The recreational fishing license is the most common type of fishing license needed to legally fish in Kentucky. While Kentucky does not have any saltwater fishing license opportunities, there are still commercial fishing licenses available for fishermen who seek to turn fishing into a business.

The game and fish fishing license is the most common license purchased. For fishermen who wish to pursue fishing as sport or for a hobby, this type of license will be necessary. To find out more about how to obtain a freshwater fishing license in Kentucky, continue below.

Who needs a fishing license in Kentucky?

A freshwater fishing license in Kentucky will be needed by every visitor and resident who wishes to legally cast a line within the state. Additionally, those who wish to purchase a commercial fishing license will also have the opportunity to do so. While all anglers must carry the proper license or permit while fishing in KY, there are a few exemptions to consider:

  • A resident owner of farmlands fishing on their land.
  • Resident servicemen on furlough for more than three days.
  • Residents and non-residents age 15 and younger.
  • Persons fishing on Free Fishing Days.
  • Persons fishing within established boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park.

For anglers who participate in fishing tournaments or simply as a hobby, a game fishing license will be the best option. Anglers who wish to harvest fish for commercial use or fish for business, commercial fishing permits will be a suitable choice.

Kentucky Fishing License Requirements

Whether a recreational freshwater fishing license or a commercial license, the requirements to purchase this license should be adhered to. For instance, purchasing a commercial freshwater fishing license will have far more requirements versus a regular freshwater permit. One of the most common requirements for a sport fishing license is establishing resident or non-resident status. Resident requirements for freshwater fishing permits include establishing residency for at least 30 days prior to applying for a license. Full-time students can enroll in a Kentucky educational institution for at least 6 months, or service personnel on permanent assignment can also receive residency status.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Kentucky

The fishing licenses in Kentucky do not just differ in terms of commercial fishing license and recreational fishing license, but also varying in length of time in which the license will remain valid. The types of licenses available in Kentucky include:

  • Annual Fishing License
  • Joint/Spouses Annual Fishing
  • 1-Day Fishing
  • 3-Year Fishing
  • Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing
  • Non-Resident 15-Day Fishing
  • Trout Permit
  • Resident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags
  • Non-resident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags
  • Resident Special Net Fishery Permit
  • Non-Resident Special Net Fishery Permit

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

Whether using a recreational freshwater fishing license or a commercial fishing license there are plenty of opportunities to catch a wide range of fish in Kentucky. The types of fish available in Kentucky include fish within the:

 

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

A game fishing license in Kentucky will cover the majority of fish available in the state. However, a special freshwater fishing permit is required to fish trout. In order to legally fish trout, a trout fishing permit will be required. There are four species of trout reported within Kentucky waters and while none of these are native, they still require a special permit.

How long is a fishing license valid in Kentucky?

There are different non-resident freshwater fishing license options and resident freshwater fishing license options available within Kentucky valid for specific lengths of time. Depending on the need of the angler, licenses are generally valid for up to a year but also can be purchased for one day, seven days or even up to three years. Some commercial fishing permits are only available on a seasonal basis.

How much does a Kentucky fishing license cost?

The freshwater fishing license cost will vary depending on the license purchased. Commercial fishing license price tends to be on the higher side, as the intention behind the license is to profit. Resident and non-resident fees for commercial fishing licenses and recreational licenses include:

Resident:

  • Annual Fishing License – $23.00
  • Joint/Spouses Annual Fishing – $42.00
  • 1-Day Fishing – $7.00
  • 3-Year Fishing – $55.00
  • Trout Permit – $10.00
  • Resident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags – $150.00
  • Resident Special Net Fishery Permit – $600.00

Non-resident:

  • Annual Fishing License – $50.00
  • 1-Day Fishing – $10.00
  • Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing – $30.00
  • Non-Resident 15-Day Fishing – $40.00
  • Trout Permit – $10.00
  • Non-resident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags – $600.00
  • Non-Resident Special Net Fishery Permit – $900.00

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Are fishing license discounts available in Kentucky?

While there are no discounts for commercial fishing license options, there are discounts for recreational licenses. The most common discount in Kentucky occurs when anglers combine fishing and hunting licenses together at a discounted price. In addition, senior citizen sport fishing licenses and fishing licenses for disabled anglers may also be discounted as well.

Where can I get a fishing license in Kentucky?

A game and fish fishing license in Kentucky can be purchased in one of three ways: online, in person or by phone. To purchase the sport fishing license online, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Online License Sales site. Local vendors can be found through the Kentucky Wildlife office.

How can I replace my Kentucky fishing license?

Anglers who lose or damage their recreational fishing license can choose to reprint the license online, or call the licensing help desk for further assistance to obtain a replacement.