What is A Fishing License (and When Do You Need One)?

Home » What is A Fishing License (and When Do You Need One)?

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

What is A Fishing License (and When Do You Need One)?

A fishing license is basically a legal permit to fish. It’s usually a card or a piece of paper. It typically costs money, and the funds generated from them go toward conservation.

It’s a good arrangement because it helps pay for things like improvements to piers and boat launches. The fees also help to fund marine education programs and sometimes salaries or equipment for law enforcement personnel.

Let’s dig into more about fishing licenses!

Who Needs One?

In general, any adult who fishes in public waters has to have a fishing license. There are exceptions, though, and these vary from state to state. Senior citizens, disabled people, active military personnel, and veterans are exempt or get a discount in many places.

Children generally aren’t required to have one, either. In some states, the cut-off age is 12, and in others, it’s 16.

What Kinds Of Fishing Licenses Are There?

There are a few different kinds of fishing licenses. In coastal states, separate licenses are required for saltwater or freshwater fishing. They’re also good for valid for different periods of time.

It’s popular to get an annual license, but short-term licenses are usually available – even for one day or a weekend. These are great for when you are traveling or if you fish only once or twice a year. In most states, there are different licenses for residents and non-residents, and they carry different prices.

Where Can You Fish Without A License?

If you’re fishing on property that you own or lease, you’re safe to fish without any fear of getting a ticket. You need the owner’s permission if you’re on private property.

In addition, it’s lawful to fish from the bank using a cane pole in some states. As we said, the regulations vary from state to state, so it’s best to do your research ahead of time.

Where Can You Buy One?

Different states also have different procedures for obtaining a fishing license, but it’s getting easier all the time. In many areas, you can purchase one at a local tackle shop or at the same government office where you get your driver’s license, or car tag renewed. Most states offer them online.

You can also get one at Walmart, Cabela’s, and other stores with a Sports & Outdoors department.

What State Has The Most Expensive Fishing License?

The cost of fishing licenses varies from state to state, too. Generally, these prices are considered to be reasonable for residents of the states. For non-residents, however, they can be pricey.

On average, a license for a resident of a state is around $25, while a non-resident license is closer to $70. California has the highest rates at $52.66 for residents (for a year) and $142.50 for non-residents. These prices include taxes and handling fees.

Fishing Licenses Are Important for Conservation

Some people complain that having to buy a fishing license is unfair or shouldn’t be so costly. We appreciate that the money goes back into conservation or managing the waterways. In addition, the statistics help scientists and authorities manage the health of our fishing areas.

Either way, it’s a good feeling to be in compliance. It certainly beats having to pay a fine!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: