NC Saltwater Fishing License Cost: Your Guide to Affordable Fishing Permits

Planning a saltwater fishing trip to North Carolina? Well, hold your horses! Before you start packing your fishing gear, make sure you’ve got the necessary permits to avoid those pesky fines. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of NC saltwater fishing licenses, including the costs and where to snag one.

NC Saltwater Fishing License Requirements

Before you set sail for the North Carolina coast, it’s crucial to know the different types of licenses required for saltwater fishing. Here’s the lowdown for individuals aged 16 and older:

  • Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL): This license is your golden ticket for recreational saltwater fishing in North Carolina’s coastal waters. Whether you’re casting your line from a boat or the shore, the CRFL is a must-have.
  • For-Hire Fishing (Charter Boat) License: Planning to fish with a for-hire fishing vessel? You can leave your individual CRFL at home. The charter boat operator should have a valid For-Hire Fishing License.

NC Saltwater Fishing License Costs

The cost of a North Carolina saltwater fishing license can vary based on factors such as residency, duration, age, and vessel type. Here’s a breakdown of the costs for an NC CRFL and for-hire fishing license:

License Type Cost
Resident Annual CRFL $16
Non-Resident Annual CRFL $32
10-Day CRFL $11
3-Day CRFL $6
Annual Charter Boat CRFL $200
Annual Headboat CRFL $400

Where To Get An NC Saltwater Fishing License

You can reel in an NC saltwater fishing license from multiple sources, including:

  • Online via the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) website
  • In-person at an NCWRC office or a local license agent
  • Over the phone by dialing 1-888-248-6834

Different State Fishing License Requirements

Remember, different strokes for different folks! Different states have their own fishing license requirements. It’s crucial to understand these requirements to avoid getting caught in a net of trouble during your fishing trip. Here are some notable variations:

  • Florida Fishing License: All non-residents who want to fish in saltwater in Florida must have a valid Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License. The 3-day saltwater fishing permit will set you back $17, while the 7-day permit is $30.
  • South Carolina Fishing License: Non-residents can fish in freshwater or saltwater by purchasing the appropriate fishing license from a licensed agent or online. The 14-day saltwater fishing permit costs $11.
  • Georgia Fishing License: Non-residents must possess a valid Georgia fishing license to fish in freshwater and saltwater. The 3-day fishing permit costs $10, while the 7-day permit is $30.


Fishing is a reel-y enjoyable activity, but obtaining the necessary permits is crucial to avoid getting into legal hot water. Make sure you have the right fishing license before you cast off on your saltwater fishing trip to North Carolina. With this guide, you can hook your saltwater fishing license conveniently and affordably.


Q. How much does a NC saltwater fishing license cost?
A. The cost of a NC saltwater fishing license depends on various factors such as residency, age, and duration. For example, a resident annual license costs $16 and a non-resident annual license costs $32. Other options include a 10-day license for $11 for residents and $23 for non-residents, a 3-day license for $6 for residents and $11 for non-residents, and a lifetime license for $500 for residents and $1,000 for non-residents.

Q. Can I purchase a NC saltwater fishing license online?
A. Absolutely! You can purchase a NC saltwater fishing license online through the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s website. Alternatively, you can also purchase it in person at a Wildlife Service Agent location or by phone.

Q. Do I need a separate permit for shellfishing in NC?
A. Indeed, you do! You need a separate permit for shellfishing in NC. The permit is called the North Carolina Shellfish License and costs $15 for residents and $30 for non-residents. You can purchase it online, in person, or by phone. This permit allows you to harvest oysters, clams, and other shellfish in NC coastal waters.

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