Do I Need a Texas Fishing License?

Do I Need a Texas Fishing License? Your Complete Guide

Fishing in Texas is a popular pastime, but before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand the licensing requirements. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the process and ensure you’re fishing legally in the Lone Star State.

Who needs a Texas fishing license?

In Texas, a fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater endorsement is required for any resident who fishes in the public waters of the state. This applies to anyone who fishes or takes fish, mussels, clams, crayfish, or other aquatic life. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

A license is not required for:

  • A person under 17 years of age
  • A person born before January 1, 1931
  • A person with an intellectual disability fishing as part of medically approved therapy
  • A person with an intellectual disability fishes under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is either a family member or has permission from the family to take the person fishing.

Do I Need a Texas Fishing License?
Do I Need a Texas Fishing License?

Non-resident Requirements

Non-residents who fish in the public waters of Texas also require a fishing license, with exceptions for:

  • Non-residents under 17 years of age
  • Louisiana residents 65 years of age or older who possess a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License
  • Oklahoma residents are 65 years of age or older.

Types of Fishing Licenses and Packages

Texas offers a variety of fishing licenses and packages to suit different needs. Here are some options:

  • Resident Freshwater Package: This includes a resident, senior resident, or non-resident fishing license valid from the date of sale to Aug. 31 of the same year and a freshwater endorsement. A saltwater endorsement may also be purchased.
  • Non-resident All-Water Package: This includes a non-resident fishing license, a freshwater endorsement, and a saltwater endorsement with a red drum tag. All-water package licenses are valid from the date of sale to August 31 of the same year.
  • One-Day All-Water Fishing License: This is valid for the selected day or days purchased. Endorsements are not required for this license. Consecutive days may be bought at the time of purchase.
  • Fishing Guide Licenses: These are required for any person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports any person engaged in fishing in the waters of the state.

How to Purchase a Fishing License

Fishing licenses can be purchased online or at a retailer. The cost varies depending on the type of license or package. For example, a resident freshwater package costs $30, while a non-resident all-water package costs $68.

Fishing in Other States

If you’re planning to fish in other states, you’ll need to check the specific licensing requirements for each state. For example, you might be interested in obtaining a Florida fishing license, an Alabama fishing license, or a California fishing license.


Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, fishing in Texas requires a license unless you fall under one of the exceptions. By understanding the requirements and purchasing the correct license, you can enjoy your fishing trip without worrying about legal issues. Happy fishing!

Remember, this guide is a starting point. Always check the official Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website for the most up-to-date information.

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