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North Carolina Fishing Licenses

You will need to buy a fishing license in New York for either inland (freshwater) or coastal (saltwater) fishing depending on where you plan to fish in North Carolina. North Carolina freshwater fishing licenses (also known as basic licenses) are required to fish in any bodies of water located inland from the coast of North Carolina, including joint waters and Public Mountain Trout Waters. Saltwater fishing licenses are required to fish in bodies of water and joint bodies of water off the coast of North Carolina. Regardless of which you choose, you will need to complete an North Carolina fishing license application and submit it to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) to receive the appropriate licensure. For more information on how to get a fishing license in North Carolina, click this link.

Prior to visiting a WRC office or purchasing a fishing license online, make sure you know which license you want to get. Aside from the freshwater and saltwater fishing license in North Carolina, the WRC also has options for the following:

  • Comprehensive inland fishing (for NC residents only)
  • Special inland fishing devices
  • Unified fishing, for both inland and coastal waters
  • Lifetime license options for avid anglers who do not feel like renewing their permits every year

All licenses to fish, except for the unified inland/coastal license and the comprehensive inland license, are available to both residents and nonresidents, with nonresidents paying a higher permit fee. Once you have figured out which fishing permit you would like to purchase, you can move on to the actual transaction and, soon thereafter, look for places to fish in North Carolina.


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.