permit RequirementIf not exempt and holding a shoreline license, a Snook Permit is required to keep a snook in season
State Reef Fish Angler DesignationStarting July 1, 2020, anglers age 16 and older fishing from a private boat must add the State Reef Fish Angler designation
to their license or customer account to participate in the

Fishing regulations in Florida

  • Florida anglers must follow their bag limitations. With a commercial license, licensed anglers can transport or possess up to two days’ fish bag limit. Aquaculturist-obtained fish for aquariums, brood stock, pond stocking, or sale are exempt. These laws encourage fishermen to fish responsibly and avoid overfishing.
  • No one may have more than twice the daily bag limit of freshwater game fish in Florida for two days.
  • Unless allowed by law, Florida residents cannot capture or possess native freshwater fish or eggs. The wastefulness of fish resources is also forbidden. These safeguards ensure the state’s survival and ecological equilibrium of freshwater fish species. The laws promote sustainable management of Florida’s freshwater ecosystems by discouraging hazardous actions that might deplete or destroy native fish populations.
  • Grass carp and alligator gar are forbidden without a permit. Thus, captured fish must be released immediately. The restrictions govern and monitor the ownership and spread of certain fish species to protect them and the environment. Sportsmen must release grass carp and alligator gar to protect Florida’s aquatic ecosystems.
  • Florida anglers must keep game species, including black bass, striped bass, and white bass, or their hybrids, peacock bass, crappie, and panfish, alive until they stop fishing. During fishing, filleting or removing the head or tail fin is banned. The legislation helps authorities verify precise measurements and compliance with minimum length or slot-size requirements. Regulations protect size limitations and sustainable fishing by keeping game fish intact until the fishing day is through.

For complete regulations, find the links below:

General FMA Regulations
Northwest Region
North Central Region
Northeast Region
Southwest Region
South Region
Bag Regulations
Taking method

Who needs a Florida fishing license?

Florida residents and visitors must have a Florida fishing license to participate in fishing activities. Who need a Florida fishing license is listed below:

  1. Florida Residents: Any Florida citizen who wants to go fishing must have a Florida fishing license, regardless of age.
  1. Non-Resident Visitors: To engage in freshwater fishing, sea fishing, and hunting activities, non-residents who are 16 years of age or older must also get a Florida fishing license.
  1. Saltwater Shoreline Fishing: A $10 shoreline fishing license is required for anybody who wants to fish from the shore in saltwater without using a boat.

It is essential to remember that there are certain exceptions. For instance:

  • A free Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing License may be available to Floridians with severe impairments.
  • If they are Florida Residents, military members stationed in Florida may also fish without charge.

Frequently Asked Questions on Florida Fishing License

Do the license requirements in Florida depend on the location or the species of fish caught?

Unless excluded, Florida requires fishing licenses for freshwater and saltwater. Fishing in freshwater or saltwater requires a license. The criterion needs to be clarified in estuary environments with freshwater and saltwater species. A species-specific license is required. Freshwater or saltwater gear requires a license. Without a license, you must release any animal you capture. Regardless of region, fish species need licenses. Mullet, a saltwater species, may be caught in freshwater with a freshwater license.

What types of fishing licenses are required in Florida?

Florida fishing licenses vary by activity and water type. Lakes, rivers, and ponds need freshwater fishing permits for residents and non-residents. These permits do not limit freshwater crayfish. Saltwater fishing permits are required for ocean and Gulf of Mexico fishing. Non-residents may get saltwater licenses. Commercial and charter fishing needs special permits. Review Florida’s fishing license laws, considering resident status, age, and fishing type. To follow state fishing laws, you need the right license.

Are separate licenses needed for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Florida?

Florida requires separate permits for freshwater and saltwater fishing. The ocean, bays, and lagoons need a saltwater fishing license, whereas lakes and rivers require a freshwater fishing license. Florida citizens may get combined licenses for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Combination licenses save time and money. Residents and non-residents need fishing permits. Duration and kind affect fishing license prices. For licensing requirements, prices, exemptions, or reduced-cost choices for certain organizations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website or other trustworthy sources.

Are there any exemptions to the requirement of having a fishing license in Florida?

Yes, there are exemptions to the requirement of having a fishing license in Florida. Anglers don’t require a license if the pier is licensed for saltwater fishing. Florida recreational fishing licenses are not required for children under 16. These exemptions may have limits. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website or other sources may explain the exemption conditions.

Can fishing licenses be purchased online in Florida?

Florida offers online fishing licenses. The FWC’s website sells fishing permits. Florida citizens and non-residents may easily get fishing licenses and permit online. Individuals may browse FWC licenses, choose the right one, and buy it online. It’s best to check the FWC website or other sources for the latest information on buying fishing permits online in Florida. Requirements, costs, and alternatives may change.

Where can fishing licenses be obtained in person in Florida?

Florida fishing licenses and permits may be purchased in person at tackle shops, outdoor stores, Florida tax collector’s offices, and county tax collector’s offices. Fishing permits are available at these places. However, contact the closest authorized agencies or relevant authorities to confirm the availability and locations of Florida fishing permits in person.

Is there a difference in license requirements for residents and non-residents of Florida?

Florida fishing licenses vary for residents and non-residents. Residents and non-residents must buy fishing licenses. However, some organizations are excluded. Residents must live in Florida full-time or be US military personnel stationed there. Residents may get longer-term and saltwater/freshwater combination licenses. Vacationers may buy shorter-term permits. Florida people with severe impairments and qualifying military veterans get free fishing permits. Consult the FWC or approved merchants to remain up to speed on licensing requirements.

Are there age restrictions for obtaining a fishing license in Florida?

Age requirements apply to getting a fishing license in Florida. In general, to fish in Florida’s freshwater or saltwater bodies, those who are 16 years of age or older, including citizens and non-residents, must possess a valid fishing license.

Can a single fishing license be used for recreational and commercial fishing in Florida?

Recreational and commercial fishing licenses are different in Florida. Commercial fishing requires a license, whereas recreational fishing is for personal pleasure. Resident and non-resident commercial fishing permits have different restrictions and pricing [5]. For the latest fishing license information in Florida, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or the licensing authority. In summary, Florida fishing permits for recreational and commercial fishing have different roles, fees, and restrictions.

What are the consequences of fishing without a valid license in Florida?

Depending on the offense and circumstances, Florida fishing without a license may result in penalties, court summons, or possibly jail. Fishing without a license is a level one noncriminal misdemeanor under Florida code 379.354. Civil sanctions usually include a license fine plus $50. Fishing without a license is usually a $50 fine; however, it may vary based on location, restricted seasons, and protected regions. To avoid these penalties, Florida residents should check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or other authorities for the latest information on fishing without a license.

Which crayfish species are illegal to take in Florida?

Florida regulates freshwater crayfish. Freshwater crayfish have no seasons, gear, bag, or size limitations. Crayfish may be caught without a license. Capturing state-listed crayfish such as Panama City, Sims Sink, and Black Creek is banned. Cave-dwelling crayfish cannot be collected.

John Lewis
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