How much does a Florida Fishing License Cost?

A few weekends ago I decided to take my son fishing. Thinking about what I needed to take, I knew I had the fishing gear (besides bait) but I didn’t have a fishing license.

So I started “googling” the cost of a fishing license and how to obtain one.

From there I started to look into the cost of a license, requirements, regulations, and how to obtain one.

So, how much does a Florida fishing license cost? Like many other states, Florida has varying prices for each of the different kinds of licenses depending on types of fishing. For residents, Florida offers free fishing for residents fishing from the shoreline, structures attached to the land, or on a registered charter boat.  Florida residents with severe disabilities can fish for free. Serving or retired military residents pay $20 for an annual license.  For low-income residents, the free fishing license applies. 

There are many different types of licenses and regulations for each state.

It’s important to keep an eye out on the regulations. They do seem to change from time to time.

If you want to know more about the cost of each license, where and how you can purchase one in Florida, keep reading below.

Cost of Fishing Licenses Florida

If you under 16 years old you or older than 65 years old do not require a fishing license. 16 years and above you will need to hold a fishing license.

Florida Residents who fish from the saltwater shoreline or structure attached to land ie. pier are eligible for the Resident saltwater shoreline NO COST fishing license.

This license does NOT cover anyone fishing from a boat or an island that they arrived at by boat.

If you have a saltwater fishing license you do not need to obtain a saltwater shoreline license. A regular saltwater license includes a shoreline fishing license.

Non-Florida residents are not eligible for this license and must purchase a 3-day, 7-day, or annual non-resident saltwater fishing license when saltwater fishing in Florida unless covered by a charter or pier license.

Cost of Fishing Licenses Florida

License Type Period Covered Cost for Resident Cost for Non-Resident
Freshwater Annual $17 $47
5 Year $79 N/A
7 Day N/A $30
3 Day N/A $17
Freshwater/Saltwater Combo Annual $32.50 N/A
Saltwater Annual $17 $47
5 Year $79 N/A
7 Day N/A $30
3 Day N/A $17

Like other states, California does provide discounts currently serving and retired service members, a cost of $20 per annum.

Disabled servicemen are eligible for a free fishing license.

Florida Free Fishing Days

If you are wanting to try out fishing, Florida encourages budding anglers with free fishing days every year.

Just keep in mind that regulations and bag limits still apply.

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

Where can you purchase Florida Fishing Licenses 

Fishing licenses can be purchased online from

You can also obtain a license by calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356) or 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (888-486-8356)

You can also purchase a license through independent agents. One of these is Walmart.

Check out this article detailing how to buy a license from Walmart

To purchase a license for yourself, you must provide your name, residence address, residency status, (DMV ID, passport, green card, military ID, etc.), date of birth, height, weight, hair color, and eye color.

Processing is immediate, you will receive your fishing license online, which can be printed.

The official laminated version will be posted in the mail and should receive within 30 days.

Before you do press the buy button, perform a final check of the license type. You might not get reimbursed if you make the wrong selection.

Florida Fishing Regulations 

Regardless of fishing in fresh or saltwater, you are required to hold a valid fishing license if you are over 16 years old and above.

All fish be taken by angling with one attended fishing line (rod or hand) with no more than three hooks, or no more than 3 artificial lures (each having 3 hooks).

If you have any questions or concerns about the rules and regulations for fishing check out Florida

General Fishing Regulations 

Being a great angler involves treating fish and the environment respectfully.

Below are some general fishing regulations and tips that apply to any waterway regardless of where you are fishing.

Taking care of fish 

Handle fish as little as possible and only with wet hands. This reduces the removal of fish slime, which protects the fish from infection and aids in swimming.

When holding a fish that has teeth, use a gripping tool to support the front of the fish, and use the other hand under the belly to evenly support the fish’s weight.

Carefully remove the hook if possible. If the fish is gut-hooked or especially large or agitated, cut the line as close to the hook as you can while the fish is still in the water.

Reduce handling by using a dehooking tool. Dehooking tools allow anglers to quickly release their catch while minimizing injuries and handling time.

You should never hold a fish by its jaw, gills or eyes.

Releasing Fish

Always release your fish headfirst into the water. This allows water to be forced through the mouth and over the gills, essentially giving it a “breath of fresh air.”

Using proper gear 

Use tackle that is appropriate for the size and type of fish. For example, light gear can result in a fish dying of exhaustion or stress soon after its release.

A knotless, rubber-coated landing net is ideal when handling a fish since it supports the fish’s body weight.

Stay with your lines, so as you catch a fish you can retrieve it as soon as possible, minimizing stress and injury to the fish.

Disposing of you fish

It’s important to get into the practice to immediately kill the fish you intend on keeping. Many anglers keep the fish in a bucket of water. This causes a slow death to the fish as the water slowly runs out of oxygen.

  1. Dispatch them with a quick blow to the head.
  2. Place the dead fish in an esky or iced areas, out of sunlight.

Practice sustainable fishing practices 

We all have a responsibility to look after our fisheries resources, both for the environment and future fishing generations.

Keep up to date on the fishing regulations. They do change from time to time.

Carefully release undersized or unwanted fish back into the water.

Respect native sites, culture, and values

If you catch noxious species, remember not to return them to the water. Humanely dispose of them,

Always seek permission when entering private property.

Pass on your knowledge and promote sustainable fishing practices.

Important that we leave to protect and restore the environment. Dispose of fishing lines, excess bait, hooks by placing it in bins.

Fishing to Catch in Florida

Florida has a large diverse range of freshwater and saltwater fish species.

The availability of these fish many depend on seasonality and regulations allow you to catch the fish.

Here are some popular recreational fishing species,


    • Largemouth bass
    • Redear Sunfish
    • Redbreast Sunfish
    • Spotted Sunfish
    • Mayan Cichlid
    • Florida Gar
    • White Bullhead
    • American Shad
    • Shoal Bass
    • Spotted Bass
    • Clown Featherback
    • Mud Sunfish
    • Flagfish
    • Lake Chubsucker
    • Gulf Killfish
    • Hardhead Catfish
    • Choctaw Bass


Red drum 

    • Spotted Sea trout
    • Common snook
    • Northern Red Snapper
    • Red Grouper
    • Sheepshead
    • Black Drum
    • Cobia
    • Yellow Tail Snapper
    • Gray Snapper
    • Hogfish
    • Blacksea Fish
    • Weakfish
    • Banded Fish
    • Permit
    • Grey Triggerfish
    • White Grunt
    • Yello Fin Grouper
    • Atlantic Spanish Grouper
    • Dog Snapper
    • Mutton Snapper

Final Thoughts

Going fishing is an inexpensive and fun way to spend time, either by yourself or with friends or family.

Going fishing is an inexpensive and fun way to spend time, either by yourself or with friends or family.

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