Do I Need a Fishing License?

This is our most often asked question…..

Information below is provided by

Do I need a license or permit?

Florida Residents and Visitors need a Florida hunting, freshwater fishingor saltwater fishing license unless they are a member of one of the groups of people listed below.

A fishing license is required to attempt to take fish. If you cast your line, catch nothing, catch and release, or catch and keep and you are not a member of one the groups listed below; you need a license. A saltwater fishing license is also required to attemt to take any native or nonnative marine organisms, such as crabs, lobsters, and marine plants.

Some of these exemptions apply to “Florida Residents” only. Please be aware of the Florida state residency requirements.

These exemptions may also apply to hunting, saltwater fishing, or freshwater fishing, or all three.

You do not need a recreational hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license or a *Florida waterfowl, migratory bird, deer, turkey, snook, spiny lobster, archery season, crossbow season, muzzle loading season permit or management area permit if…

  • You are a child under 16 years of age. (Also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements.)
  • You are a Florida resident age 65 or older possessing proof of age and residency or possessing a Resident Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. Residents age 65 or older may obtain, at no cost, complimentary hunting and fishing certificates from county tax collectors’ offices.
  • You hunt or freshwater fish in your county of residence on your homestead or the homestead of your spouse or minor child, or if you are a minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead of your parent.
  • You are a Florida resident certified as totally and permanently disabledand you possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
  • You are a resident who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, you are not stationed in this state, and you are home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.
  • You are hunting wild hog on private land.
  • You are observing or filming someone else who is fishing or hunting and you are not assisting in the take in any way. If you help or assist in the take, whether you actively fish or hunt or not, you must have a license.

You do not need a saltwater fishing license or a snook or spiny lobster *permit if…

  • You have been accepted as a client for developmental services by the Department of Children and Families . The department must furnish proof to such clients.
  • You fish from a for-hire vessel (guide, charter, party boat) that has a valid vessel license .
  • You fish from a vessel, the operator of which has a valid vessel licenseissued in the name of the operator of the vessel.
  • You fish for recreational purposes from a pier with a valid pier saltwater fishing license.
  • You have a valid saltwater products license or a valid FWC charter captain license (does not apply to charter boat or U.S. Coast Guard licenses).
  • You are a resident who is fishing for mullet in fresh water and you have a valid Florida resident freshwater fishing license.
  • You are a resident who is saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who has been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCF or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be on your person when fishing.
  • You are a resident who is fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, and you are fishing for noncommercial purposes in your home county. However, you must have a valid fishing license to fish by any method in a fish management area
  • You are saltwater fishing during Free Saltwater Fishing Days

*** These exemptions do not apply to tarpon tags.