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Florida Saltwater Fishing

The Florida saltwater fishing permit or license allows prospective anglers to capture various species of fish as well as marine life such as crabs and clams, located in the coastal waters of the state. Fishing licenses in FL are available to both residents and visitors, and applicants can obtain either short-term or long-term licenses, depending on their needs.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) categorizes licenses based on an applicant's residential status. Fishing credentials are divided into resident fishing licenses and non resident fishing licenses, as well as permits that last for different intervals of time, including one year, five years, one week and three days. Another factor to consider when thinking about whether to buy saltwater fishing licenses in Florida is the discounts that may be available. For instance, members of the military (both active and retired) have access to reduced-fee credentials. In addition to the process of buying a fishing license from the FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you will also want to learn how to replace lost fishing licenses (if the need arises), purchase specialty fishing tags (for certain species) and more. Fortunately, the information needed for saltwater fishing licenses is presented in a question and answer format below. The most commonly asked questions regarding saltwater fishing permits and licenses are addressed in detail. To get started on applying for your permit to saltwater fish in Florida, you can select one of various options: applying online, ordering by telephone, or applying in person by visiting a retail agent or your nearby county tax collector's office. 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 saltwater fishing license in Florida?

In the state of Florida, both residents and non-residents can apply to obtain saltwater fishing licenses online, by phone or in person at a local tax collector's office. The big difference is in cost. Fishermen who live in Florida pay less on resident saltwater fishing licenses than non-residents do on the same type of licensure. To apply for these resident fishing credentials, applicants must provide proof of their Florida residency, such as a Florida driver license. In addition, military members and their immediate family who are stationed in Florida are also eligible for residential licenses.

What is a Florida lifetime license?

In addition to annual and daily fishing permits, Florida lifetime fishing licenses are available for purchase in the state. As the name implies, these licenses last for the lifetime of the holder. However, they can only be obtained by fishermen who are residents of the state. Therefore, lifetime licenses are strictly resident fishing permits, and they are available in three forms: saltwater-only lifetime licenses, freshwater-only lifetime licenses and sportsman (saltwater and freshwater combined) lifetime licenses. The sportsman license combines lifetime hunting and fishing privileges into a one-time fee.

While obviously more expensive than the short-term day pass or an annual permit to fish, the lifetime FL fishing license allows applicants to maintain fishing privileges for their lifetime. This means that lifetime license holders will never have to renew their credentials or buy new ones.

How do I replace a saltwater fishing license in Florida?

In the event that your fishing credentials are lost, stolen or damaged, you will have to go through the process of obtaining a Florida saltwater license replacement. To replace fishing licenses in Florida, applicants may purchase a duplicate license in one of three ways: online, by phone or in person at a local licensing vendor.

What saltwater fish species require special fishing tags in Florida?

A number of saltwater fish species in Florida require anglers to obtain certain tags in order to catch them. The most important species that require separate credentials in the state of Florida are spiny lobster, tarpon and snook. Fishing tags are sold only at select tax collector office locations.

How can I fish for free in Florida?

While a saltwater fishing license is required in most cases to legally fish in the state of Florida, in certain times, anglers do not need to purchase fishing credentials. For instance, a fishing license is not required on license-free fishing days, which (for saltwater fishermen) typically take place in June, September and just after Thanksgiving. For these three days of the year, any person can take from the coastal waters of Florida without the need to apply for a license to fish. Two other instances when a fishing permit does not need to be purchased include if the fisherman applying is younger than 16 years of age, or if he or she is at least 65 years of age.

Do I get a reduced price on Florida saltwater fishing licenses if I am a senior or a military member?

Members of the United States Armed Forces, past and present, are entitled to receive discounted prices on Florida saltwater fishing licenses. The Military Gold Sportsman's License is a combination recreational license that is designated specifically for military members. For a fraction of the cost of a regular combo license, applicants can engage in all three of the outdoor sports managed by the FWCC. A saltwater fishing license, a freshwater fishing license and a license to hunt are all included in the Military Gold Sportsmen License. To obtain this documentation, the applicant must be either a resident retired member of the military or an active-duty resident. Seniors 65 years of age and older, on the other hand, are not required to purchase specific senior citizen fishing licenses or even standard credentials in order to engage in the activity of fishing. They may fish freely without the need to apply for licensure.

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.
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