Fishing Pier License: Do You Need One?

Fishing from a pier is a beloved pastime for many anglers, offering the serenity of the sea and the thrill of the catch. But before you cast your line, it’s crucial to understand the legalities: Do you need a license to fish from a pier? This comprehensive guide delves into the specifics of pier fishing licenses, ensuring you’re well-informed and compliant with the law.

Understanding Public Piers and Fishing Licenses

In states like California, fishing from a public pier does not require a license. A public pier is defined as a structure built on the shoreline that serves primarily for fishing purposes. However, this exemption is location-specific and may vary by state. For instance, fishing from jetties or breakwaters that do not form the outermost boundary of an ocean harbor may still necessitate a license.

Regulations Beyond the License

Even when a license isn’t required, anglers must adhere to all other fishing regulations. These include size and bag limits, seasonal restrictions, and report card requirements. In California, for example, while you can fish without a license on a public pier, you must still follow these rules, and only two rods and lines are permitted.

The Importance of an Annual Fishing License

Purchasing an annual fishing license can simplify the process, allowing you to fish beyond public piers without worrying about specific exemptions. It’s a one-time purchase that covers you for various fishing scenarios, including landing a fish on the beach that was hooked on a pier.

Contact Information for California Fishing Licenses

For anglers in California, here’s the current contact information to obtain a fishing license:


Before heading out to your local pier, check the specific regulations in your area. While some locations offer the freedom to fish without a license, it’s essential to be aware of all other rules that apply. By doing so, you can enjoy the fishing experience with peace of mind, knowing you’re respecting the environment and the law.

Remember, regulations can change, so it’s always best to verify the current rules with your state’s fish and wildlife department. Happy fishing!

Similar Posts