Florida is renowned as the “Fishing Capital of the World”, offering incredible angling opportunities in its teeming freshwater lakes, rivers and coastal waters. But before you wet a line, it’s crucial to obtain the proper Florida fishing license for your residency status and intended activities.

This comprehensive guide breaks down the various types of Florida fishing licenses and their costs in 2024 for both residents and non-residents. We’ll cover saltwater and freshwater licenses, combination licenses, lifetime and youth options, and how to get your license so you can focus on landing that trophy catch.

Florida Fishing License Options & Fees

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers several license types based on residency, age, duration, and the species you’re targeting. License fees support conservation efforts to maintain the state’s world-class fisheries.

Resident Fishing Licenses

Florida residents have access to very affordable annual and 5-year license options:

License TypeCost
Annual Freshwater or Saltwater$17.00
5-Year Freshwater or Saltwater$79.00
Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Combo$32.50
5-Year Freshwater/Saltwater Combo$150.50
Annual Saltwater ShorelineFREE

To qualify as a resident for fishing license purposes, you must have declared Florida as your only state of residence or be a member of the US Armed Forces stationed in Florida.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Visitors to the Sunshine State can choose from 3-day, 7-day or annual licenses:

License TypeCost
3-Day Freshwater or Saltwater$17.00
7-Day Freshwater or Saltwater$30.00
Annual Freshwater or Saltwater$47.00

Florida doesn’t offer discounted licenses for non-residents. Everyone needs a regular non-resident fishing license, including seniors.

Lifetime Sportsman’s Licenses

For residents who want to lock in their license privileges for life, the FWC offers lifetime sportsman’s licenses at a significant discount for youth:

AgeFreshwater or SaltwaterSportsman’s Gold
0-4 years$126.50$401.50
5-12 years$226.50$701.50
13 years & up$301.50$1,001.50

The Sportsman’s Gold license covers hunting, freshwater and saltwater fishing, plus a variety of permits like snook, lobster, deer, turkey and more.

Additional Permits

Some species like snook, spiny lobster, tarpon and sharks require an additional tag or permit on top of your standard fishing license:

Permit TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Snook$10.00 annual, $50.00 5-year$10.00 annual
Spiny Lobster$5.00 annual, $25.00 5-year$5.00 annual
Tarpon Tag$51.50 annual$51.50 annual
Shore-based SharkFREEFREE

The shore-based shark permit requires completing an online educational course first. It’s needed for shark fishing from beaches and attached structures like piers and bridges.

License Exemptions

You don’t need a license if you’re:

  • A child under 16 years old
  • A Florida resident 65+ (you just need proof of age & residency)
  • Fishing from a licensed pier or charter with a valid vessel license
  • A resident who is fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines without a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, and fishing for non-commercial purposes in your county of residence
  • A resident fishing for recreational purposes in your county of residence on your homestead or the homestead of your spouse or minor child
  • A resident certified as totally and permanently disabled who possesses a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate

How to Get Your Florida Fishing License

You can purchase a Florida fishing license:

  • Online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
  • By calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA
  • In person at a license agent or tax collector’s office
  • Through the Fish Hunt FL mobile app

Licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. All sales are final, so consider your options carefully.


With your valid Florida fishing license in hand, you’re all set to experience the unrivaled angling the Fishing Capital of the World has to offer. Remember, your license dollars go right back into conserving and enhancing Florida’s fisheries and habitats, so you’re supporting the resource every time you purchase a license or permit. Tight lines out there!

Do I need a fishing license if I’m fishing from a pier or shore?

Yes, a valid fishing license is required for all anglers aged 16 and above, regardless of whether you’re fishing from a boat, pier, or shore.

Can I purchase a fishing license for someone else?

Yes, you can purchase a fishing license as a gift for someone else. You’ll need to provide their personal information, such as name, address, and date of birth, during the purchase process.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your fishing license, you can easily replace it online, by phone, or in person at any license agent location. A small replacement fee may apply.

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

You can purchase separate licenses for saltwater and freshwater fishing or opt for a combined license that covers both. The combined license offers a discounted price compared to purchasing the licenses separately.

How long is my fishing license valid?

The validity of your fishing license depends on the type of license you purchase. Annual licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase, while short-term licenses (e.g., 3-day or 7-day) are valid for the specified number of consecutive days.

Similar Posts