Is a License Required for Magnet Fishing in Pennsylvania?

Does magnet fishing require a license in Pennsylvania?


Magnet fishing has gained popularity as an exciting and unique hobby for outdoor enthusiasts. Combining the thrill of treasure hunting with the tranquility of nature, it involves using a strong magnet to find metallic objects hidden beneath bodies of water. However, before diving into this fascinating activity in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements surrounding magnet fishing and whether or not a license is necessary.

The Legality of Magnet Fishing

In Pennsylvania, there are no specific laws that directly address or regulate magnet fishing. This gray area can make it confusing for individuals looking to engage in this pastime. The state does have regulations regarding general fishing activities but does not explicitly mention magnet fishing.

Fishing Licenses and Their Applicability

To further understand if a license is required for magnet fishing in Pennsylvania, let’s dive into the existing legislation concerning traditional angling licenses:

1. Fishing License Exemption Clause

According to section 2706(a)(1) of Title 30 (Fish), anyone under 16 years old or over 65 years old is exempt from needing a fishing license when engaging in recreational freshwater angling activities within Pennsylvania waters.

However, since magnet fishing may not fall strictly under the definition of “recreational freshwater angling,” these exemptions might not apply universally.

2. Streams and Lake Access Areas License Requirements

Pennsylvania offers special permits known as “stream access” and “lake access” licenses that give anglers permission to fish on designated properties owned by the Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC).

It’s important to note that these licenses focus specifically on stream access areas and lake access areas rather than covering every possible body of water where you might go magnet fishing.

3. Special Regulations

Certain areas in Pennsylvania have special fishing regulations due to unique environmental circumstances, endangered species preservation, or waterway management initiatives. These regulations may include additional licensing requirements or restrictions on angling activities.

While magnet fishing might not be explicitly mentioned within these special regulations, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with any local ordinances before commencing the activity.


After careful consideration and analysis of Pennsylvania’s existing legislation, it remains unclear whether magnet fishing requires a license in the state. While traditional angling licenses do not explicitly cover this activity, individual factors such as location-specific regulations or private property considerations should be taken into account.

To ensure compliance and avoid any potential legal issues while enjoying this captivating hobby, reach out to local authorities or consult with organizations like the Fish & Boat Commission for clarity on specific locations and their policies regarding magnet fishing. Remember to always respect nature and obtain proper permissions when exploring new sites!

Happy magnet fishing!