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Are Florida Fishing License Free

author
Bob Roberts
• Monday, 12 October, 2020
• 6 min read

So dig into your garage for that idle rod and reel, pick up some bait at your local tackle shop and get out there to enjoy the outdoors. Under Florida law, all anglers fishing in salt or freshwater, whether from a boat or from shore, are required to have a license in their possession with few exceptions (seniors over 65 and children under 16).

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(Source: fishingbooker.com)

Contents

A shook or spiny lobster permit are also not required on these days. If you are child under 16 or a senior 65 or older, no physical license is required.

Salt or freshwater fishing licenses are issued separately and cost $17 a year each for Florida residents. The free resident shoreline license covers pier fishing, and many fishing piers have blanket licenses to cover other anglers, resident and non-resident.

You are out on your boat, riding out to your fishing hole, only to discover your license had expired. I called from my cell phone, charged my renewal, and they issued my new license number on the spot.

One time I was caught without a pen, so I carved the number into my fish-measuring stick. Download the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission app “Fish | Hunt Florida from Apple App Store or Google Play, and you’re in business.

Bob Rowntree is a retired journalist who has lived in Florida for 40 years, all the while exploring back roads, hidden beaches and scenic parks with kayaks, travel trailer, beach toys and bicycles in tow. Co-founder of FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross, Bob been writing about outdoor recreation around the state since 2010.

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(Source: nokomisflvacationrentals.com)

On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers, including both residents and non-residents. A shook or spiny lobster permit are also not required on these days.

If you cast a line or catch and release, you need a fishing license. Someone who is passively participating (setting decoys, calling birds or baiting hooks), whether actively fishing or hunting or not, must have a license and appropriate permits.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 379.354, the following individuals are EXEMPT from recreational hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing licenses as well as Florida waterfowl, migratory bird, deer, turkey, shook, spiny lobster, archery, crossbow, muzzle loading and management area permit requirements (unless noted, these exemptions do not apply to federal duck stamp requirements): Youth under 16 years of age (also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements).

Disabled veterans or active or reserve duty military service members and their immediate family members and assistants, who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event, for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer. A fishpond is a man-made pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the property lines of the owner and with no surface water connection to public waters.

Individuals who possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License. Florida's residents who are fishing for mullet in fresh water who hold valid Florida resident freshwater fishing license.

fishing license need age
(Source: www.tetrahook.com)

Florida's residents saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who have 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 in possession when fishing.

Florida's residents saltwater fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing -line-retrieval mechanism, for noncommercial purposes in their home county (does not include fish management areas within the home county). Reading Time: 5minutes Fishing is such an important part of life in the Sunshine State that you’ll find it hard not to pick up a rod while you’re here.

Most residents and visitors to Florida need to purchase a fishing license before they cast a line. Get a saltwater fishing license to hook up on saltwater fish in the ocean, bays, and lagoons, or a freshwater fishing license for freshwater fish in lakes and rivers.

You don’t want to accidentally hook up on a fish that you’re not covered to catch! Our advice is to purchase both a salt and a freshwater license if you’re planning to catch a variety of fish.

If you catch a fish you’re not covered for, make sure to release it immediately. The good news for visitors to Florida is that saltwater fishing charters cover licensing for everyone on board, so you can just sit back and enjoy your time on the water.

fishing license surf md oc ocean fish
(Source: ococean.com)

Additionally, the following groups don’t need to pay to fish: Military personnel from Florida can fish for free if they’re visiting home for up to a month.

Florida's residents receiving benefits or food stamps can do land-based saltwater fishing without a license. Anyone whose eligible to fish without a license should make sure to bring proof to show the Coast Guard.

The price of a Florida license depends on whether you’re a Florida resident or if you’re visiting from out of state. Saltwater/freshwater combo licenses are available for Florida residents only and allow you to fish all types of waterways, from the Gulf of Mexico, to the Atlantic, to inland rivers and streams.

Here’s our rundown of what residents and non-residents need to pay for the various available fishing licenses: License President CostNonresident Cost 3-Day Freshwater N/A$17 7-Day Freshwater N/A$30 Annual Freshwater $$1747 5-Year Freshwater $79N/A 3-Day Saltwater N/A$17 7-Day Saltwater N/A$30 Annual Saltwater $$1747 5-Year Saltwater $79N/A Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Combo $32.50N/ATO count as a Florida resident for fishing purposes, you should either have declared Florida as your only state of residence or be a member of the US Armed Forces who is stationed in Florida.

Apart from a small processing fee, all the money you spend goes to the Florida Wildlife Commission (FCC). This means your license is helping people enjoy this world-class resource for years to come.

boat marathon fishing florida keys lady
(Source: marathonlady.net)

You can catch most fish with a regular salt or freshwater license (as long as they’re legal to target). However, there are three species that need an additional tag or permit in Florida.

Anglers in private boats also need a free permit to fish for popular reef species like Snappers and Groupers. You can buy a Florida license online or at a number of registered retailers.

These include Walmart, tax collector’s offices, and registered bait and tackle shops. That said, many people find the added convenience of getting licensed in Walmart, online, or at your local tackle shop is worth the small additional fee that these places charge.

Unlike some states, annual fishing licenses in Florida are valid for 12 months from the date they were issued. You’ll always know whether you’re still covered, as the expiration date will be printed on the license itself.

You can fish Georgia's sections of the St Mary’s River and Lake Seminole with an FL license. Senior Florida residents don’t need a license to fish or to harvest Shook and Lobster.

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(Source: www.okeechobeebassfishingguide.com)

Importantly, you must carry proof of age and address at all times while fishing. The only exception is military personnel stationed in Florida, who count as residents for licensing purposes.

This includes seniors, active and former military personnel, and those with disabilities. Foreign nationals can buy the standard non-resident fishing licenses, just like Americans from other states.

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