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Texas Saltwater Fishing

Texas saltwater fishing licenses are open to all interested persons, whether they are residents or nonresidents. Seniors, military members and veterans of the armed forces can get licenses to saltwater fish for free or at heavily discounted prices. The state of Texas requires anglers to meet a list of requirements in order to purchase a saltwater fishing permit.

Regulations require that applicants prove their age as well as their identity. Payment must also be made at the time of your application, if necessary. To buy a saltwater license to fish in the state, applicants have the option to complete the process online or at an authorized Parks and Wildlife location. Additionally, those interested in getting a TX lifetime fishing license can make a request by phone. Regardless of which method you choose, have the required documentation on hand, along with payment for any fees. The fees to buy saltwater fishing licenses in Texas vary depending on a few factors such as age and residential status. If your license has been lost or stolen, a license vendor is the place to seek out a replacement. The process to get a recreational fishing license is very similar to applying for a freshwater fishing permit. Anglers have the option to apply either in person, at a nearby retailer, or online. Although TX freshwater fishing licenses and saltwater fishing licenses are the most popular permits in Texas, commercial fishing licenses are also available. This type of license is necessary if you are fishing for commercial purposes, i.e. selling your haul after catching it. Learn more about how to get a saltwater fishing license by checking out our sections below.


What is the difference between a resident and non-resident saltwater fishing license in Texas?

In order to obtain a resident saltwater Texas fishing license, applicants must be at least 17 years of age. At the time of application, prospective anglers will be required to submit documentation that confirms their Texas residency, such as an item that lists both the name and physical address of the applicant. Examples of this include a recent utility bill or Texas driving license. A resident is considered an individual who has lived in the state for a period of six months or longer. On the other hand, non resident saltwater fishing licenses are designated for out-of-state residents and visitors of the state. There are, however, a few exceptions to that rule. Senior residents of neighboring states and nonresident minors are not required to obtain a license to fish in Texas. The groups that can fish without licensure in Texas include youths under 17 years of age, Louisiana residents 65 years of age or older who are licensed to fish in their home state, and any senior 65 years of age or older from Oklahoma.

What is a Texas lifetime fishing license?

A lifetime fishing license is designed for those applicants who would like to engage in fishing activities for many years to come. There is no expiration to a lifetime fishing license. In order to get a Texas lifetime saltwater fishing license, you can submit your application in multiple ways, including in person by visiting a local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department office or by phone. An application form can also be downloaded online and sent via mail, once completed, along with proper payment. Additionally, the TPWD puts on a raffle each year to give away a free lifetime hunting and all-water fishing license to an individual chosen at random. Tickets are available for purchase for a small fee, and participants can enter as many times as they wish.

How do I replace a saltwater fishing license in Texas?

A duplicate fishing license can be obtained at any of the over 1,700 authorized license locations. To order a license, applicants must fill out an application and submit the appropriate replacement fee. Military members and veterans with a lost fishing license can order a replacement free of charge.

What saltwater fish species require special fishing tags in Texas?

Texas saltwater fishing tags are mandatory for catching certain species of fish when saltwater fishing. Red drum Texas fishing tags are available for a nominal fee. However, this particular tag is available free of charge for individuals who have bought a saltwater fishing endorsement or a combo package that includes a saltwater fishing endorsement. A saltwater trotline fishing tag costs slightly more than a red drum tag. Those interested in obtaining an individual bait-shrimp trawl tag will pay a significantly higher fee. A Texas saltwater fishing permit endorsement on your freshwater license is required to fish in federal saltwater areas.

How can I fish for free in Texas?

Residents and visitors without a fishing license can take advantage of a free saltwater fishing day in Texas on the first Saturday in June. Furthermore, anglers are not required to have a license to fish when engaging in this activity at a state park that contains a body of water. Nevertheless, fishing rules such as bag limits are to be observed by license-free fishing day participants.

Do I get a reduced price if I am a Texas senior or a military member?

Yes, seniors and military members alike can get a discounted price on a Texas saltwater fishing license. Seniors have access to resident saltwater fishing licenses that are a fraction of the cost of a regularly priced fishing license. Certain fishing licenses are also available at no charge to military members currently on active duty. To qualify for a Texas fishing license military discount (no charge), you must reside in the state and be a member of any of the following armed forces: the Marines, the Air Force, the United States Army, the Navy, the National Guard, the State Guard, the Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Reserves.

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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