Philadelphia Fishing License: Where to Obtain Yours

Philadelphia Fishing License: Where to Obtain Yours

Fishing in Philadelphia is a fantastic way to enjoy the city’s beautiful waterways. But before you cast your line, it’s crucial to ensure you’re doing so legally. That’s where your fishing license comes in. Having a valid fishing license is not just a legal requirement—it’s a way to contribute to the conservation efforts that keep our waterways teeming with fish.

Why You Need a Fishing License

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why you need a fishing license. In Pennsylvania, fishing licenses are required for anyone age 16 and older who fishes in public waters. This includes all waters with the exception of privately owned ponds and waters completely enclosed within private property.

Having a fishing license not only allows you to legally fish, but it also supports conservation efforts. The funds generated from fishing licenses go towards improving fish habitats, stocking fish, and enforcing fishing regulations. By obtaining a fishing license, you’re contributing to the preservation of Pennsylvania’s fisheries for future generations to enjoy.

Types of Fishing Licenses

There are several types of fishing licenses available in Pennsylvania, depending on your age and residency status. The most common types of fishing licenses are:

  • Resident Fishing License: for Pennsylvania residents age 16-64
  • Non-Resident Fishing License: for non-Pennsylvania residents age 16 and older
  • Senior Resident Fishing License: for Pennsylvania residents age 65 and older
  • Youth Resident Fishing License: for Pennsylvania residents age 16 and 17
  • 7-Day Tourist Fishing License: for non-Pennsylvania residents who plan to fish for seven consecutive days

Prices for fishing licenses vary depending on the type of license and your residency status. For example, a resident fishing license costs $22.90, while a non-resident fishing license costs $52.90.

Where to Obtain Your Fishing License

Now that you know why you need a fishing license and what types of licenses are available, the next step is to obtain your fishing license. There are several ways to do this in Philadelphia:


One of the most convenient ways to obtain your fishing license is online. You can visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website and purchase your license online. You’ll need to create an account and provide some basic information such as your name, address, and date of birth. Once you’ve completed your purchase, you’ll receive a confirmation email that serves as your temporary fishing license until your physical license arrives in the mail.

In Person

Another option is to obtain your fishing license in person. There are several locations in Philadelphia where you can do this, including:

  • Walmart
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Cabela’s
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods

You’ll need to bring a valid form of identification such as a driver’s license, and payment for your license fee. Keep in mind that some locations may only accept cash as payment, so it’s a good idea to call ahead and confirm their payment options.

By Mail

If you prefer to obtain your fishing license by mail, you can do so by sending a completed application and payment to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. You can download the application from their website or request one to be mailed to you. Make sure to include a check or money order for your license fee, and allow several weeks for your license to arrive in the mail.

Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

Now that you have your Philadelphia fishing license, it’s time to plan your fishing trip. Here are some tips for a successful day on the water:

  1. Research the best fishing spots in Philadelphia: There are many great places to fish in Philadelphia, but some spots are better than others depending on the time of year and the type of fish you’re looking to catch. Do some research and ask other anglers for their recommendations.
  2. Dress appropriately: Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  3. Bring the right equipment: Depending on the type of fish you’re targeting, you may need different types of fishing gear. Make sure to bring the right equipment and lures for your specific needs.
  4. Follow fishing regulations: It’s important to follow all fishing regulations to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in Philadelphia before you head out.
  5. Respect other anglers: When fishing in public waters, it’s important to respect other anglers. Avoid crowding other anglers and don’t disturb their fishing spots.

How to Obtain Your Fishing License Online

Obtaining a fishing license online is a straightforward process:

  1. Visit the HuntFishPA online portal.
  2. Navigate to the “Buy a License” section.
  3. Select the type of fishing license you wish to purchase.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your purchase.

How to Obtain Your Fishing License In-Person

If you prefer to obtain your fishing license in person, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit a retail license issuing agent. These can be found in sporting goods stores and other similar establishments.
  2. Ask for the type of fishing license you wish to purchase.
  3. Provide the necessary identification and payment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I purchase a Philadelphia fishing license?

You can purchase a Philadelphia fishing license in-person or online. In-person, you can buy a license at the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation offices or at any approved licensing agents such as bait and tackle shops. To buy a license online, you can visit to purchase your license and print it at home.

Do I need a license to fish in Philadelphia?

Yes, you need a license to fish legally in Philadelphia. Anyone over the age of 16 must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license to fish in any of the state’s waters, including those within the city of Philadelphia.

How much does a Philadelphia fishing license cost?

A Philadelphia fishing license costs the same as any other Pennsylvania fishing license. The cost varies based on your residency and whether you’re purchasing a yearly or multi-year license. For example, a one-year resident license costs $22.90, while a one-year non-resident license costs $52.90. Senior citizens and disabled veterans may be eligible for discounted rates.


Understanding how and where to obtain a fishing license in Philadelphia is crucial for any angler. Regularly checking the validity of your license and renewing it when necessary is part of being a responsible fisherman. So, let’s keep our lines—and our consciences—clear. Happy fishing!

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