Get All Your Florida Fishing License Info Here

Florida is a cornucopia of fishing opportunities for residents, visitors, retired anglers, and there are a ton of different fishing licenses for fishing in this state. We wanted to share some helpful resources on choosing the right licenses and knowing when and what licenses you need for your situation and fishing wants because it’s such a popular fishing destination.

One of the top fishing destinations in the United States for non-residents, Florida has one of the largest resident fishing populations as well. That’s largely due to the incredible fishing opportunities in the state. You can catch record fish including big bass, big crappie, big bluegills and shell crackers as well as all sorts of trophy saltwater fish and great tasting fish and table fare.

There are tons of kayak fishing opportunities, bank fishing opportunities on a ton of small lakes, bass fishing bucket list destinations, saltwater fishing like chasing tailing redfish in the finest locales in the nation. It really is a “fishing paradise.” And it’s why it’s one of our favorite destinations to fish here at Wired2fish.

Editor’s Note: The pictures in this article are all members of the Wired2fish content team and their families.

Florida Fishing License Purchase Options Online

The site GoOutdoorsFlorida.com is the main license site for buying fishing licenses in Florida, but you can also go to your app store and download the Fish|Hunt Florida App. You can of course buy your license at local retailers like fishing departments and tackle shops along the state.

Florida Fishing License Requirements and Exemptions

Basically speaking if you are 16 or older, you will likely need a fishing license to fish in Florida. There are a few exemptions for seniors fishing, active military on leave, private fisheries, and fishing with cane poles and the like that we will detail below. But for the most part if you’re an adult, you need a fishing license of some sort.

There are also permits for certain types of fishing and species of fish that you need to be aware of.

walker's father with a nice jack off the beach

Exemptions to Fishing Licenses in Florida

There are exemptions for seniors fishing in Florida, military on leave in Florida, youth in Florida, fishing on your own homestead, disabled persons, fishing ponds, and more. If you meet one of these criteria, then you are not required to have a fishing license in Florida. 

  • under the age of 16.
  • Senior resident that is 65 or older
  • Resident anglers fishing on their homestead or the homestead of a spouse or minor child
  • Permanently disabled anglers who posses the Disabled Person’s Hunting / Fishing Permit
  • Military personal not stationed in Florida at home on leave for less than 30 days
  • Anglers fishing a pond under 21 acres that is completely on private property
  • Anglers fishing a pond over 20 acres that the owner has a fishing pond license
  • Resident Commercial Fishing License holders
  • Those fishing on a free state fishing day
  • Residents fishing with live/natural bait with cane poles or rods without line retrieving equipment in non commercial capacity
  • Anglers fishing on a saltwater boat for-hire with a valid charter license
  • Anglers fishing on a boat whose operator has a valid recreational saltwater vessel license
  • Residents fishing from the bank or a structure on the bank who are eligible for food stamp, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid by the Department of Children and Families

There are often fishing exemptions added and changed that you can keep up with at https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/do-i-need-one/.

Different Types of Fishing Licenses for Florida Fishing

There are many fishing license types and permits for different species and types of angling. Please consult the Florida Fishing Regulations for annual updates to these. But here is quick rundown of the common types of fishing licenses and permits in Florida.

  • Resident licenses (1 or 5 year available)
  • Non-resident licenses (annual, 3- or 7-day options available)
  • Combination licenses (you can combine freshwater, saltwater and hunting into one license to save money in any combination of the three)
  • Sportsman’s Licenses (these licenses cover basically everything you can do hunting and fishing in the state).
  • Lifetime Licenses (pay one price now and never worry about licenses again in the state).

Find updated information here: https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/.

kyle nice florida bass

What are the freshwater Florida Fishing License Costs

Since there are so many different licenses to choose from we wanted to share a good resource piece that shows all the different types of licenses and fees for each.

Resident Freshwater Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing License: $17
  • 5-year Freshwater Fishing License: $79
  • Lifetime License: Depends on your age

Combo Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combination License: $32.50
  • Annual Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License: $32.50
  • Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License: $48
  • Annual Sportsman’s License: $80.50

Non-Resident Freshwater Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing License: $47
  • 3-day Freshwater Fishing License: $17
  • 7-day Freshwater Fishing License: $30

Permits

  • Private Pond Owner Permit for Owners of Ponds over 20 Acres: $3 per surface acre

More information can be found here: https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/freshwater-fishing/.

kyle brita fishing in florida

Which Florida Saltwater Fishing License and Permits do I need 

Resident Saltwater Licenses

  • Annual Saltwater Fishing License: $17.00
  • 5-year Saltwater Fishing License: $79.00

Combo Licenses

  • Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combination License: $32.50
  • Annual Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License: $32.50
  • Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License: $48.00
  • Annual Sportsman’s License: $80.50

Non-Resident Saltwater Licenses

  • Annual Saltwater Fishing License: $47.00
  • 3-day Saltwater Fishing License: $17.00
  • 7-day Saltwater Fishing License: $30.00

Saltwater Fishing Permits

  • State Reef Fish Angler Permit: $0
  • Shore-based Shark Fishing Permit: $0
  • Annual Snook Permit: $10
  • Resident 5-year Snook Permit: $50
  • Annual Spiny Lobster Permit: $5
  • Resident 5-year Spiny Lobster Permit: $25
  • Annual Tarpon Tag: $51.50
  • Trap Registration Tag – Blue Crab: $0
  • Trap Registration Tag – Stone Crab: $0
  • Hard Card (hard registration license card): $5

More information can be found here: https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/.

saltwater catfish on the island

License Free Fishing Days in Florida

License-free freshwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April
  • Second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June

License-free saltwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June
  • First Saturday in September
  • Saturday following Thanksgiving

More information can be found here: https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/do-i-need-one/free-fishing/.

nice sea trout while fishing in florida

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