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Fishing Licenses

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing

Fishing Licenses

Following is a list of short-term, annual and lifetime fishing licenses. Privilege licenses authorize a particular inland fishing activity not included with the basic license type. Privileges may be purchased separately if pur­chaser holds a valid basic license. These licenses include fishing in joint waters. Basic fishing licenses do not include privileges such as fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters. Refer to Privilege Licenses for a complete list of privileges. Note: Individuals 16 years of age or older using any type of bait or gear to catch finfish while fishing in North Caro­lina’s public waters must possess a valid North Carolina fishing license. This license requirement does not apply to private ponds. Individual residents who receive Food Stamps, Medicaid or Work First Family Assistance may obtain a written waiver (Annual Subsistence License Waiver) from this fishing license requirement through the county Department of Social Services. A $2 transaction fee may be added to your total order (NCGS 113-270.1B).

License Type

Resident

NonResident

Short-Term Licenses

Additional privilege licenses may be required with the licenses listed below. Refer to Privilege Licenses for more information. Short-term licenses are valid for the period specified on the license. Unless otherwise specified, privilege licenses are valid 12 months from the date of purchase.
Inland Fishing­ 10-Day (basic): Statewide inland fishing during the 10-day period specified on the license. Includes fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in coastal waters. $7 $18
Coastal Recreational Fishing 10-Day: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during the 10-day period specified on the license. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters. $5 $10

Annual Licenses

Additional privilege licenses may be required with the licenses listed below. Refer to Privilege Licenses for more information. Unless otherwise specified, annual and privilege licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
State Inland Fishing (basic): Statewide inland fishing during a license term. Includes fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in coastal waters. $20 $36
Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during a license term. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters. $15 $30
Comprehensive Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing for residents during a license term. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. $25 N/A
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing for residents during a license term. Includes the privileges of fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. $40 N/A
Subsistence Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License Waiver: Statewide basic inland and coastal recreational fishing for residents who receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Work First Family Assistance through the county Department of Social Services. Includes fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands. License Waiver can be obtained through the county Department of Social Services upon request. FREE N/A
Special Device (inland fishing): Authorizes the taking of nongame fishes from inland waters (does not include joint and coastal waters) during designated seasons with seines, cast nets, gill nets, dip nets, bow nets, reels, gigs, spear guns, baskets, fish pots, eel pots, traps, and hand-crank electrofishers where authorized by local law. Includes the sale of these nongame fishes. Taking of nongame fishes with archery equipment is authorized under any of the licenses providing basic hunting or inland fishing privileges. Certain special devices may be used to take nongame fishes for bait or personal consumption using any valid license that provides basic inland fishing privileges. Refer to pages 43-49 for more information. $75 $500

Lifetime License

Lifetime licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license-holder. Senior License Eligibility: Residents born on or before Aug. 1, 1953 are eligible to purchase a senior lifetime license when they turn 65 years of age. Those born after Aug. 1, 1953 are eligible to purchase a senior lifetime license when they turn 70 years of age.
Comprehensive Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. $250 N/A
Senior (see above for eligibility requirements) $15 N/A
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. $450 N/A
Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
Adult (ages 12 & older) $250 $500
Youth (ages 1-11) $150 $150
Infant (under age 1) $100 $100
Senior (see above for eligibility requirements) $15 N/A
Disabled Veteran Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing for residents who are 50 percent or more disabled veterans as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. $10 N/A
Disabled Veteran Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters for residents who are 50 percent or more disabled veterans as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters. $10 N/A
Totally Disabled Inland Fishing: Statewide inland fishing for residents who are totally and permanently disabled as determined by the Social Security Administration, Civil Service Retirement System, Railroad Retirement Board, or the N.C. State Retirement System. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. $10 N/A
Totally Disabled Coastal Recreational Fishing: Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters for residents who are totally and permanently disabled as determined by the Social Security Administration, Civil Service Retirement System, Railroad Retirement Board, or the N.C. State Retirement System. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters. $10 N/A
Legally Blind Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide fishing in all public waters for residents who have been certified by the Department of Health and Human Services as being legally blind. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands. FREE N/A
Adult Care Home Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing: Statewide fishing in all public waters for residents of an adult care home. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters and fishing in trout waters on game lands. License valid during time of residency at adult care facility. Call 888-248-6834 to obtain an application. FREE N/A