Recreational Fishing Licenses in Florida

Mon, Oct 10, 2011

General Legal Issues

Recreational Fishing Licenses in FloridaThe state of Florida requires recreational fishing licenses—two different ones—for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Christopher Smith urges you to educate yourself about the requirements, so you can avoid the fines you will pay if you are found fishing without the proper license.

An important part of understanding what license you need, is knowing whether you qualify as a Florida resident. Check out this link to learn more. There are also several exceptions to needing a license that are listed here. The state also offers various lifetime recreational fishing licenses for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Check out this link to learn about those.


Freshwater Recreational Fishing Licenses

Freshwater fishing license information is found here on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website. Annual and five-year licenses are offered to Florida residents. The freshwater fishing licenses can also be combined with saltwater and hunting licenses.

Children under the age of 16 are exempt from needing a recreational freshwater fishing license in the state of Florida. There are other exceptions that include disabled individuals, those over 65, those fishing on their own property, those fishing on private property, etc. These can be quite specific, so be sure and check out the link mentioned earlier for the specific exceptions.

The pricing increases dramatically if you are not a Florida resident. Annual, 3-day, and 7-day passes are available.


Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses

The information about saltwater recreational fishing licenses is found here.

Saltwater licenses are also offered in similar combinations as recreational freshwater fishing licenses. Permits for snook, lobster, and tarpon may also be needed in addition to the saltwater license.

Children under the age of 16 are exempt from needing a recreational saltwater fishing license. Some other exceptions include fishing from certain piers, certain commercial fishing vessels, the type of fish you are catching, etc. Be sure and check out the link we mentioned earlier for the specific exceptions.

A requirement that might be a surprise to some Florida saltwater anglers is that Florida residents are required to have a saltwater shoreline license. This is for when you are fishing along a shoreline (or area considered shoreline by the state). The requirements about this license can be found here. This requirement came into effect in 2009 and is required for Florida residents who are not exempt from needing a saltwater fishing license. It is not required, however, for those already having a recreational saltwater license (or one of the combination licenses that include the saltwater license). The license is free, but may require a convenience fee depending on where you order your license.

As with freshwater licenses, nonresidents are subject to different requirements and pricing.


To learn more about fishing in Florida, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife’s site.


Photo by

, , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.