How Do I Get a Freshwater Fishing License in Florida?

How Do I Get a Freshwater Fishing License in Florida?
Riddled with springs, swamps, rivers and lakes, Florida offers anglers many opportunities to land freshwater catches such as catfish or bass. However, Florida is also surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and is therefore also a major draw for saltwater fishermen. Anglers interested solely in freshwater fishing can apply for a strictly freshwater fishing license, and which is cheaper than a freshwater-saltwater combined license.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Credit card
  • Valid identification (driver's license, passport, birth certificate)
Step 1
Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Dial 888-FISH-FLORIDA to apply for a freshwater fishing license over the phone. You may also visit the commission's Total Licensing System Online License and Permit Sales website, but use of this website entails a small surcharge, so applying by phone is less expensive.
Step 2
Provide your age and confirm whether or not you are a Florida resident. This is the first set of questions for either an online or telephone application. Florida residents pay cheaper fees for fishing licenses. If you are a resident over age 64 and are applying for a special license, you may need to present proof of age in person.
Step 3
Pay for the license with a credit card. American Express, Discover, Master Card and VISA are all accepted.
Step 4
Write down your temporary authorization number. This number allows you to start fishing immediately, eliminating any need to wait for your license to be mailed.

Tips & Warnings

Residents are eligible for one-year and five-year freshwater fishing licenses. Non-residents are eligible for three-day, seven-day and one-year fishing licenses.
In addition to freshwater fishing licenses, Florida residents can apply for a variety of license combinations, such a Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combo.
Florida residents over the age of 65 are eligible for a free freshwater fishing license by visiting the county tax collector's office and presenting proof of age.
No fishing license is required to fish on a lake or pond smaller than 20 acres and entirely enclosed by private property. Many campgrounds and resorts in the state of Florida have such enclosed fishing ponds, so a fishing license is not strictly necessary for a little freshwater angling in Florida.
The first weekend of April is Free Fishing Weekend, when no freshwater license is required to fish anywhere on that Saturday and Sunday.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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