When Do You Need a Fishing License in Florida? Your Guide to Legal Angling Requirements

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Florida?

If you’re planning to go fishing in the beautiful state of Florida, it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding fishing licenses. Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from out of state, knowing when you need a fishing license is essential to ensure compliance and make your angling experience enjoyable. In this blog post, we’ll provide detailed information about the age requirements for obtaining a fishing license in Florida.

Understanding Fishing License Regulations

Florida has specific rules and regulations governing recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing activities. These regulations aim to protect fish populations and maintain sustainable ecosystems while promoting responsible angling practices among residents and visitors alike.

Fishing License Exemptions

Before delving into the age requirements, let’s first highlight some exemptions where individuals do not require a fishing license:

  1. A child under six years old: Children aged six or younger are exempt from needing a fishing license regardless of residency status.
  2. A resident who is over 65: Senior citizens who are legal residents of Florida do not need a regular saltwater or freshwater recreational fishing license as long as they have proof of age (e.g., valid identification).

Fishing Licenses for Residents

If you’re a resident of Florida aged 16 or older but under 65, acquiring an appropriate recreational hunting and/or freshwater/saltwater combo license is required unless exempted by other factors such as being disabled or participating in select military activities. The specific fees depend on various factors such as duration (annual vs. short-term) and whether additional permits are needed (e.g., lobster endorsement).

Saltwater Fishing Licenses:

  • Annual saltwater fishing license: Allows fishing in Florida’s saltwater bodies for a full calendar year.
  • Five-year saltwater fishing license: Offers the convenience of five years of unlimited access to saltwater angling within Florida.
  • Saltwater shoreline license: Available for residents who only fish from shorelines and do not need to access boats or carry other types of licenses. This is a cost-effective option.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses:

  • Annual freshwater fishing license: Provides anglers with the ability to fish in freshwater bodies across Florida for a full calendar year.
  • Five-year freshwater fishing license: Ideal for individuals planning long-term residency or frequent visits specifically for freshwater angling activities.

Fishing Licenses for Non-Residents

If you’re visiting Florida as a non-resident, whether from another state or country, different requirements apply to ensure proper licensing:

Saltwater Fishing Licenses:

  • Three-day, seven-day, or annual non-resident saltwater fishing licenses are available depending on the duration of your visit.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses:

A non-resident can obtain either an annual freshwater fishing license allowing access to all public lakes and rivers statewide throughout the year, or opt for a three-day temporary permit if their stay is shorter. The fees may vary based on selection and additional permits required (e.g., trout stamp).

Purchasing Your License

You can purchase your recreational hunting and/or fishing licenses through various channels like local tax collector offices, licensed agents such as sporting goods stores, online platforms provided by official entities, or even via phone. Each option offers convenience and flexibility to cater to different preferences.

Fishing License Benefits

Having a fishing license not only ensures compliance with regulations but also provides several additional benefits:

  • Preservation of fish populations and habitats through funding conservation efforts.
  • Access to Florida’s abundant fishing opportunities in both saltwater and freshwater bodies.
  • Satisfaction of supporting wildlife management initiatives that sustain the state’s diverse ecosystems.


If you plan to go fishing in Florida, it is important to understand the age requirements for obtaining a fishing license. While children under six years old and residents over 65 are exempt from needing a license, other residents aged 16-65 require appropriate licenses depending on whether they wish to engage in saltwater or freshwater angling. Non-residents visiting Florida must also obtain respective licenses for their desired type of fishing. Remember, purchasing your fishing license not only ensures compliance but also contributes towards preserving Florida’s natural resources for future generations to enjoy!