Florida is home to some interesting fishing spots like Long Key State Park, Destin, Lake Okeechobee, and, of course, Disney World itself. If you are considering a vacation in this sunny state and want to take part in its fishing adventures, you must know what to secure first. Exactly how much does fishing license cost in Florida? Below is a detailed breakdown.
Average Cost of Florida Fishing License
The Florida fishing license price ranges from $0 to $1,001.50 depending on several factors, such as age, residency status, and duration, among others. To avoid confusion, the rates are broken down into several categories, namely:
1. Saltwater License
If you fancy fishing in saltwater, Florida has a lot in store for you. The Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Strait of Florida are the major waters that surround this state, which is considered the longest coastline in the contiguous US.
The following is the cost of a Florida fishing license under the saltwater category:
- One-year saltwater shoreline license that includes attached structures – $0.00
- One-year saltwater license for both shoreline and watercraft fishing – $17.00
- Youth saltwater fishing license – valid up to 17th birthday – $17.00
- Five-year saltwater fishing license – $79.00
- Lifetime saltwater fishing license for ages 0-4 – $126.50
- Lifetime saltwater fishing license for ages 5-12 – $226.50
- Lifetime saltwater fishing license for ages 13 or older – $301.50
- Three-day fishing license – $17.00
- Seven-day fishing license – $30.00
- One-year fishing license – $47.00
2. Freshwater License
With Florida being home to some 2.5 million acres of rivers, lakes, springs, and other forms of fresh water, you’ll never run out of choices for your fishing spots. The corresponding cost of a fishing license is as follows:
- One-year freshwater fishing license in Florida – $17.00
- Youth freshwater fishing license that is valid up to the 17th birthday – $17.00
- Five-year freshwater fishing license – $79.00
- Freshwater fishing with hunting – $32.50
- Lifetime freshwater fishing license for ages 0-4 – $126.50
- Lifetime freshwater fishing license for ages 5-12 – $226.50
- Lifetime freshwater fishing license for ages 13 or older – $301.50
- Three-day freshwater fishing license – $17.00
- Seven-day freshwater fishing license – $30.00
- One-year freshwater fishing license – $47.00
3. Freshwater and Saltwater Combo
If you want to try everything, there is no need to choose between saltwater and freshwater. You can apply for a license that allows fishing for both. However, this license combination is only applicable to residents of Florida.
- Saltwater and freshwater fishing – $32.50
- Saltwater and freshwater fishing with hunting – $48.00
4. Sportsman’s License
A sportsman’s license pertains to a license that you need to secure to legally do freshwater fishing and recreational hunting in Florida. Residents with a Gold Sportsman license are particularly allowed to do both freshwater and saltwater fishing, as well as wildlife management, among others.
The Silver Sportsman license, on the other hand, has the same benefits as the gold one. It is only that it is being issued to residents who are older than 64 years old.
- Sportsman’s license (saltwater fishing not included) – $80.50
- Annual Silver Sportsman’s 64+ – $13.50
- Five-Year Silver Sportsman’s 64+ – $61.50
- One-year Gold Sportsman’s license – $100.00
- Five-year Gold Sportsman’s license – $494.00
- Youth Gold Sportsman’s license (valid up to the 17th birthday) – $100.00
- One-year Military Gold Sportsman’s license – $20.00
- Lifetime sportsman license for ages 0-4 – $401.50
- Lifetime sportsman license for ages 5-12 – $701.50
- Lifetime sportsman license for ages 13 or older – $1,001.50
On top of the Florida fishing license cost, different license agents may charge an additional issuance fee for selling the licenses and permits.
For example, a hard card style license, like that of a credit card, can be purchased if you are getting a yearly or five-year license. This can hold up to seven different licenses and costs $5.00.
On the other hand, a license or permit vendor may charge an issuance fee of $0.50.
Permits are required if you opt to catch a controlled species. Expect to pay the following fees:
- Snook Permit for residents and nonresidents which is required to keep snook in season even with the shoreline License – $10.00
- Five-Year Snook Permit (residents only) – $50.00
- Spiny lobster permit for residents and nonresidents – $5.00
- Five-year spiny lobster permit (residents only) – $25.00
- Tarpon tag (residents and nonresidents) – $51.50
If you are running a charter boat or a for-hire vessel to take passengers to their fishing destination, you are required to get a license depending on the number of passengers you cater to. Please take note that the following, including the Tarpon tag mentioned above, are only available at the Tax Collector’s Office.
- Up to four passengers – $201.50
- Five to 10 passengers – $401.50
- Eleven or more passengers – $801.50
You may also opt to purchase an annual recreation vessel fee of $2,001.50 for not-for-hire watercraft and a yearly pier license of $501.50.
Where to Apply for Florida Fishing License
Fishing licenses are sold online via GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, license agents, and at the county tax collector’s office.
You may also call the toll-free number 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356), but please expect an additional fee for this service.
Factors Affecting Florida Fishing License Price
As illustrated above, there are a lot of elements that contribute to the pricing of fishing licenses in Florida. To summarize all of these factors, please see below:
- Residency status – residents are charged at a lower rate than non–residents. Beside that, there are more privileges extended to residents for obvious reasons.
- Age – the age of residents is one of the basis for the pricing of a fishing license. For example, the Florida fishing license cost for seniors 65 years and up and 16 years old and below who are residents of Florida is $0.00. In fact, they do not have to secure a saltwater fishing license at all.
- Body of water – while fresh water and saltwater licenses have the same rate, the actual location, i.e., whether you’re on the shoreline or the main water, spells a big difference in the rate. Even the size of the water can determine the amount that you have to pay.
- Duration – residents may opt to purchase a fishing license for a year, five years, or for a lifetime. Nonresidents may purchase a three-day, seven-day, or one-year fishing license.
- Income – if your income is so low that you qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or popularly known as food stamps, you do not require a license to be allowed to fish.
- Disability – differently-abled individuals are also exempt from having a license and are allowed to fish in Florida.
- Type of License – you can get the regular fishing license that is valid in certain types of bodies of water and you can also get the sportsman’s license.
No License Needed
Some people are not required to obtain a fishing license in Florida. Please note that this is entirely different from the free fishing license in Florida, where you still need to secure a license but don’t need to pay for it. These are the people qualified for the privilege:
- If you are a resident who has been determined eligible for food stamps, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program and are fishing from land or a structure fixed or attached to the land.
- If you are under 16 years old.
- If you are a resident and fishing as part of recreation only within the county where you live using live bait and a simple fishing line without a line retrieval mechanism.
- When you are aboard a vessel that has a valid charter boat or captain’s license.
- If you hold a valid saltwater product license.
- If you are a senior resident aged 65 or older and possess proof of age and residency.
- If you are a resident and a member of the U.S. Armed Forces but are not stationed in Florida and you are home on leave for 30 days or less upon submission of orders.
- If you have been accepted as a client for developmental disability services, provided that the Agency for Persons with Disabilities has furnished proof thereof.
- If you are fishing for recreational purposes only, you can do it from a pier that has a saltwater fishing license or from a boat that has a valid recreational vessel fishing license.
- If you are a resident and are fishing for mullet in fresh water with a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.
- If you are a Florida resident who possesses a no-cost Florida Resident Disabled Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
Please take note of the following important information pertaining to Florida fishing:
- There are designated saltwater Florida free fishing days. Check out Regulations.com for these dates.
- If you are required to have a fishing license, you are required to purchase permits if you intend to harvest snook and spiny lobster.
- If you are not required to have a license, you are also not required to buy any permits, except for Tarpon tags.
- The one-year saltwater “shoreline only” license does not cover fishing from a watercraft or vessel, fishing from a shoreline reached by watercraft, or fishing while diving or swimming.
- Proof of identification and a benefit issuance identification card issued by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Agency for Health Care Administration should always be ready for presentation when fishing.
- The lifetime saltwater fishing license for residents includes snook and lobster permits.
- License and permit fees are final and nonrefundable.