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Florida Saltwater Commercial Fishing

Fishing commercially in the state of Florida requires certain credentials, depending on whether you plan on fishing in freshwater or saltwater. If you would like to take fish for commercial purposes from saltwater, then you must purchase a Saltwater Products License from the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission. However, before you buy this commercial fishing license from the FWC, it is important that you learn all that there is to know about commercial licensure in the state of Florida. There is a process you have to follow to apply for and replace licensure. There are certain fish species that you can and cannot catch. In addition, there are various different commercial licenses (all set at different prices) available for fishermen who need a permit to fish commercially in saltwater. Only after you have learned about these important factors will you be able to successfully apply for credentials in the state of Florida and deal with any license-related issues thereafter. The good news is that all you need to do to become familiar with these important subjects is to take a look at the information below. From fees to license variations, the crucial commercial fishing information can be found right here. For more information on how to get a fishing license in Florida, click this link.


What is the difference between a resident and non-resident commercial fishing license?

Residency plays a very important role in determining cost for commercial saltwater fishing permits in Florida. This is because those who live within the state receive a significant discount in comparison to their non-resident counterparts. Specifically, where a resident would only pay $50 for a saltwater commercial fishing permit, a non-resident must pay $200. In any case, in order to make sure that there is no cheating to obtain a discount, the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission takes precautions in order to verify residency. Namely, the FWC requires all residential applicants to provide proof of residency, such as an official FL driver’s license, when they submit their commercial resident saltwater fishing license application form.

How do I obtain a saltwater commercial fishing license?

In order to take saltwater fish for commercial purposes in the state of Florida, you need to get a saltwater commercial fishing license from the FL Wildlife and Conservation Commission. This can be done by going online to the FWC website and downloading an application for what is officially called the Florida Saltwater Products License. Once you have filled out the application, you will have to send it in (with payment) to the following address:

Office of Licensing and Permitting
Commercial Saltwater Licensing
P.O. Box 6150
Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6150
Note: Proof of residency must be provided if you are applying for a residential commercial license.

How much does a saltwater commercial fishing license cost?

There is not one fixed price to buy commercial fishing license documentation in Florida. Cost varies depending on residency and the purpose of the commercial credential. For instance, a resident commercial saltwater fishing license in Florida costs $50. A non-resident commercial license is $200. Furthermore, if you are considered an alien, you will have to pay $300 for commercial licensure in FL. Beyond these three standard prices for annual fishing licenses, there are also costs associated with crew licensure, vessel licensure, specific fish species endorsements, wholesale dealer licensing, retail dealer licensing and more.

How do I replace a saltwater commercial fishing license?

In the event your Florida commercial fishing license is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you will have to obtain a fishing permit replacement in order to continue your commercial activities legally. This can be done easily in one simple way. Just go to the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission website, print out an application and mail it (with payment) to the Office of Licensing & Permitting Commercial Saltwater Section at 2590 Executive Center Circle E, Suite 101, Tallahassee, FL 32301. In any case, you are not to fish commercially in any circumstance without proper commercial licensure.

What is considered a saltwater commercial fish in Florida?

In the state of Florida, there are plenty of fish that you can catch with a commercial license to fish in saltwater. Some of these fish species include: cobia, dolphin, mullet, tripletail, black drum and even spiny lobster. However, it is important to keep in mind that, even though you have a FL commercial fishing license, you may also need to obtain endorsements in order to take certain species of fish. Stone crab and spiny lobster are prime examples.

Are there any fish that cannot be taken with a saltwater commercial fishing license?

Just as there are certain fish you can take for commercial purposes, there are also those species that you cannot. In Florida, these include: bonefish, snook, coral, marlin, grouper, ray, sailfish, spearfish, shark, tarpon, queen conch, sawfish, starfish, red drum, sturgeon, mitten crab, live rock, bay scallops and seafans.

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.