Get Hooked Fast: Buy Your NC Fishing License Online Now!

Get Hooked Fast: Buy Your NC Fishing License Online Now!

Get hooked fast and dive into the world of fishing in North Carolina by purchasing your NC fishing license online. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the process, benefits, fees, regulations, and tips for fishing in North Carolina.

Get Hooked Fast: Buy Your NC Fishing License Online Now!

NC Fishing License Online Purchase Process

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers a variety of fishing licenses and permits that cater to different fishing activities, locations, and durations. These licenses are nontransferable and may come with additional requirements called “privileges” that authorize specific hunting activities .

Types of Licenses Available

There are several types of fishing licenses available for both residents and non-residents. These include short-term licenses, annual licenses, and lifetime licenses. Short-term licenses are valid for the period specified on the license and can be for inland fishing or coastal recreational fishing. Annual licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase and can be for state inland fishing, coastal recreational fishing, or unified inland/coastal recreational fishing. Lifetime licenses are also available and include comprehensive inland fishing, unified inland/coastal recreational fishing, and coastal recreational fishing .

Fees and Pricing

The fees for these licenses vary depending on the type of license and the residency status of the applicant. For example, a 10-day inland fishing license costs $9 for residents and $23 for non-residents. An annual state inland fishing license costs $25 for residents and $45 for non-residents. A lifetime comprehensive inland fishing license costs $265 for residents . Please note that a $5 transaction fee may apply at the time of license purchase .

Printing or Displaying the License

With the Go Outdoors North Carolina (GONC) System, you are no longer legally required to carry a paper license if you have access to the electronic version of your license and privilege licenses. This can be the PDF version of your license(s) attached to your GONC email confirmation, your license(s) within your GONC account, your license(s) stored within the mobile GONC app, or the optional hard card upgrade .

Purchase Methods

You can purchase your license online at . Alternatively, you can purchase your license by phone or in person at a Wildlife Service Agent . If you are a lifetime license holder, your card will display the “North Carolina Lifetime Conservationist” logo .

The process of purchasing a fishing license in North Carolina is straightforward and flexible, with various options to suit different needs. Whether you are a resident or a non-resident, whether you plan to fish in inland or coastal waters, and whether you need a license for a short-term fishing trip or a lifetime of fishing adventures, North Carolina has you covered.

Benefits of Buying NC Fishing License Online

Purchasing a North Carolina (NC) fishing license online offers numerous benefits, making it a preferred method for many anglers. Here are some of the main advantages:

Convenience of Online Purchase

One of the most significant benefits of buying an NC fishing license online is the convenience it offers. You can purchase your license from the comfort of your home or anywhere else, as long as you have internet access. This eliminates the need to visit a physical store or office, which can be particularly beneficial if you live far from these locations or have a busy schedule .

Supporting Conservation Efforts

When you buy a fishing license, your money goes towards funding conservation projects and programs. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) uses the funds from license sales to support various conservation initiatives, including habitat preservation and fish stocking. By purchasing a license, you are directly contributing to these efforts and helping to ensure the sustainability of the state’s fish populations for future generations .


Buying a fishing license online can save you a significant amount of time. You don’t have to travel to a physical location or wait in line. Instead, you can complete the process in just a few minutes online. This can be particularly beneficial if you decide to go fishing on short notice and need to get a license quickly .

Flexible License Options

The NCWRC offers a variety of license options, and you can easily explore these options online. Depending on your needs, you can choose from annual, short-term, or lifetime licenses. There are also different licenses for residents and non-residents, as well as for different types of fishing activities. By purchasing your license online, you can take the time to find the option that best suits your needs .

Immediate License Printing

Once you’ve purchased your license online, you can print it out immediately. This means you can start fishing right away, without having to wait for a physical license to arrive in the mail. Even if you don’t have a printer, you can still go fishing as long as you have your license number and a form of ID .

Buying an NC fishing license online offers numerous benefits, from convenience and time-saving to supporting conservation efforts. It also provides flexibility in choosing the license that best suits your needs and allows for immediate license printing. So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, an experienced angler or a beginner, consider purchasing your NC fishing license online for a hassle-free and rewarding fishing experience.

NC Fishing License Fees and Regulations

North Carolina offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, from the freshwater lakes and rivers of the inland regions to the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean. To fish in these waters, you’ll need to apply for the appropriate fishing license. This guide provides comprehensive information on the types of licenses available, their fees, and the regulations that govern fishing in North Carolina.

License Types and Fees

North Carolina offers several types of fishing licenses, catering to both residents and non-residents, and for different types of fishing activities. Depending on where you plan to fish, you’ll need to apply for either an inland fishing license or a coastal recreational fishing license .

Here are some of the licenses available:

  • 10-Day Inland Fishing License: This short-term license is available for both residents and non-residents. The fee for residents is $9, while non-residents are charged $23 .
  • Annual State Inland Fishing License: This license is valid for a year and costs $25 for residents and $45 for non-residents .
  • Coastal Recreational Fishing License: This license is required for fishing in coastal or joint waters. The annual fee for residents is $16, and for non-residents, it’s $32 .
  • Lifetime Fishing Licenses: These licenses are available for residents only. The fee for a Comprehensive Inland Fishing license is $265, while a Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing license costs $477 .

Special licenses are also available for disabled anglers, senior citizens, and those receiving certain types of assistance . For instance, the Age 70 Resident Lifetime Inland Fishing License costs $16, and the Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Inland Fishing License is priced at $11 .

License Duration and Validity

Most fishing licenses in North Carolina are valid for a year from the date of purchase. However, short-term licenses, such as the 10-Day Inland Fishing License, are valid for the specified number of consecutive days . Lifetime licenses, as the name suggests, do not expire .

Special Permits and Endorsements

In addition to the standard fishing licenses, North Carolina also offers special permits and endorsements for specific fishing activities. For instance, a Shellfish License is required for the commercial harvest of shellfish . There are also licenses for commercial fishing, including the Standard Commercial Fishing License and the Fish Dealer License .

For those planning to take paying passengers fishing in coastal waters, a For-Hire License is required .

Regulations and Restrictions

North Carolina has its own set of fishing laws and regulations to protect fish populations. These regulations cover aspects such as bag limits, size limits, and specific restrictions for certain species . For example, it’s unlawful to gig, spear, or gaff striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean .

Age-Specific Pricing

North Carolina offers discounted fishing licenses for senior citizens and disabled veterans. The Age 70 Resident Lifetime Inland Fishing License costs $16, and the Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Inland Fishing License is priced at $11 .

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, a recreational angler or a commercial fisherman, North Carolina has a fishing license to suit your needs. Remember to follow all regulations and restrictions to ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Tips for Fishing in North Carolina

North Carolina, often referred to as the “Tar Heel State”, is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. With its diverse range of fishing spots, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, it offers a unique fishing experience for both beginners and seasoned anglers . This guide will provide you with detailed tips and insights to enhance your fishing experience in North Carolina.

Best Fishing Spots

North Carolina is home to a variety of fishing spots, each offering a unique fishing experience. Here are some of the top fishing destinations:

  1. Lake Norman: Known as the largest artificial lake in North Carolina, Lake Norman offers a variety of fish species including largemouth bass, white bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, and bluegill .
  2. Ocracoke Island: This secluded and tranquil island offers a quiet escape to untouched shores for fishing. Possible catches on the island are drums, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, and croaker .
  3. Jordan Lake: A popular spot for those looking to get away from the city for some quality fishing time. Fishing in Jordan Lake allows you to catch fish like bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, striped bass, and yellow perch .
  4. Lake Fontana: One of the best bass fishing destinations in North Carolina. It has over 400 miles of length and a surface area of 10,230 acres. Other fish caught in Lake Fontana are walleye, bluegill, lake trout, muskellunge, crappie, and carp .
  5. Tuckasegee River: Known as “The Tuck,” it has some of the largest smallmouth bass in the Smoky Mountain Region. This river is a highly recommended spot for those who want to fish for trout .

Fishing Seasons

North Carolina’s peak fishing season gets underway in May. However, the state offers a diverse range of fishing seasons, catering to all tastes and skill levels. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect throughout the year:

  • January: Spotted, Striped, and Hybrid Striped Bass, along with Perch are thriving in streams and lakes, particularly in remote areas. Lakes Gaston and Norman, and Badin Lake promise the best action .
  • April: Fly fishing season kicks off for freshwater anglers, while saltwater fishing heats up the further out you go .
  • May: Freshwater fishing is better and better, with the Atlantic Ocean also promising numerous bites and tough battles .
  • June: Big game fishing season in North Carolina is here, as the warm weather brings with it hungry pelagic creatures .
  • December: Despite the cold weather, fishing possibilities in North Carolina are endless. Find a calm day and get out on the water .

Fishing Techniques

Different fishing techniques can be employed depending on the type of fish you’re targeting and the time of year. For instance, a large, 1-ounce spinnerbait slow rolled over deep ledges with bait nearby is a great technique to try in the winter .

Fishing Regulations

Before you start fishing in North Carolina, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local fishing regulations. For instance, all licensed anglers are permitted to fish from half an hour before dawn to half an hour after dusk. However, there is a limit to how many smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout you can bring home .

Fishing in North Carolina is a rewarding experience, offering a diverse range of fishing spots and species. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the state has something to offer for everyone. Remember to respect the local fishing regulations and protect the natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

Printing or Displaying NC Fishing License

After purchasing your North Carolina fishing license online, you have several options for displaying or printing your license. With the advancement of technology, many states, including North Carolina, now offer digital licenses that can be stored and accessed on your smartphone .

Digital License Storage

The Go Outdoors North Carolina app allows you to store your license on your smartphone, providing easy access to your license information even when you’re on the go . This app is available for both iOS and Android devices and offers real-time license verification and secure digital storage . With this app, you can conveniently access your license at any time, even from your mobile device.

Printing Your License

If you prefer to have a physical copy of your license, you can print it immediately after purchasing it online . This can be useful if you want to keep a backup copy of your license or if you don’t have a smartphone to store your digital license.

License Display Requirements

When fishing in North Carolina, it’s important to have your license with you, as you may be required to present it to a wildlife officer upon request . If you’re using a digital license, make sure it’s easily accessible on your smartphone and that you have a charged battery. If you’re using a printed license, keep it in a safe and secure location, such as a waterproof container or a ziplock bag, to protect it from damage.

Whether you choose to store your NC fishing license digitally on your smartphone or print a physical copy, it’s essential to have it readily available while fishing. By doing so, you’ll ensure compliance with North Carolina’s fishing regulations and enjoy a hassle-free fishing experience.

In conclusion, buying your NC fishing license online is a quick and convenient process that allows you to support conservation efforts while enjoying the diverse fishing opportunities that North Carolina offers. So why wait? Get hooked fast and buy your NC fishing license online now!

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