What to Know Before you go Fishing in Florida
Florida Saltwater Fishing
Saltwater fishing licenses can be obtained online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, at county tax collectors’ offices and license agents, or by calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Handling fees apply for telephone and Internet services. For current recreational licensing information, please visit MyFWC.com/License.
For purposes of saltwater fishing in Florida, a resident is defined as:
- Any person who has declared Florida as his or her only state of residence as evidenced by a valid Florida driver license or identification card with both a Florida address and a Florida residency verified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV). A Florida voter registration card, declaration of domicile, or homestead exemption may also be used as proof of Florida residency.
- Active duty United States military personnel stationed in Florida, including spouses and dependent children residing in the household, with military orders.
Gold Sportsman’s licenses include:
- Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses.
- Snook, Spiny Lobster, Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloading Gun, Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl permits.
- Florida residents who invest in a Lifetime Saltwater Fishing license or a Lifetime Gold Sportsman’s license may fish in saltwater for life with no additional fees. These licenses include take of snook and spiny lobster, which would otherwise require a separate fee. The Lifetime Gold Sportsman’s license further allows the license holder to freshwater fish and hunt in Florida. Further details are available at MyFWC.com/License.
You do not need a license if you are:
- A child under 16 years of age, regardless of residency.
- A Florida resident age 65 or older with proof of age and residency, such as a Florida driver’s license or ID, or an optional no-cost Florida Resident 65+ Hunt/Fish Certificate.
- A Florida resident fishing within his or her county of residence with live or natural bait, using poles or lines not equipped with a fishing line retrieval mechanism.
- A Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License holder. Further information about this license is available at MyFWC.com/ADA.
- A resident who has been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, provided the agency furnishes proof thereof.
- A resident who is saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who has been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Family Services. Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be in possession when fishing.
- A Florida resident who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and not stationed in this state, when home on leave with orders for 30 days or less. This does not include family members.
- Fishing for recreational purposes from a pier that has a valid pier saltwater fishing license.
- Fishing from a for-hire vessel (including guide, charter, party boat) that has a valid charter boat or charter captain license.
- A valid saltwater products license holder.
- Fishing from a boat that has a valid recreational vessel fishing license.
- A Florida resident who is fishing for mullet in freshwater with a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.
Other saltwater fishing licenses:
Charter Boat and Charter Captain licenses are available and required to carry paying customers (where a fee is paid directly or indirectly) for the purpose of taking, attempting to take, or possessing saltwater fish or organisms. Guides must comply with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requirements.
- Four or fewer customers $201.50
- Five to ten customers $401.50
- Eleven or more customers $801.50
Recreational Vessel licenses are available for not-for-hire pleasure crafts that are registered recreationally for a fee of $2,001.50. Pier licenses are available to exempt persons fishing from a pier fixed to land from saltwater fishing requirements for a fee of $501.50.
More information on these licenses is available at county tax collector’s office or at MyFWC.com/License.