2024 Fishing License Sales: How Many Licenses Were Sold?

Fishing isn’t just a pastime; it’s a tradition that spans generations, connecting us with the natural world in a way few other activities can. In 2024, the United States saw approximately 28.8 million fishing licenses sold, a testament to the enduring appeal of casting a line into the water. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or someone looking to dip their toes into the waters of this beloved hobby, understanding the landscape of fishing licenses is crucial.

Overall Sales

In 2024, the U.S. witnessed the sale of around 28.8 million fishing licenses, encompassing freshwater, saltwater, and combination licenses. This figure underscores the popularity of fishing across the country, with each license representing someone eager to explore the vast aquatic landscapes America offers.

Age Exemptions

The age at which one requires a fishing license varies by state, with most states setting the threshold at 16 years old. However, it’s not uncommon to find states where children as young as 10 need a license. Before you plan your family fishing trip, a quick check of your state’s regulations can save you from any surprises. Remember, the early bird might catch the worm, but only if they’re properly licensed.

Military Veterans

Our veterans, who’ve served with valor, often enjoy certain privileges, including exemptions or discounts on fishing licenses. For instance, Texas salutes its service-connected disabled veterans with complimentary fishing licenses, while Ohio offers discounted rates. If you’ve served, checking in with your state’s wildlife agency could net you some well-deserved benefits.

Special Events

Mark your calendars! Events like National Fishing and Boating Week and National Hunting and Fishing Day often come with the perk of “free fishing days.” These are golden opportunities for anyone, license or not, to enjoy fishing. It’s like the fish are throwing a party, and you’re on the guest list.


With nearly 29 million licenses sold in 2024, it’s clear that fishing continues to be a cherished activity in the U.S. Whether you’re young or old, a veteran, or looking to take advantage of special events, there’s a place for you by the water. So, grab your rod, check your state’s regulations, and dive into the timeless tradition of fishing. Happy fishing, and may your catch be as big as the stories you’ll tell.

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