Saltwater fishing is a great hobby, and an awesome idea for a family trip. The calm and peaceful feeling of dipping your reel into the water to try and catch some fish to eat is unrivaled. Of all the places to do this, Florida is the top destination in the country due its beautiful beaches, pristine nature, and miles of natural coastline. No state has the same amount of bays, inlets, lakes, coast, and deep waters like the Sunshine State. That doesn’t mean it is all fun and games, though. Florida saltwater fishing regulations are strictly enforced. So before you make a trip down to angler’s heaven, here are a few things that you should know.

Florida Saltwater Fishing License

All residents and non-residents are required by law to have a recreational saltwater fishing license. If you are going to fish for anything like fish, crabs, clams, plants, or anything else in the water, having one is mandatory. A permit is valid for twelve months from the date of purchase, or the date that you select, and it is possible to buy a five-year permit as well. Ignorance of the law is not a defense against fishing illegally. For the most part, charter companies will provide the license for you, so you don’t have to worry in this case. There are also other exemptions from needing a permit, such as:

  • Children under the age of 16 are not required to have a permit. Only proof of age.
  • RESIDENT seniors who are 65 or older are not required to have MOST licenses. Some exceptions apply.
  • You fish from a chartered boat with a license
  • You are fishing during the free saltwater fishing days

Where do I get a license and how much does it cost?

You can purchase most licenses online. You may also call 888-FISH-FLORIDA. If you do not want to use these methods, you may contact retail agents that sell recreational licenses. The prices for one will vary between $17 for one year and $79 for 5 years for residents. If you are a non-resident then you will pay $47 for one year, $17 for 3 days, or $30 for 7 days. Remember that you must have the license with you when fishing.