Lost Your Fishing License? Here’s What to Do.

As an angler who’s been around the block a few times, you know that losing your fishing license is about as fun as hooking your own ear. But don’t let it reel you in! Getting a new license is as easy as casting a line on a calm day. Here’s the lowdown:

Step 1: Do Your Homework

First things first, you’ve got to know the lay of the land—or in this case, the rules of the water. Each state has its own set of regulations when it comes to fishing licenses. Some states are like strict parents—they want you to have a license for all types of fishing. Others are more like your cool uncle, only requiring a license for certain types of fishing.

Step 2: Gather Your Gear

Once you’ve got the rules down, it’s time to gather your gear. And by gear, I mean the necessary documents to snag a new fishing license. This might include proof of residency, identification, and a previous fishing license if you have one. It’s like going fishing—you wouldn’t hit the water without your tackle, right? So, don’t start the application process without your documents.

Step 3: Buy Your License—Online or In Person

Now, you’re ready to get your fishing license. You can do this online or in person. Going online is like fishing from the shore—it’s easy and convenient. Most states have an online portal where you can buy a license and print it out faster than you can say “fish on!”.

But if you’re more of a traditionalist, you can also buy your license in person. Just visit a local licensing agent, like a sporting goods store or bait shop. It’s like buying bait—you get to chat with the locals and maybe even pick up a few fishing tips.

Online Purchase: The Steps

If you’re going the online route, here’s your game plan:

  1. Visit your state’s fishing license website.
  2. Choose the type of license you need.
  3. Enter your personal information and provide any necessary documents.
  4. Pay the required fee.
  5. Print out your license or save it to your phone for future use.

In-Person Purchase: The Steps

If you’re more of an in-person kind of angler, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find a local licensing agent, like a sporting goods store or bait shop.
  2. Bring your necessary documents, like proof of residency and identification.
  3. Choose the type of license you need.
  4. Pay the required fee.
  5. Receive your license immediately or wait for it to be mailed to you.


Losing your fishing license can feel like the one that got away. But with a little research, preparation, and a trip online or to your local licensing agent, you’ll be back on the water in no time. Just remember to always keep your fishing license with you when you’re out fishing. It’s like your lucky fishing hat—you never want to be without it.

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