Do you need a fishing license in Florida?
Florida, known as the “Fishing Capital of the World,” is a dream destination for many anglers. Whether you’re looking to catch bass in the freshwater lakes or reel in a big game fish offshore, the Sunshine State offers a wealth of fishing opportunities. But before you grab your gear and head out on the water, it’s important to know whether you need a fishing license in Florida.
Fishing License Requirements
In most cases, a fishing license is required to fish in Florida, regardless of whether you’re a resident or a non-resident. However, like many states, Florida offers several exemptions and exceptions that you should be aware of.
Resident Fishing License
Florida residents who are 16 years of age or older and fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines without a reel, do not need a fishing license. This includes fishing from shore, a structure affixed to the shore, or a pier. However, if you’re using a fishing reel, you’ll need a license.
Non-Resident Fishing License
Non-residents of Florida who are 16 years of age or older will need a fishing license to fish in the state’s waters, regardless of whether they’re using live or natural bait, or a reel. There are various types of non-resident fishing licenses available, ranging from short-term to annual licenses.
Exemptions and Exceptions
Florida offers exemptions and exceptions for certain groups of people. These include:
1. Children under the age of 16: Children can fish without a license.
2. Florida resident seniors: Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older and have proof of age and residency do not need a fishing license.
3. Military personnel: Florida residents who are members of the United States Armed Forces, stationed in Florida, and present official orders do not need a fishing license while on leave or furlough.
4. Disabled individuals: Florida residents with a disability who have a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate do not need a fishing license.
5. Fishing festivals and organizations: Members of certain fishing festivals and organizations that have been approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may be exempt from fishing license requirements during approved events.
It’s important to note that even if you qualify for an exemption or exception, you may still need to carry proof of eligibility while fishing.
License Fees and Regulations
If you do need to purchase a fishing license in Florida, fees vary depending on factors such as residency status and the duration of the license. As of the time of writing this blog post, here are some general license fees:
– Resident Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Combo License: $32.50
– Non-Resident Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Combo License: $47.00
– Non-Resident 3-day Freshwater/Saltwater Combo License: $17.00
– Resident Annual Freshwater Fishing License: $17.00
– Non-Resident Annual Freshwater Fishing License: $47.00
– Resident Annual Saltwater Fishing License: $17.00
– Non-Resident Annual Saltwater Fishing License: $47.00
These fees are subject to change, and it’s recommended to check the latest information on the official website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In addition to the fishing license, there are also regulations that anglers must follow in Florida. These include bag limits, size limits, and closed seasons for certain fish species. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure you’re fishing within the legal limits.
Where to Obtain a Fishing License
Obtaining a fishing license in Florida is a straightforward process. Licenses can be purchased online through the official website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They can also be obtained in person at various sporting goods stores, such as Bass Pro Shop and some Walmart, bait and tackle shops, and county tax collector’s offices across the state.
If your near a Walmart in Florida the sporting goods area might have a kiosks that looks like the picture below.
In conclusion, if you’re planning to fish in Florida, it’s likely you’ll need a fishing license. While there are exemptions and exceptions for certain groups, most residents and non-residents above the age of 16 will require a license. It’s essential to ensure you’re fishing within the legal limits and regulations and carrying proof of eligibility if applicable. So, before you cast your line in the Sunshine State’s abundant waters, make sure you have the necessary fishing license to enjoy your angling adventure hassle-free!