Discover the Cost of Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses Today

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Florida that attracts over 3 million saltwater anglers each year. However, to legally fish in Florida’s bountiful oceans, bays, and intercoastal waters, most anglers are required to purchase a saltwater fishing license. This article will cover everything you need to know about saltwater fishing licenses in Florida, from costs to exemptions and additional permits. We’ll also provide tips on where and how to conveniently purchase a license.

Cost of Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses

The cost of a Florida saltwater fishing license varies primarily based on residency and the duration (annual vs multi-year license). Here are the current license fees:

  • Resident Annual Saltwater License: $17
  • Resident 5-Year Saltwater License: $79
  • Non-Resident Annual Saltwater License: $47
  • Non-Resident 3-Day Saltwater License: $17
  • Non-Resident 7-Day Saltwater License: $30

In addition to the base cost, there is a 50 cent administrative issuance fee when purchasing from a tax collector’s office or vendor. There may also be a small service fee for online and phone purchases.

Exemptions from Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses

While most anglers need a license, there are exemptions for the following groups:

  • Youth under 16 years old
  • Residents 65+ years old with proof of residency
  • Residents with disabilities who meet certain qualifications
  • Military members on leave residing in Florida
  • Land-based anglers using a cane pole or line without a reel

So for example, a 10 year old can fish recreationally without needing any license. And an older resident can fish their local county waters from shore with basic gear without a license. But that same senior would need a license for fishing outside their home county, from a boat, or using other gear.

Additional Florida Saltwater Fishing Permits

Beyond the base recreational saltwater license, you may need to purchase additional permits for popular game fish species:

So if you plan to fish for snook or harvest lobster, you’ll need to add those species permits to your saltwater license. The tarpon tag is required if you plan to harvest a tarpon over 40″.

Where To Buy a Florida Saltwater Fishing License

You can purchase a saltwater fishing license:

  • Online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
  • By phone at 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356)
  • In person at tax collector offices, license agents, or tackle shops
  • Through the Fish|Hunt FL mobile app

Buying online is fastest and most convenient, allowing you to obtain an electronic license on demand. You can also save payment information to simplify future renewals. Retail locations allow payment by cash if needed.

Displaying Your Florida Saltwater Fishing License

When fishing in Florida saltwaters, most anglers ages 16 and up must carry a physical or electronic license for immediate inspection when requested by an enforcement officer. You must also provide a proper form of identification when asked.

There are two license display options:

  1. Electronic license stored on a smartphone through the Fish|Hunt FL app or GoOutdoors site
  2. Printed hard card license ($2.50 additional cost)

The app and electronic license option are most convenient, allowing you to securely access your license info at any time without carrying an extra card. Hard card licenses let you fish without bringing your phone.

Enforcement of Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Penalties for fishing without a proper Florida saltwater fishing license include fines up to $500 and potentially seizure and forfeiture of catch and gear. It’s important to carry your license and understand regulations for the area and species you are fishing for.

Saltwater fishing rules and license requirements are enforced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its officers. FWC conducts frequent checks to ensure anglers are properly licensed.

Conclusion

As you can see, purchasing a Florida saltwater fishing license is mandatory for most anglers. Thankfully, licenses can be easily obtained online or through authorized retail vendors. Be sure to carry your license on hand when fishing. Understanding the regulations helps ensure you are properly licensed for the species you are pursuing and following size, season, and catch limits. This allows all anglers to enjoy the exceptional saltwater fishing opportunities Florida has to offer for years to come.

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