Do Florida Residents Need a License to Fish Private Ponds?

In Florida, the requirements for a fishing license depend on various factors, including the location of the fishing area, the type of fish, and the residency status of the angler. Let’s break down the information relevant to fishing in private ponds for both residents and non-residents of Florida.

Types Of Licenses

Resident License

  • Requirement: Florida residents typically require a fishing license to fish in state waters.
  • Cost: An annual freshwater license is around $17, and a similar cost applies for a saltwater license.
  • Types of Licenses: Different types of licenses are available based on the duration and kind of fishing activity (freshwater or saltwater).

Non-Resident License

  • Requirement: Non-residents also need a license to fish in Florida’s waters.
  • Cost: The cost for non-residents is higher, approximately $47 for an annual license, whether it’s for freshwater or saltwater fishing.

Special Permits

  • Additional Permits: For specific fishing activities like lobster or tarpon fishing, special permits are required.
  • Regulations: These permits come with their own set of regulations and additional fees.

General Regulations

When fishing in private ponds in Florida, there are general regulations that apply to all anglers:

  1. Catch Limits: There are specific limits on the number and size of fish that can be caught, varying by species and location.
  2. Gear Restrictions: Certain fishing gear might be prohibited in specific areas or for certain fish species.
  3. Seasonal Restrictions: Some species are subject to seasonal fishing restrictions.
  4. Trespassing: To fish in private ponds, anglers need permission from the landowner. Fishing without permission is considered trespassing and can lead to legal repercussions.

Fishing in Private Ponds

  • License Requirement: In some cases, fishing in a private pond may not require a license, especially if the pond is entirely enclosed by private property and not accessible by navigable waters. However, this can vary, and it’s crucial to verify the specific regulations for the pond in question.
  • Property Owner’s Permission: Always obtain permission from the property owner before fishing in a private pond.


For Florida residents planning to fish in private ponds, it’s essential to verify whether a license is required based on the specifics of the pond and the type of fishing intended. Adhering to state regulations and obtaining the proper licenses and permits not only helps avoid penalties but also supports conservation efforts in Florida.


  • Always Check Local Regulations: Regulations can change, so it’s always best to check the most current information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or local authorities.
  • Contribution to Conservation: Purchasing a fishing license contributes to conservation efforts and helps maintain healthy fish populations.

By following these guidelines, anglers can enjoy a responsible and legal fishing experience in Florida’s diverse aquatic environments.

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