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Do I Need Florida Fishing License

author
Danielle Fletcher
• Saturday, 17 October, 2020
• 7 min read

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.

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Contents

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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). It’s all invested into keeping Florida ’s fishery healthy and sustainable.

This means your license is helping people enjoy this world-class resource for years to come. 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.

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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. 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. Foreign nationals can buy the standard non-resident fishing licenses, just like Americans from other states.

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Fishing is usually at the top of the two- do list when Rivers visit Florida, but before you drop your line in the water, ask; are you in compliance with Florida ’s fishing regulations? If you are 16 years or older and you intend to hunt or fish, even if you just catch and release.

You don’t need a Florida saltwater fishing license or a shook and spiny lobster permit if… You fish from a charter, guide or party boat that has a valid vessel license.

You fish from a boat, the captain of which has a valid recreational saltwater vessel license issued in their name. You’re fishing in the St. Mary’s River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license.

Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating.

Good luck with your next big catch and always remember “the staff at Resort Rentals really enjoys fresh fish” ! Non-residents who are 16 years of age or older are required to have Florida licenses and permits participating in hunting, freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing.

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Visitors who are listed on the National Saltwater Angler Registry are still required to have a Florida recreational saltwater fishing license unless they are a member of one of the exempted groups listed. Non-residents using beach or haul seines for recreational purposes are required to have a commercial saltwater products license.

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. You are fishing in the St. Mary's River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license.

That license is not a disability accommodation but economic accommodation for the segment of Florida's disabled population who may not be able to afford to pay for the license. Does not cover fishing from a watercraft, fishing from a shoreline reached by watercraft, or fishing while swimming or diving. Three-day Saltwater License $17.00Seven-day License $30.00Annual License $47.00Annual Shook Permit$10.00Five-Year Shook Permit (Florida residents only)$50.00Annual Spiny Lobster Permit$5.00Five-Year Spiny Lobster Permit (Florida residents only)$25.00Tarpon Tag (available only at tax collector offices)$51.50Unless exempt from license requirements, permits are necessary for the take of Shook and Spiny Lobster.

No exemptions except youth under age 16.$0.00Annual Shore-Based Shark Fishing Permit$0.00Annual Blue Crab Trap Registration$0.00Annual Stone Crab Trap Registration$0.00These new no-cost permits are available online only at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Available for Florida residents who are active duty or retired military members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Armed Forces Reserve, Florida National Guard, Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve at county tax collectors’ offices with current military identification card or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com through an online verification process. Includes Saltwater Fishing license and Shook and Spiny Lobster Hermitage: 0–$4126.50Age: 5–$12226.50Age: 13 or older$301.50Includes Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses and Shook, Spiny Lobster, Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzle loading, Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl permits. Age: 0–$4401.50Age: 5–$12701.50Age: 13 or older$1,001.50 Saltwater fishing licenses can be obtained online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, at county tax collectors’ offices and license agents, or by calling toll-free 888-FISH- FLORIDA (347 – 4356).

Active duty United States military personnel stationed in Florida, including spouses and dependent children residing in the household, with military orders. Florida resident fishing within his or her county of residence with live or natural bait, using poles or lines not equipped with a fishing line retrieval mechanism.

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Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License holder. Florida resident 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 Family Services.

Must have proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Agency for Health Care when fishing. U.S. Armed Forces members who am a Florida resident not stationed in the state but home on leave with orders for 30 days or less.

Individual commercial saltwater products license holders. Charter Boat and Charter Captain licenses are available and required to carry paying customers (where a fee is paid directly or indirectly) to take, attempt to take, or possess saltwater fish or organisms.

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Sources
1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_goliath_grouper
2 blog.slidemoor.com - http://blog.slidemoor.com/gag-black-or-goliath-grouper/
3 www.fisheries.noaa.gov - https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/atlantic-goliath-grouper
4 www.fishanywhere.com - https://www.fishanywhere.com/blog/grouper-season-2020-in-florida/