Florida Fishing License – For residents and non-residents

Florida comprises more than 7,700 lakes, 10,550 miles of rivers and over 2,200 miles of tidal shoreline. That’s a lot of places to find fish in, and it comes as no surpise that over 2 million people try their luck catching fish in the Sunshine State every year.

But before you start dropping your lures in the water you’re going to need to make sure you’ve got a Florida fishing license in place first.

This guide will walk you through how to get your license, no matter being a resident, non-resident or a senior.

Do you need a Florida Fishing License?

The short answer to this question is most probably.

The bit longer answer is that any resident aged between 16 and 65 and all non-residents over the age of 16 requires a fishing license in Florida.

Make sure that you got your license(s) in order before baiting your hook. If you for any reason should be caught fishing without a license while being eligible for one you will have to pay the cost of the license and an additional fee. The additional fee (or fine) starts at $50, so it gets pricey rather quick if you try and fish without a proper license.

Since fishing is so big in Florida, they check licenses all over the place.

There are some exceptions to the licensing need:

  • If you are fishing from a licensed pier, you do not need a personal fishing license.
  • Florida residents who are members of the US Armed Forces, can fish without a license if they’re visiting their home state for up to a month, upon submission of orders.
  • Residents with disabilities can fish for free after they’ve applied and received their Persons with Disabilities Resident Hunting/Fishing License.
  • If you’re using a registered Florida fishing charter in saltwater, there is no need for a personal license since theirs cover you.
  • If you fish in a man-made fish pond no bigger than 20 acres, which is located entirely within the private property of its owner and with no surface water connection to public water.
  • If you do fish in a man-made pond larger than 20 acres, the owner have to have purchased a fish pond license.

License-Free Fishing Days

In addition to all the exceptions above, there are also license-free fishing days that provides an excellent opportunity to try out fishing without purchasing a license.

License-free freshwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April
  • Second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June

License-free saltwater days

  • First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June
  • First Saturday in September
  • Saturday following Thanksgiving

All other rules, such at limits on seasons, bag and size apply.

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