A Florida recreational fishing license or commercial fishing license is required to take or attempt to take native and non-native fish in the state’s abundant waterways and the surrounding ocean. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) provides several license types, commercial fishing permits and educational material to ensure that fishing becomes one of your favorite outdoor activities in Florida.

Review the sections below to learn how to get a recreational freshwater fishing license in Florida, obtain a commercial fishing permit or purchase other types of fishing licenses. Learn the state’s current license fees and where you can purchase a Florida fishing license today.

Who needs a fishing license in Florida?

Florida residents and visitors must obtain a recreational fishing license unless they are in one of the state’s fishing license exemption categories. Those exempt from obtaining a FL sport fishing license include children under the age of 16, senior residents age 65 and older, certain disabled FL residents, members of the U.S. Armed Forces, disabled veterans or active and reserve military service members participating in a permitted outdoor fishing event.

You may also fish without a sport fishing license if your or an immediate family member’s homestead includes a private pond sized 20 acres or less. FL recreational fishing license exemptions are also granted to certain recipients of need-based government assistance. Contact FWC for more information about sport fishing license requirements and exemptions.

Florida Fishing License Requirements

Nearly anyone can easily obtain a non-resident recreational fishing license in Florida by completing an application and paying the fee. However, to get a resident freshwater or saltwater fishing license, you must meet certain residency requirements. Resident applicants must provide proof of Florida residency by showing a valid FL driver’s license or photo ID card. Military members must show a copy of their orders stationing them in Florida. A current FL voter ID card or a Declaration of Domicile from the county clerk’s office can also be used to prove residency.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Florida

There are many freshwater fishing license and commercial fishing license types in Florida. Some of the more popular FL fishing licenses include the following:

  • Resident and non-resident annual fishing license.
  • Resident and non-resident annual fishing license.
  • Three and seven-day non-resident fishing.
  • Resident and non-resident combination game and fish fishing license.
  • Silver sportsman’s 64+ fishing license.
  • Commercial saltwater fishing license.
  • Commercial freshwater fishing license.

What types of fish can I catch with a fishing license in Florida?

Your FL recreational or commercial fishing license allows you to legally take or attempt to take the incredible variety of fish in Florida’ waterways. Some of the most popular fish caught with a Florida recreational freshwater fishing license include the following:

 

  • Sunfish (bluegill, redear, redbreast)
  • Carp
  • Bass (striped, spotted, largemouth, sunshine)
  • Tilapia
  • Cichlid
  • Eel
  • Catfish (channel, sailfish, white and blue)
  • Trout (brook, brown, rainbow and tiger)

Your Florida recreational saltwater fishing license can help you land hundreds of different marine species along over 1,300 miles of Florida coastline. Some of the more popular species include:

  • Snapper (red, vermillion, gray, cubera)
  • Grouper (black, red, snowy, scamp)
  • Amberjack
  • Tilefish
  • Triggerfish
  • Black sea bass
  • Billfish (marlin, sailfish, spearfish)
  • Swordfish
  • Mackerel (king and Spanish)
  • Cobia
  • Dolphinfish
  • Bluefish
  • Pompano
  • Sheepshead
  • Drum
  • Flounder
  • Mullet
  • Tarpon
  • Shark (except prohibited species)
  • Bay scallops
  • Spiny lobster
  • Crab (stone and blue)
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Clams

 

 

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Florida?

Everyone aged 16 or older with a recreational fishing license in Florida must check with FWC before fishing to learn the specific bag limits in the area they plan to fish. A sport fishing license does not permit anglers to take unlimited fish, as special bag and length limits apply to certain lakes, rivers and certified fish management areas.

For recreational freshwater fishing license users, certain limits apply to bass, panfish, crappie and American eels. Anglers with a FL recreational saltwater fishing license will encounter substantially more regulations by species, as dozens of saltwater fish have daily bag and length limits. Saltwater fishing permit limits are issued for amberjack, sea bass, tilefish, shellfish, tuna, dolphin, flounder, sharks and many others. Tags are required for snook, spiny lobster, and tarpon.

How long is a fishing license valid in Florida?

Most Florida recreational fishing license types expire one year after the date of purchase. Certain sport fishing license types are valid only for the length of a designated fishing trip, such as the non-resident 7-day fishing permit.

How much does a Florida fishing license cost?

How much is a sport fishing license in Florida? Your saltwater or freshwater fishing license cost varies according to residency and your eligibility for fishing license discounts. Expect to pay the Florida recreational fishing license cost for each of the following:

Resident Freshwater Fishing License Types

  • Annual License: $17
  • Five-Year: $79
  • Freshwater/Saltwater Combo: $32.50
  • Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combo: $32.50
  • Freshwater/Saltwater/Hunting Combo: $48
  • Silver Sportsman’s 64+ License: $13.50
  • Sportsman’s: $80.50
  • Gold Sportsman’s: $100
  • 5-Year Gold Sportsman’s: $494

Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License Types

  • Annual Fishing: $47
  • 3-Day Fishing Trip: $17
  • 7-Day Fishing Trip: $30

Resident Saltwater Fishing License Types

  • Annual License: $17
  • Five-Year: $79
  • All of the combination and sportsmen’s licenses listed above: Same fees
  • Shoreline Saltwater Fishing License: No fee

Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License Types

  • Annual Fishing: $47
  • 3-Day Fishing Trip: $17
  • 7-Day Fishing Trip: $30

Related Guides

Are fishing license discounts available in Florida?

FWC offers a discounted Florida recreational fishing license to qualified individuals. How much is a sport fishing license for disabled or military anglers? A Military Gold Sportsman’s License is $20 per year, while a disabled resident recreational fishing license is issued at no charge to residents who can provide proof of their disability.

Where can I get a fishing license in Florida?

You can easily obtain any type of FL recreational fishing license, saltwater or freshwater, online through the FWC’s Go Outdoors Florida website. The least expensive way to purchase your FL sport fishing license is at your local tax collector’s office. In addition, various sport fishing license types are sold at sports retailers and many bait-and-tackle shops throughout the state.

How can I replace my Florida fishing license?

If your Florida recreational fishing license is ever lost or destroyed, you can reprint it online at no charge. If you choose to replace your FL sport fishing license in person, simply visit any license vendor and pay the required fee. You may also sync your license to your smartphone by downloading FWC’s Fish/Hunt FL app.