It may appear to be a simple thing to do, and many people do go fishing without any restrictions. However, there are plenty of things to know before heading off and hitting the waters.
One thing is for sure, all the way from the Gulf of Mexico and the open waters, back inland to Lake Texoma. There is some fantastic fishing to be had.
Here, we will look at how you can get a fishing license in Texas, how much is a fishing license, and who needs one, and who doesn’t.
It can affect anglers from out of state or Texas residents who are taking up fishing and want to know all the ins and outs.
By the end, we hope to show how much is a fishing license in Texas.
Who Needs to Have a Texas Fishing License?
In some states, if you pay for a fishing charter, then this includes the fee for a fishing license. In Texas, this isn’t the case, and it does need purchasing separately.
Any person who is aged 17 or above, does need to purchase a Texas fishing license if they plan on fishing for recreation, or in public state waters.
You may think this is merely one kind of angler; however, it covers angling by any means.
Catfish noodling, reel to bow and to use a regular fishing rod are all included. Additionally, this isn’t merely the angler, and if other participants in a fishing group take part, such as removing hooks and netting the fish.
One other thing you need to be wary of is the locations where you will be fishing. If you are heading out into the Gulf of Mexico to tidal waters, you will require a saltwater endorsement.
If you head right out to sea into federal waters, you may not require a license for the actual fishing, yet you do need a permit in place to bring any catch back into state waters.
If you are fishing inland and sticking to lakes, rivers and stream, then you need a freshwater endorsement.
Can You Fish Without a License in Texas?
Generally speaking, to fish anywhere in Texas, you will need a license to fish. There are some exemptions to this rule.
Anyone can fish without any need for purchasing a license on the annual Free Fishing Day in Texas, which falls on the first Saturday in June.
Under Age Fishing
Both Texas resident and non-resident anglers who are aged 17 and under do not need the requirements of purchasing TX fishing licenses.
Mentally Disabled Fisherman
Mentally disabled anglers don’t need to purchase a license when they have adequate supervision of an angler who is licensed. This supervising angler does need to be a member of the family, or they have been permitted by the disabled angler’s family.
Even without the need for a license, the angler will be required to have a note from their doctor to confirm they are diagnosed as suffering from a mental disability.
A mentally disabled angler doesn’t require a TX fishing license if they are fishing as part of their therapy. To do this, they do need to be accompanied and supervised by an adult who is in the employ o or approved by a residence of mentally disabled persons, a school or an approved hospital.
Any mentally disabled angler has to carry authorization such as an ID card, which identifies the entity responsible for the service.
Any non-resident or resident veterans who are disabled may have entitlement to the Disabled Veteran Super Combo Hunting and All-Water Fishing Package. For this, there is no charge, and it covers both saltwater fishing as well as freshwater fishing. It does require V.A issued proof of disability, and the degree of the disability to be shown upon application for this license.
Do Senior Citizens Need a Fishing License in Texas?
It is good news for senior citizen fisherman because there are a few stipulation and exemptions here.
Any person born before January 1, 1931, is not required to purchase a license to fish in Texas.
Residents of Louisiana state who are aged 65 or above, and who already possess a valid LA state fishing license, do not need to purchase a Texas non- resident fishing license.
Residents of Oklahoma State, who are aged 65 or older, have no requirements to purchase a TX state-fishing license. They do need to carry identification to prove their age.
Can I Buy a Texas Fishing License Online?
Anyone who wishes to go fishing can purchase their Texas fishing license (or package) quickly and easily online.
These are available from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website, there are also many more resources for reading about the regulations, license requirements, on how to get a valid Texas fishing license.
Anglers can also purchase their license from around 1,500 retailers across the state. You can find these licenses in tackle shops, gun stores, department stores, and sporting goods stores.
However, if you need a boat and guide license for any reason, these are only available for purchase from the TPWD headquarters, which is in the Austin and Law Enforcement offices. You can quickly email them to check on any combo requirements for hunting and fishing.
Texas Fishing License Prices
A valid fishing license that has either freshwater or a saltwater endorsement is required to catch fish, crayfish, clams or any other form of aquatic life forms in any public waters in Texas. Any person who hunts turtles or frogs needs to apply for a hunting license.
Here are more details on the Texas fishing license cost for resident fishing licenses
|Resident Fishing Licenses||Fee|
|Year from purchase all-water package||$47|
|One-day all-water package||$11|
|Senior freshwater package||$12|
|Senior saltwater package||$12|
|Senior all-water package||$22|
|Special resident all-water license||$7|
When purchasing a valid freshwater fishing package, you can buy a saltwater endorsement.
When purchasing a valid saltwater fishing package, you can purchase a freshwater endorsement.
An all-water package will include a Red Drum tag without any extra cost. It is also possible to purchase hunting and fishing combos if you are a state resident.
How much is a Non-Resident Texas Fishing License?
These are a requirement for all Texas non-resident fishing license holders who want to fish in Texas public waters.
|Non-Resident Fishing Licenses||Fee|
|One-day all-water package||$16|
When purchasing a valid freshwater fishing package form the Parks and Wildlife Department, you can buy a saltwater endorsement, and if you are buying a valid saltwater fishing package, you can buy a freshwater endorsement.
Fishing Licenses and Fishing Package Descriptions
Resident and Non-Resident License Year
Includes resident, senior resident, special resident or non-resident. It is valid from the purchase date to Aug 31 in the same year. There is included freshwater or saltwater endorsements, with a red drum tag. Both endorsements can be added depending on the package, and allow entry to designated areas.
Senior Resident Fishing Packages
Available to Texas residents 65 or over and born on or after January 1, 1931. Packages come with senior resident fishing licenses and freshwater or saltwater endorsements, with red drum tag, depending on the purchased package.
Special Resident All-Water License
Available for any legally blind Texas resident
Lake Texoma Fishing Licenses
Valid until December 31 after issuance, an individual can fish in waters of both sides, Texas or Oklahoma without additions to their license. Only Valid on Lake Texoma.
Tags and Endorsements
Freshwater fishing endorsement $5. Included automatically with freshwater, all-water fishing package, lifetime combo and lifetime fishing license.
Saltwater fishing endorsement $10. They are included automatically with saltwater, all-water fishing package, lifetime combo and lifetime fishing license.
Red Drum Tags are required if you take a fish longer than 28 inches in length. One is included with your saltwater fishing endorsement. Any exempt anglers from purchasing a Texas Parks and Wildlife license combo can purchase an exempt angler tag for $3. You can buy a Bonus Red Drum Tag for another $3 (only one allowed per year).
Border Water Requirements
Any fish, which anglers land in Texas, must legally comply with bag limits and length. There are no exceptions against this ruling.
Texas – Arkansas. Arkansas side of the red River has additional requirements.
Texas – Oklahoma. Oklahoma waters on the Red River come with additional requirements for that state. Need a valid fishing license to fish from the bank of Denison Dam to Shawnee Creek on the Texas side. For wading or fishing from a vessel, you need an Oklahoma fishing license.
Texas – Louisiana. Holders of fishing licenses from either state can fish in either state. Bag limits need upholding in Texas.
Texas – Mexico. Recreational anglers who fish in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and Coahuila, Chihuahua need a recreational license, which they can obtain from the Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca.