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Fishing Licenses In The U.S. | FishAndGameLicenses.org

Learn How to Apply for A Fishing License Today

FIshing Without a license can carry a significant fine. Our comprehensive guide will you all about the licenses process, help you get licensed in your state and educate you on other rules and regulations pertaining to you cath, such as seasons, haul limits, residency restrictions and more.

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We provide all the information you need in order to obtain your fishing and hunting licenses. Select your state and the type of license to get started now!

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About fishing & game licenses

A license to fish can easily be obtained anywhere in the country, as long as you meet certain requirements. Plus, most individuals can easily plan a fishing trip to several fishing spots nationwide. Every state has established its own fishing rules and regulations, as well as requirements to obtain a fishing license. For instance, landlocked states only offer inland fishing in lakes, rivers, basins and streams, while coastal states have a larger range of fishing locations, and thus, more saltwater fishing opportunities.

In addition, each state's licenses to fish depend on the fish species, the angler's residency and age, and the purpose of the license. The departments issuing these licenses are different in all states, but most commonly, they are known as the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Fish and Game, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks etc.

Before applying for a fishing license, you must be familiar with the general eligibility requirements and conditions of the appropriate department and prepare the necessary documents. For special categories of individuals such as senior citizens, disabled individuals or military veterans, fishing licenses can be purchased for a discounted price. To find out more about fishing licenses in the U.S., explore the sections below.

Types of Fishing Licenses

Every U.S. state offers different types of fishing licenses for all kinds of anglers. However, fishermen must know the exact type of credential for their needs, as well as the time frame of the fishing trip. Which fishing license is issued also depends on the angler's residency. In general, the following types of fishing licenses are available throughout the United States:

Resident vs Non-resident Fishing Licenses

All states offer fishing licenses to their residents, but non-resident licenses are also issued for state visitors who would like to take a fishing vacation. If you provide proof of residency for the state in which you buy a fishing license, you can get one for a lower fee. Visitors typically pay a higher price and do not have as many options when selecting their fishing credentials. Many resident fishing licenses, such as lifetime licenses, are not available for nonresidents. In addition, both residents and visitors must bear in mind the validity period of the document and get a fishing license accordingly. For instance, visitors can purchase a daily or weekly fishing license and residents can buy annual or lifetime licenses to fish.

Saltwater vs Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Another major classification of fishing licenses is saltwater and freshwater. Some states with coastal and inland waters offer both license types and others offer their licenses depending on the fishing opportunities. However, anglers must always make sure to buy the correct fishing license type and follow their state's regulations. These include learning about which fish species can and cannot be caught and complying with the state's bag limits. Additionally, you should never purchase a freshwater fishing license if you intend to fish in salt waters and vice versa, as this is punishable by law.

Recreational vs Commercial Fishing Licenses

Depending on your fishing goals and purpose, many states divide their fishing licenses to recreational and commercial. Recreational fishing licenses are intended for anglers who fish as a hobby and do not intend to sell the catch to other individuals. Commercial fishing licenses, on the other hand, are issued to professional fishermen whose main goal is to sell the catch to companies or individuals. Be sure to check with your state's regulations on commercial fishing and then decide whether it can be a profitable business for you.

How to Buy Fishing Licenses in the U.S.

Many U.S. states have established many convenient ways to get a fishing license. Different states give anglers different options to obtain a license to fish, such as:

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