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florida fishing license complete guide

Florida Fishing License: Everything To Know

The Best Florida Fishing Licenses Guide For Everything To Know Before You Start Fishing

One reason people flock to Florida every year is to go fishing. No matter if you are a resident or not, you must always think about whether or not you are covered with a Florida fishing license. These are several different types of fishing licenses that anglers can get, which ranges from annual to short term or saltwater fishing license to freshwater. We want to answer all your fishing license questions. This is our go-to guide for everything you need to know about the Florida fishing license before you get out on the water fishing.

Get A Florida Fishing License

Do you need a fishing license in Florida?

You will need a Florida fishing license if you want to fish in the state of Florida. Maybe you are new to the state or traveling to it in the next few months, obtaining a Florida fishing license should be on your list to do if you plan on going fishing. Fishing licenses are available in several different ways, from short term to annual, freshwater to a saltwater fishing license, or the combined Florida sportsman license that encompasses it all. No matter if you are a resident or not, you will be able to afford a license to get out there and enjoy the natural wonders of fishing in the state of Florida.

Who needs a Florida fishing license?

Who needs a Florida fishing license?

Who needs a Florida fishing license?

If you are a Florida resident aged between 16 and 65 or a non-resident over the age of 16, then you are required to have a Florida fishing license. If you plan on fishing any of the waterways, both freshwater or saltwater, you better have a license. You are required to have a fishing license to help someone bait their hook and setting up any fishing gear.

There are several types of fishing in Florida that do not require an angler to have a fishing license. If you pay to go on a registered saltwater fishing charter, then you are not required by law to have a fishing license. The charter company covers you. Another way is if you are fishing on a licensed pier. Your license is included when you pay the pier admission. A shoreline fishing license is free to any Florida resident who wants to go saltwater fishing from shore. The only other people who can fish for free in Florida are individuals with severe disabilities, military personnel visiting home for short term stays, and people on food stamps. Once again, if you fall into one of these categories, you better make sure you have a proof for the coast guard of FWC game wardens.

Do senior citizens need a license to fish in Florida?

Florida takes care of its senior citizens when it comes to fishing licenses. If you are over the age of 65, live in the state of Florida, and can provide proof of age and address, then you can fish for free. If the FWC game warden stops you, then you will have to be able to provide an ID to prove age and residence.

If you are from out of state and over the age of 65, then you will be required to purchase a non-resident saltwater fishing license or freshwater fishing license. Avoid all fines by carrying your license with you while out fishing. 

Where to buy Florida fishing license?

Where to buy Florida fishing license?

Where to buy Florida fishing license?

Florida fishing licenses can be purchased online and at many different registered locations in Florida. Most sporting good stores and fishing retailers can sign you up for a fishing license. These types of stores are Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, and registered small bait and tackle shops. Another place that people often forget they can purchase a fishing license is the tax collector's offices. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission online is the easiest way to get a Florida fishing license. Go online and sign up and pay and have your fishing license within a few minutes. Maybe you do not like using computers, that ok cause you can get them over the phone at +1 (888) 347-4356 (FISH-FLORIDA).

If money is an issue, then getting your Florida fishing license from the tax collector is the best cost-effective way. You will avoid any additional service charges that your local bait shops, sporting good stores, and online methods will charge.

How much is a Florida fishing license?

Florida fishing licenses will depend on several factors. The first thing that matters is whether or not you are a Florida resident. Visiting vacationers are eligible for purchasing an out of state license but will pay a lot higher price than residents. The standard fishing license for vacationers depending on how long their trip is a three or 7-day fishing license.

If you want a freshwater/saltwater fishing license, you will have to be a Florida resident. The same thing goes for a long term 5-year fishing license in both saltwater and freshwater fishing. To get resident status in Florida, you must have a permanent residence in the state or be in the US Armed Forces stationed in Florida. Here is a complete breakdown of what a resident and non-resident will pay for a Florida fishing license:

Florida Fishing License Prices

Florida Fishing License Prices

One thing that is great about the price of Florida fishing licenses is it all goes into conservation for the state of Florida. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) is the governing body that helps keep Florida estuaries and fisheries in a state of healthy and thriving. This is why you should renew your fishing license every year to help with the sustainability of local wildlife and fisheries.

Florida saltwater fishing license

Florida Saltwater Fishing License

Florida Saltwater Fishing License

One of the biggest draws that Florida has on anglers is the amount of saltwater fishing and species that can be targeted. To go saltwater fishing, a fisherman is required to have a Florida saltwater fishing license. No matter if you are fishing from a boat or kayak, you will have to have a fishing license before you cast in a line. The saltwater fishing license will cover all open oceans, bays, inshore waterways, intercoastal waterways, lagoons, marshes, and any other locations that hold saltwater fish. Make sure to check whether or not you need a tag or permit to fish for specific species like snook, tarpon, lobster, and shore-based shark fishing. 

One of the biggest markets on the west coast of Florida toward Steinhatchee is scalloping. Harvesting scallops are done with a regular saltwater fishing license during scallop season. 

Florida freshwater fishing license

Florida Freshwater Fishing License

Florida Freshwater Fishing License

If you love bass fishing and live in the state of Florida, you are required by law to have a Florida freshwater fishing license. There are so many great species of fish that anglers like to target in the canal, ponds, and lakes in Florida. Get your freshwater fishing license to avoid any fines and tickets from the FWC. In Florida, there is such thing as brackish water that could hold both freshwater and saltwater species. If you are fishing for largemouth bass in these areas and have a freshwater fishing license and hook up on a redfish, then simply release it and keep fishing.

How do I renew my Florida fishing license?

Once you have a Florida fishing license, it is straightforward to renew. The annual fishing license lasts for 12 months in the state of Florida. Keeping track of when it expired can be found online or on your fishing license card. Once it is expired, you can renew it at a licensed retailer or go on to go outdoors Florida, to renew.

Florida fishing regulations

Florida Fishing Regulations

Florida Fishing Regulations

Each species of fish has its fishing laws and regulations that are put into place to protect the species and prevent overfishing from occurring. Florida has a strict set of fishing regulations in place to protect its fisheries. These fishing laws are put in place to preserve future generations by managing fish species and their natural resources. If you are fishing in the state of Florida, and have purchased your Florida fishing license, become aware of the fishing regulations and laws. Check your Florida fishing regulations before your next fishing trip to ensure you do not break the law.

Is my Florida fishing license valid in Georgia?

I am sure you are wondering why on earth would anyone think a Florida fishing license would be useful in Georgia. Well, some waterways share the Florida/Georgia border. St Mary's River and Lake Seminole are two of these areas. The rule is simple. Whatever state you put in, you will need a fishing license. Feel free to fish the Georgia side of the river after putting in just make sure you pull your boat out on the Florida side of the river.

What is the no fishing license fine?

What happens if you go fishing in Florida without a Florida fishing license? If you get caught, you are going to face a penalty and get fined. Fines start at $50 and go up after first offense. You will also be required to pay the cost of the license plus the fine. It's something easy to avoid; just make sure you have a Florida fishing license before you get out on the water fishing.

We hope this will answer the majority of questions that you have about a Florida fishing license. No matter if you are a resident or not, we have the answers you need to be covered before you go out fishing. Our complete Florida fishing license guide is designed to make sure you get the right fishing license for the type of fishing you will be doing. Maybe you are planning a trip to Florida for fishing, sign up online, and get your fishing license before you arrive. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at We will be glad to get back to you and get your questions answered as fast as possible. We would love to hear all about your Florida fishing experiences. We would also like to see all of your Florida catches, so make sure you send us all your great photos to be featured on our social media pages. Make sure to check out our fishing species page for other great content related to each species of fish you may be targeting. Find your next fantastic fish recipe today that the whole family will enjoy. Enjoy your fishing trip and make sure you have your Florida fishing license next time your fishing in the sunshine state. 

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Thomas Ayer - June 10, 2023

If I have a fishing license to fish from a boat in Florida Do I need a different license to fish from the shore?

Thomas Ayer - June 10, 2023

If I have a fishing license to fish from a boat in Florida Do I need a different license to fish from the shore?

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