How Long Is A Florida Fishing License Good For

Paul Gonzalez
• Monday, 19 October, 2020
• 8 min read

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.

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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. Fish with a guide in freshwater, however, and you’ll still need to purchase your own license.

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.

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).

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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. 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.

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(Source: www.slideshare.net)

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. In other words, if you only have a freshwater license and are primarily fishing for large mouth bass or bream (freshwater species) in a river, but happen to catch a red drum (a saltwater species), you must immediately release the red drum.

Annual recreational hunting and fishing licenses expire one year from the date issued. Enter your identification information and click “Continue” Your current licenses will be listed.

At this point, you may continue and purchase a replacement or new license or close out to end the session. Yes, unless you are a member of a group that is exempt from Florida's recreational saltwater fishing license requirement.

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(Source: onedayfishing.com)

Licenses are also available via the Internet or a toll free call to credit card users, for an additional convenience fee. In addition, each license holder that buys a license, helps the FCC to recover excise taxes from the Federal government, which you spend on items such as fishing tackle, boats, and for motorboat fuel taxes, through the Federal Aid in Sport fish Restoration program.

At various times the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management arranges special bonus offers and incentives to encourage anglers to purchase a fishing license and support conservation. Although youth under 16 and seniors over 65, or anglers fishing in their county of residence with a cane pole do not need licenses, by buying one they contribute to conservation, and help the state recover more of your Federal tax money for sport fish restoration.

You should not be surprised if an officer asks a few questions to ensure the people who are fishing are in fact properly licensed. The officer may have more questions should there, for instance, be more fishing lines in the water than there are licensed (or legally exempt) anglers.

Saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing and hunting licenses Shook, lobster, deer, management area, muzzle loading, turkey, archery, crossbow, * Florida waterfowl, and migratory bird permits. Youth under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license, although they must abide by all other fishing regulations such as gear type, bag and size limits.

You may only take game fish with pole-and-line or rod-and-reel The number of rods an angler may use is unlimited You may not take fresh water fish by the use of any free-floating, unattached device, or by taking of fish or wildlife with firearms, explosives, electricity, spear gun, poison or other chemicals You may not take fish by underwater swimming or diving You may not sell, offer for sale or transport out of the state any freshwater game fish unless permitted by the FCC (there are some exceptions) You may take nongame fish with pole-and-line, or rod-and-reel, and by bush hook, set line or trot line baited with cut bait or other substance; but not including live game fish or any part of any game fish; bush hooks, set lines or trot lines (limited to 25 hooks total) are permitted for taking nongame fish for personal use, but only in those areas where trot lines may be lawfully used in accordance with the Wildlife Code of the State of Florida Non-game fish may be taken at night using a bow and arrow, and gigs You may not use more than one slat basket or one wire trap You may not spearfish for mullet in freshwater; Unless you’re gigging from above water You may take freshwater shrimp and golden shiners of any size, or other freshwater non-game fish, including catfish, less than 8-inches total length for bait by using the following methods (unless otherwise prohibited): Cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch in fresh waters of the state Minnow dip nets no more than 4 feet in diameter Minnow seines that have a stretched mesh size no greater than 1 inch, a length no more than 20 feet, and a depth no more than 4 feet Minnow traps no more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter, with a funnel entrance no more than 1 inch in spread Any game fish taken by the above methods must be released immediately Taking bait for the purpose of sale requires a commercial fishing license Black bass, peacock bass or any part of them may not be used as bait You may not transport to or between waters for use of bait any live nonnative fish, except variable platys and fathead minnows You may not use live goldfish and carp as bait You may not take, possess or sell any sturgeon or their parts, or their nests or eggs, except as allowed by specific federal or state permit or authorization.

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Florida offers its residents a great number of ways to enjoy fishing without permits and tags. 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.

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.

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(Source: www.reference.com)

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.

Freshwater streams and rivers flow from Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte County into a bay protected by the barrier islands. It’s a perfect-sized estuary teeming with a diverse wildlife ecosystem of birds, fish and mammals.

Area freshwater streams, rivers and lakes hold bass, pan fish, catfish and more. As freshwater enters the tidal area, species tolerating the brackish water, such as shook, jack, and tarpon can be found.

Out into the bay, snapper, mackerel, sea trout, grouper, drum and many other species will be found in the saltwater haven. Elsewhere, snapper, jack crevasse, sleepyhead and black drum can be found near piers, bridges and other structures.

Offshore, reefs and wrecks are popular hangouts for grouper, amber jack, and snapper. Anglers targeting pan fish can find bluegill, speckled perch, and repair sunfish.

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(Source: blogs.ifas.ufl.edu)

When out on a beach or pier, look for schools of bait fish and/or birds diving as indicators of fish in the area. When looking for a spot to fish, keep an eye out for reefs and seabeds, rock and wood structures.

Though not able to travel nearly as far or as fast as a motorized boat, fishing by kayak can be a quieter and more eco-friendly experience. Fighting to reel in behemoths such a cobra, king mackerel, black fin tuna, grouper and even sharks can be a battle of a lifetime, and you could need the full day to do it.

Popular fish such as shook, Spanish mackerel, and spotted sea trout are not only fun to fight, but delicious to eat. Wildlife If not everyone is excited to spend a full or half day fishing, but would still like to get in a boat and see Sarasota County uniquely, several charters, including Wolf mouth Charters, Magic Fishing Adventures offer a variety of wildlife expeditions providing a fun experience for non-fishers.

Another place with structure, a seawall, and grass beds, this location has a few different access points for anglers. Casper sen Beach continues further south and the rocky seawalls or grounds provide for some good fishing opportunities.

A fishing license is required for both Florida residents and visitors, though licenses are provided if you take a charter. If you intend to keep fish, be aware of bag limits, size regulations and season restrictions.

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