Fishing is a major pastime in the USA, and the numbers of anglers outweigh some of the most popular sports you can think of.
However, purchasing the best rod and reel and a bag full of gear isn’t the case. To go fishing, you have to purchase a fishing license by state law.
Buying a fishing license could be confusing for new anglers, or they wonder where to get the right information.
Using our guide, you’ll discover how to get a fishing license is more straightforward than you can imagine.
By the end, we’ll have presented lots more information about where to get a fishing license, so you can hit the waters as you desire with no problem.
Fishing License Basics
Buying a fishing license supports conservation efforts. In most states, licenses can be bought online, by phone, or in many retail outlets. Fishing license sales accounted for $700 million in 2018, and 100% of the license fees go to conservation and restoration. (Find the Best Fish Finder)
The Sport Fish Restoration Program allocates funds to state fish and wildlife agencies for restoration and enhancement projects.
More than $8 billion in Sport Fish Restoration Program grants have been distributed for habitat restoration, protection, land acquisition, and more since 1952.
Where to Buy Fishing Line Online?
Near enough, every state lets you buy a fishing license online. Even a non-resident angler can buy licenses online.
Remember, only government websites may sell state licenses online. You can find others, yet stay away from these. (Read California Fishing Licenses Price)
Since there isn’t a list of locations where you can get fishing licenses, we have more information you need to know and a state-by-state list of online fishing licenses locations.
Fishing Licenses Cost and Information Links for All 50 States
Purchase hunting or fishing license, reprint current license.
Add additional privileges in season,
update customer information and setup autorenewal.
A valid fishing license is required for Arizona resident and
non-resident anglers 10 years or older fishing publicly accessible water.
Under 10 and blind residents do not need to purchase a state fishing.
|Arkansas||$22.50 with trout stamp||$70.00 with trout stamp||https://www.agfc.com/en/|
Any person in California over the age of 16 needs to purchase a CA sport-fishing license.
This applies to any person residing in California state for a period of 6-months or more.
When you purchase a California sport-fishing license,
these will be valid across the state and encompass
both freshwater and saltwater fishing
Licensee Personal information such as name, date of birth,
Credit or Debit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)
Printer for printing a copy of your license or permit
|Maryland||$25.50 (Freshwater + trout)|
|$40.50 (Freshwater + trout)|
|New Hampshire||$45.00 (Freshwater)|
|New Jersey||$33.00 with trout stamp||$54.00 with trout stamp||https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/|
|North Carolina||$25.00 (Freshwater)|
|Pennsylvania||$32.94 with trout stamp||$62.94 with trout stamp||https://www.fishandboat.com/Pages/default.aspx|
|Rhode Island||$23.50 with trout stamp||$40.50 with trout stamp|
|South Carolina||$10.00 (Freshwater)|
Print or screen shot the order or write down your sc.gov order number.
You can hunt or fish with your order number and a picture id
until your license arrives.
|Tennessee||$56.00 with trout stamp||$50.00 ($99 with trout stamp)||https://www.tn.gov/twra.html|
Texas allows you to download your hunting or fishing license
to an app on a mobile device or your phone.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Licensing staff are remote remotely until June.
The office remains closed yet all business can be conducted online or
via phone, email or US mail.
License agents are also available statewide.
|West Virginia||$29.00 with trout stamp permits||$53.00 with trout stamp permits||http://wvdnr.gov/|
|Wisconsin||$30.00 with trout stamp permits||$60.00 with trout stamp permits||https://dnr.wi.gov/|
Although youth have to purchase a license from 12 and 16 based on state, rules vary. A youth license can often be sold discounted for the first two years before an adult license is required.
Most children under 12 fish for free, although check local regulations on specific license fees.
Additional License Fees
The license fees we list are base prices at the time of writing. It may be possible to find added processing or dealer fees added depending on where you purchase your license.
Some states may add extra “endorsement” permits if you’re fishing for specific fish such as salmon, trout, salmon, or paddlefish.
Other License Types
Annual fishing licenses are the most common license sold and the most cost-effective. It is possible to purchase a temporary license if you only fish a few days spread over the year.
Temporary licenses are sold to residents and non-residents in most states and are valid for consecutive days from a specified start date. (Read Why Is Fishing A Good Sport)
Where to Buy Fishing Licenses in Person?
Online purchases of licenses and permits can be convenient, yet it is possible to purchase these in person.
A good deal of good fishing tackle stores may offer this; however, the problem here is you can find a dealer fee added to the cost of your license.
The easiest way to purchase in person is the Walmart hunting and fishing department. Give the staff your information, tell them which license you desire, and find the best license, whether you are hunting or fishing. (Find the Best Rod And Reel Combo)
You should also be able to find a free copy of information and updates on the fishing regulations.
Can you fish on private property without a license?
It is allowed to fish on private land without a license or permits in most states, although rules may vary.
So long as any lakes or ponds don’t have inlets or outlets and have been privately stocked, a fishing license is not required.
Can you fish without licenses?
A fishing license isn’t always needed, such as in Washington. You don’t need a license when fishing waters for common carp or other rough fish species.
California lets you fish waters from public coastal piers without a fishing license, and also, many states let adults help kids fish without a license.
Fishing in National Parks
Within the boundaries of our national parks, some of the best fishing in the country can be found. Beautiful scenery, clear waters, and plenty of opportunities to catch wild fish in their natural habitats. (Find the Best Fishing Spots in Massachusetts)
There is something for every angler, whether you want to catch a big brown trout in Yellowstone’s backcountry or the thrill of catching a massive halibut in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park.
There are 60 national parks in the United States, as well as numerous national monuments. Although not all parks and monuments will provide fishing, the National Park Service’s Fishing page can help you plan your next fishing trip. There are helpful options and regulatory requirements for your selected place there.
You will, of course, need to check fishing licenses regulations for the state each of these National parks is located.
Read more: Lifetime Sport 10′ Fisher Review.