Fishing is a beloved pastime in Alabama, with its abundance of lakes, rivers, and coastal waters teeming with diverse species. However, before you can cast your line, you’ll need to obtain a valid fishing license. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of getting a fishing license in Alabama for 2024, covering all the essential details you need to know.

License Types and Costs

Alabama offers several types of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and preferences. Here are the main options:

Annual Resident Fishing License

  • Cost: $28.10
  • Valid for one year from the date of purchase
  • Required for residents aged 16-64 years

Annual Non-Resident Fishing License

  • Cost: $58.85
  • Valid for one year from the date of purchase
  • Required for non-residents aged 16 and older

7-Day Trip Fishing License

  • Cost: $24.20 (residents), $31.10 (non-residents)
  • Valid for 7 consecutive days from the date of purchase

Alabama also offers additional licenses for specific scenarios, such as:

  • Saltwater Angler Registration (free for residents, $6.10 for non-residents)
  • Disabled Fishing License ($6.55 for residents, $13.10 for non-residents)
  • Lifetime Licenses (costs vary based on age and residency status)

Where to Purchase

You can purchase your Alabama fishing license through the following channels:

  • Online: Visit and follow the prompts to purchase your license electronically. You’ll need to provide personal information like your name, date of birth, address, and proof of residency (for resident licenses). Once purchased, you can print a temporary license or save it on your mobile device.
  • In-Person: Licenses are available at various retailers across the state, including sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and some hardware stores.
  • Mobile App: Download the “Outdoor Alabama” mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to purchase and store your license directly on your smartphone. The app allows you to access your license anytime, get alerts on regulation changes, and locate nearby fishing spots and license vendors.

Age Requirements and Exemptions

In Alabama, a fishing license is required for individuals aged 16 and older. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Children under 16 years old do not need a license when fishing with a licensed parent or legal guardian.
  • Residents aged 65 and older can obtain a free annual fishing license by providing proof of age and residency.
  • Individuals with disabilities may qualify for a discounted license by providing proof of disability, such as certification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, or a physician.

Regulations and Limits

When fishing in Alabama, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s regulations and limits. These include:

  • Bag limits: The maximum number of fish you can keep per day varies by species.
  • Size limits: Certain species have minimum or maximum size requirements.
  • Seasonal restrictions: Some areas or species may have specific seasons when fishing is prohibited or limited.
  • Gear restrictions: Certain types of fishing gear may be prohibited or restricted in certain areas.

You can find detailed information on regulations and limits in the Alabama Fishing Regulations guide, available online at or in print form at license vendors and Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division offices. The guide is updated annually, so be sure to check for the latest information.

Lifetime Licenses

For avid anglers, Alabama offers lifetime fishing licenses, which can be a cost-effective option. The costs vary based on age and residency status:

  • Resident Lifetime Licenses:
  • Ages 2-11: $348.25
  • Ages 12-49: $532.80
  • Ages 50-64: $342.25
  • Ages 65+: $16.10
  • Non-Resident Lifetime Licenses: All ages: $1,184.60

Lifetime licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder and cover both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Can I fish in Alabama without a license?

In most cases, no. Anyone 16 years or older must have a valid fishing license to fish legally in Alabama’s public waters.

How long is an Alabama fishing license valid?

Annual fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Trip licenses (7-day) are valid for 168 consecutive hours.

Do I need a separate license for saltwater and freshwater fishing?

Yes, Alabama requires separate licenses for saltwater and freshwater fishing. You can also purchase combination licenses that include both privileges.

Can I purchase an Alabama fishing license if I’m not a resident?

Yes, non-residents can buy annual or trip licenses for both freshwater and saltwater fishing in Alabama.

Do I need any additional permits or endorsements to fish in Alabama?

If you plan to fish for gulf reef fish species in saltwater, you’ll need the Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement in addition to your saltwater fishing license.

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