How Much Does a Florida Fishing License Cost in the USA?

Florida is a paradise for anglers, offering some of the most diverse and exciting fishing opportunities in the world. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll need to obtain a valid fishing license before casting your line in the Sunshine State’s waters. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details of Florida fishing licenses, including their costs, types, and exemptions.

Types of Florida Fishing Licenses

Florida offers two main types of fishing licenses: freshwater and saltwater. Each license has its own set of regulations and costs, depending on factors such as residency status, age, and duration of validity.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Freshwater fishing licenses are required for anglers targeting species in Florida’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Here are the available options and their costs:

  • Resident Annual: $17.00
  • Resident Five-Year: $79.00
  • Non-Resident Annual: $47.00
  • Non-Resident 3-Day: $17.00
  • Non-Resident 7-Day: $30.00

Florida also offers combination licenses that include both freshwater and saltwater fishing privileges, as well as hunting licenses, at reduced costs for residents:

  • Annual Resident Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combination: $32.50
  • Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combination: $32.50
  • Annual Resident Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combination: $48.00

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Saltwater fishing licenses are necessary for those fishing in the ocean, estuaries, and brackish waters. The costs for saltwater licenses are as follows:

  • Resident Annual: $17.00
  • Non-Resident Annual: $47.00
  • Non-Resident 3-Day: $17.00
  • Non-Resident 7-Day: $30.00

In addition to these standard licenses, Florida offers several specialty permits and designations, such as the Snook Permit, Lobster Permit, and the Reef Fish Angler Designation, which may be required depending on the species you plan to target.

Exemptions and Special Licenses

While most anglers need to purchase a fishing license, there are some exceptions. Here are a few notable exemptions:

  • Children under 16 years old
  • Florida residents 65 years or older (with proof of age and residency)
  • Florida residents fishing in their county of residence with a cane pole or trotline
  • Florida residents fishing on their own property
  • Florida residents who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces, home on leave for 30 days or less

Additionally, Florida offers special licenses for specific groups, such as:

  • Annual Resident Sportsman’s License: $80.50 (includes freshwater and hunting licenses, plus various permits)
  • Annual Resident Gold Sportsman’s License: $100.00 (includes freshwater, saltwater, and hunting licenses, plus various permits)
  • Annual Resident Military Gold Sportsman’s License: $20.00 (available to active duty or retired military members)
  • Resident Youth Freshwater Fishing License: $17.00 (optional for youth ages 8-15)

Where to Purchase a Florida Fishing License

You can obtain a Florida fishing license through several convenient methods:

  1. Online: Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website or use the FWC mobile app to purchase your license instantly.
  2. By Phone: Call 1-888-347-4356 (1-888-FISH-FLO) to buy your license over the phone.
  3. In-Person: Visit a local tax collector’s office, bait and tackle shop, sporting goods store, or other authorized license agents throughout the state.

When purchasing your license, be prepared to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number.

Do I need a freshwater or saltwater fishing license, or both?

The type of license you need depends on the species you plan to target and the location you’ll be fishing. In general, a freshwater license is required for fishing in lakes, rivers, and streams, while a saltwater license is needed for fishing in the ocean, estuaries, and brackish waters. If you plan to fish in both types of environments, consider purchasing a combination license.

What happens if I fish without a license in Florida?

Fishing without a valid license in Florida can result in fines and legal consequences. The penalties vary depending on the specific violation and the offender’s history. First-time offenders may face fines ranging from $50 to $500, while repeat offenders can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, resulting in higher fines and potential jail time.

How long is a Florida fishing license valid?

The validity of a Florida fishing license depends on the type of license purchased. Annual licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, while short-term licenses (3-day or 7-day) are valid for the specified number of consecutive days. Florida also offers 5-year and lifetime licenses for residents.

Can I fish in Florida with an out-of-state fishing license?

No, you cannot fish in Florida with an out-of-state fishing license. Florida requires all anglers, including visitors, to possess a valid Florida fishing license. Non-residents can purchase short-term or annual licenses depending on the duration of their stay.

Do I need a fishing license if I’m fishing from a charter boat?

If you’re fishing on a charter boat with a licensed captain, you typically do not need an individual fishing license. The charter boat’s license covers all anglers on board. However, it’s always a good idea to confirm this with your charter operator before your trip.


Obtaining a Florida fishing license is a simple and essential step for anyone looking to enjoy the state’s incredible fishing opportunities. By understanding the different types of licenses, their costs, and the available exemptions, you can ensure that you’re fishing legally and responsibly. Remember to review the current fishing regulations, as they may change periodically to protect and maintain Florida’s valuable aquatic resources.

So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time visitor, don’t forget to secure your Florida fishing license before heading out on the water. With a valid license in hand, you’ll be ready to experience the thrill of fishing in the Sunshine State’s world-class waters.

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