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Freshwater Fishing

License Exemptions

You do not need a freshwater fishing license if...

  • You are a child under 16 years of age.
  • You are a Florida resident 65 years of age or older and you possess proof of age and residency, such as a Florida driver’s license or ID, or an optional no-cost Resident 65+ Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
  • You are a resident who is fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, and you are fishing for noncommercial purposes in your home county. However, you must have a valid fishing license to fish by any method in a fish management area. This is often referred to as the cane-pole exemption.
  • You are fishing in the St. Mary’s River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license.
  • You freshwater fish in your county of residence on your homestead or the homestead of your spouse or minor child, or if you are a minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead of your parent.
  • You are a Florida resident certified as totally and permanently disabled and you possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
  • You are a resident who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, you are not stationed in this state, and you are home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.
  • You have been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The agency must furnish proof to such clients.
  • You possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License.
  • You are freshwater fishing on License-Free Freshwater Fishing Days: first weekend in April (April 2-3, 2022) and the second weekend in June (June 11-12, 2022).

A fish pond is a man-made pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the property lines of the owner and with no surface water connection to public waters.

  • You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or less that is located entirely within the private property of its owner.
  • You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or more, whose owner has purchased a fish pond license at a fee of $3 per surface acre.