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Hawaii Freshwater Fishing

Prior to embarking on any fishing trips in HI, all anglers must first complete the process of getting a Hawaii fishing license. Fishing is a regulated sport in the state, and all individuals – both residents and non residents – must be properly licensed before removing wildlife from public waters. Anglers who are not fishing for saltwater fish within the state must submit a fishing license application for freshwater fishing permits.

Fishing permits are regulated and issued by the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources. Fishing licenses and their associated fees are divided by the department into various categories based on a number of factors. For example, Hawaii residents pay fishing license fees at a discounted rate in comparison with nonresidents who are visiting Hawaii. Additionally, seniors and minors pay discounted fishing license fee rates in comparison with young adults. The Division of Aquatic Resources also offers specialized fishing licenses that are required for different fishing-related activities, such as fishing in aquariums. Prior to completing the fishing license application process, anglers should make sure they know exactly which Hawaii fishing permit they need. In the event that the wrong credential is purchased, anglers may incur fines from the state. Another factor that affects the type of license an angler should purchase is the length of the license's validity. Fishing licenses are issued with varying expiration dates, with the most common fishing license expiring annually. The Division of Aquatic Resources also issues short-term licenses for visitors to Hawaii who are not staying for long periods of time. To find out more about how to buy freshwater fishing licenses, where to buy them and the various documents applicants are required to submit during the fishing license application process, take a look at the various sections outlined below.


What is the difference between a resident and a nonresident Hawaii freshwater fishing permit?

Residential fishing licenses and non resident fishing licenses vary in price in nearly every state throughout the country, with Hawaii being no exception. In an effort to give residents incentive to buy fishing licenses, residential fishing licenses are issued at a discounted rate in comparison with non resident fishing licenses. In order to buy a fishing license as a resident, anglers must first meet certain requirements and provide proof of their residency to Division of Aquatic Resources officials. Residents of Hawaii have lived in the state for at least one year prior to submitting their fishing license application. Anglers can provide proof of residency to officials in the form of a state-issued ID card, driver's license or utility bills.

Do I need to buy a separate Hawaii saltwater fishing license?

Anglers in Hawaii do not have to buy a separate saltwater fishing license to fish off the coast of the state's islands. The Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources does not offer saltwater fishing permits. Anglers who plan to engage in marine (shoreline/ocean) fishing can cast their lines freely to catch wildlife such as Pacific blue marlin, mahi-mahi, wahoo and other saltwater fish. However, there are certain parts of Hawaii where saltwater fishing is not allowed. Anglers located in these areas should consider obtaining an HI recreational fishing permit for fresh waters.

How do I retrieve a Hawaii freshwater fishing license?

Anglers dealing with lost or stolen freshwater fishing licenses can easily gain access to the unexpired freshwater permit that they previously purchased. To replace lost fishing licenses, go online to the Freshwater Game Fishing License homepage. The system will ask the user to provide the email address they used to purchase the permit in addition to the applicant's last name in order to obtain a fishing license replacement online.

How can I fish for free in Hawaii?

Most U.S. states offer anglers one or more free fishing days throughout the year on specific weekends when fishing licenses are not required. During these free fishing days, residents (and in some states even nonresidents) are allowed to fish in public state waters without having to buy a fishing license. However, the state of Hawaii and the Division of Aquatic Resources does not currently offer free fishing days.

Anglers in Hawaii can only fish for free if they are fishing in saltwater areas, as the state aquatic department does not issue saltwater fishing licenses. Anglers who want to fish in freshwater areas can buy fishing licenses from the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources at reasonable prices. Fees for Hawaii fishing licenses vary based on a number of factors, including the applicant's age, residency status, the type of fish they plan on catching and the length of the license's validity. Anglers can buy fishing licenses through the Division of Aquatic Resources either online or in person at an authorized local licensing agent.

Are there reduced fishing license fees for veterans or seniors in Hawaii?

Most of the U.S. states offer recreational fishing licenses (both for fresh water and salt water) to a variety of groups at discounted rates. For example, in every state, each resident of that state receives discounted fishing license fees compared to non residents. Likewise, both active-duty military and military veterans are given discounted fishing license fee rates too. Senior citizens 65 years of age or older (exact starting age for senior citizen classes vary between 60 years of age and 65 years of age, depending on the state) receive discounted and sometimes even free fishing licenses in certain states as well.

In Hawaii, the Division of Aquatic Resources offers seniors fishing licenses at more affordable prices than non-seniors. Specifically, the senior permit to fish is available for a very low fee to residents of the state of Hawaii only. The aquatic division also offers minors in Hawaii who plan to fish in state waters discounted freshwater fishing licenses as well. However, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources does not currently offer any discounted fishing license rates to active members of the military or military veterans.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.