With year-round warmth and abundant coastline, beaches, lakes, and rivers, Florida is a fisherman’s paradise. If you’re planning to cast a line during an upcoming Florida vacation or as a resident, you may be wondering what age you need a fishing license. Here’s a quick overview: In Florida, most anglers age 16 and older need a fishing license to fish recreationally. Certain license exemptions apply based on age and other factors.

Florida Fishing License Requirements

When it comes to fishing in Florida, it’s important to understand the state’s fishing license requirements. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, knowing the rules and regulations can help you avoid fines and ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing experience.

Required for ages 16 and up

In Florida, individuals aged 16 and older are required to have a fishing license. This applies to both residents and non-residents. If you’re planning on casting a line in the beautiful waters of Florida, make sure to obtain the appropriate fishing license beforehand.

But what if you’re younger than 16? Great news! Younger anglers are exempt from the fishing license requirement. So, if you have kids who are eager to try their hand at fishing, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a license for them.

Valid for 12 months from purchase date

Once you’ve obtained your fishing license in Florida, it’s important to note that it is valid for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. This means that you’ll have a full year to enjoy fishing in Florida’s abundant waters.

It’s worth mentioning that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers the option to purchase a five-year or lifetime fishing license as well. This is a great option for avid anglers who plan on fishing in Florida for an extended period of time.

Various license types available

Florida offers a variety of fishing license types to cater to the diverse needs of anglers. Whether you’re a resident, non-resident, senior citizen, or disabled, there’s a license option for you.

Here are some of the different license types available:

  • Resident freshwater fishing license
  • Resident saltwater fishing license
  • Non-resident freshwater fishing license
  • Non-resident saltwater fishing license
  • Senior citizen fishing license
  • Disabled fishing license

Each license type has its own specifications and fees, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your fishing needs. You can find detailed information on the license types and fees on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.

Remember, having a valid fishing license not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also helps support conservation efforts to protect and preserve Florida’s natural aquatic resources. So, grab your fishing gear, get your license, and enjoy the incredible fishing opportunities Florida has to offer!

Age-Based Fishing License Exemptions

Children under 16 exempt

In Florida, children under the age of 16 are exempt from needing a fishing license. This exemption allows young anglers to enjoy the sport and learn the joys of fishing without the need for a license. It’s a great opportunity for families to bond and create lasting memories in the great outdoors.

Whether it’s casting a line from a pier, fishing off a boat, or simply wading in a river, children can enjoy the thrill of reeling in their first catch without the burden of obtaining a license.

Residents age 65+ can get license-free

Florida residents who are 65 years or older are eligible for a license-free fishing experience. This exemption is a way to honor the state’s senior citizens and encourage them to continue enjoying their favorite pastime without any additional costs.

It’s a great benefit for retirees who want to spend their golden years fishing in Florida’s abundant waters. Whether it’s freshwater or saltwater fishing, seniors can take advantage of this license exemption and enjoy the tranquility and relaxation that comes with the sport.

Military discounts for active duty members

Florida recognizes the sacrifices made by active duty military members and offers special fishing license discounts as a token of appreciation. Active duty military personnel stationed in Florida can obtain a discounted fishing license, allowing them to pursue their passion for fishing during their time off.

This discount is a gesture of gratitude for their service and dedication to protecting our country. Fishing can serve as a therapeutic activity for military personnel, providing them with an opportunity to unwind and connect with nature.

For more information on fishing licenses in Florida, including pricing and where to obtain one, you can visit the official Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website: https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/.

This website provides comprehensive information about fishing regulations, licensing requirements, and other useful resources for both residents and visitors.

Purchasing a Florida Fishing License

If you’re planning to cast your line in the beautiful waters of Florida, it’s important to know the age at which you need a fishing license. Fishing licenses are required in Florida for both residents and non-residents, and they can be obtained through various methods.

Here are some options for purchasing a Florida fishing license:

Buy online through Fish|Hunt FL

One convenient way to purchase a fishing license in Florida is by visiting the Fish|Hunt FL website. This official website allows you to buy your fishing license online, making the process quick and easy.

Simply visit the website, select the type of license you need, provide the necessary information, and make the payment. Once you’ve completed these steps, your fishing license will be sent to you via email, and you can start enjoying your fishing adventures in Florida.

Visit tax collector office, bait shop, etc.

If you prefer to purchase your fishing license in person, you can visit various locations in Florida. One option is to visit your local tax collector office, where you can obtain a fishing license. Additionally, many bait shops, sporting goods stores, and outdoor recreation centers in Florida offer fishing licenses for sale.

These establishments often have knowledgeable staff who can assist you in choosing the right license for your needs and answer any questions you may have.

Non-resident licenses available

It’s important to note that fishing licenses in Florida are available for both residents and non-residents. Whether you’re a visitor from out of state or a foreign tourist, you can still enjoy fishing in Florida’s abundant waterways.

Non-resident fishing licenses are typically priced higher than resident licenses, but they allow you to experience the fantastic fishing opportunities that Florida has to offer.

For more information on purchasing a fishing license in Florida, including fees, regulations, and frequently asked questions, you can visit the official Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website at https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/.

The FWC website is a reliable source of information and provides the most up-to-date details regarding fishing licenses in the state.

Fishing Without a License in Florida

Florida is renowned for its abundant fishing opportunities, attracting both residents and tourists alike. However, it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding fishing licenses to avoid any legal trouble.

Fishing without a license in Florida is a violation of state law and can result in penalties, fines, and even confiscation of fishing equipment.

Penalties including fines and confiscation

If caught fishing without a license in Florida, individuals can face various penalties. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) enforces these regulations to protect the state’s fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.

The penalties for fishing without a license can include fines ranging from $50 to $500, depending on the severity of the violation. In some cases, the FWC may also confiscate the fishing equipment used during the illegal activity.

License-free fishing days held periodically

While a fishing license is typically required in Florida, there are exceptions to this rule. The state organizes license-free fishing days periodically, allowing both residents and visitors to enjoy fishing without the need for a license.

These designated days are a great opportunity for individuals who want to try fishing or simply enjoy a day of angling without the hassle of obtaining a license. It’s important to check the FWC’s website or contact local fishing authorities to stay updated on the upcoming license-free fishing days.

Pier fishing exemption in some cases

In certain cases, individuals may be exempt from obtaining a fishing license if they are fishing from a pier. Piers that are owned and operated by local governments or state agencies are often exempt from the licensing requirement.

However, it’s crucial to note that this exemption may not apply to privately-owned piers or those located within privately-owned properties. It’s always wise to check with the local fishing authorities or the FWC to confirm the regulations specific to the pier you plan to fish from.

For more detailed information on fishing licenses and regulations in Florida, you can visit the official website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/.

This website provides comprehensive information on licensing requirements, fees, and any updates or changes in the fishing regulations.


While most anglers 16 and up need a fishing license to fish legally in Florida, some exemptions apply based on age and other factors. Understanding the age requirements and ways to purchase a Florida fishing license ensures you can enjoy the state’s bountiful fishing opportunities smoothly. Just be sure to carry your license anytime you’re fishing in Florida waters!

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