The Ultimate Guide to Getting a One Day Fishing License in California

Fishing is a popular activity in California, attracting millions of enthusiasts each year. Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to the state, a one-day fishing license is a convenient and affordable option that allows you to enjoy this sport without committing to a longer-term permit. In this article, we will outline the steps required to obtain a one-day fishing license in California, as well as provide useful tips for making the most of your fishing experience.

What is a One Day Fishing License?

one-day fishing license is a type of fishing permit that allows an individual to fish for one day only. This license is ideal for people who want to try fishing for the first time, or for those who are visiting California and want to fish for a short period. The one-day fishing license is valid for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, and allows the holder to fish for all species of fish, with the exception of certain types of salmon and steelhead.

Step by Step Guide to Obtaining a One Day Fishing License in California

Embarking on a fishing adventure in California? Whether you’re a local or a visitor, obtaining a one-day fishing license is essential for enjoying your day on the water. This guide will provide you with a detailed, step-by-step process for securing a one-day fishing license in California, ensuring you have a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Fishing You Want to Do

  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater fishing

Decide which type of fishing you want to pursue before purchasing your one-day fishing license. California offers diverse fishing opportunities in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

Step 2: Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Website

To purchase a one-day fishing license, visit the CDFW website, which offers the most convenient online purchasing option. Alternatively, you can buy your license in person at a CDFW license agent.

Step 3: Choose the Type of One-Day Fishing License You Need

  • Age and residency-based licenses
  • Freshwater or saltwater fishing licenses

Select the appropriate one-day fishing license from the CDFW website based on your age, residency, and the type of fishing you want to do.

Step 4: Provide the Required Information

  • Personal details: Name, address, and date of birth
  • Fishing details: Type of fishing and planned fishing date

When purchasing your one-day fishing license, you’ll need to provide personal information, as well as details about your fishing plans.

Step 5: Pay for Your One-Day Fishing License

  • Cost range: $15 to $20 (varies by age and residency status)

After providing all the necessary information, proceed to payment. The cost of a one-day fishing license typically ranges from $15 to $20, depending on your age and residency status.

Step 6: Print Your License or Save It to Your Phone

  • Carry a copy of your license while fishing (required by law)

Once your purchase is complete, print or save your one-day fishing license to your phone. When you go fishing, don’t forget to bring a copy of your license with you because it is necessary by law.

By following these detailed steps, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable fishing experience in California. Happy fishing!

Tips for a Successful Fishing Experience

Here are some tips for making the most of your one-day fishing experience in California:

  • Choose the right location: Research different fishing spots in California to find the right location for your needs. Consider factors such as the type of fish you want to catch, the level of difficulty, and the amenities available.
  • Bring the right equipment: Make sure you have the right equipment for your fishing trip. This includes a fishing rod, reel, bait, and appropriate clothing.
  • Follow the rules and regulations: Fishing regulations in California can be complex, so make sure you understand the rules and regulations before you start fishing. This includes information on bag limits, size limits, and catch-and-release rules.
  • Be conscious of the environment: As an angler, it’s important to respect the environment and practice responsible fishing. This means not littering, properly disposing of fishing line and hooks, and respecting the natural habitat of the fish you are trying to catch.
  • Safety first: Always prioritize safety when fishing. Wear appropriate clothing, including a life jacket if fishing from a boat, and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re fishing in a remote location, make sure someone knows your plans and expected return time.
  • Take advantage of local resources: When planning a fishing trip, you can get a lot of useful information from fishing shops and outfitters in your area. They can provide information on the best fishing spots, the types of fish available, and can even rent equipment if you don’t have your own.
  • Keep learning: Fishing is a lifelong learning experience, and there is always something new to learn. Whether it’s trying a new fishing technique, learning about a new species of fish, or exploring a new fishing location, keep an open mind and embrace new opportunities.


In California, getting a one-day fishing license is easy and lets you go fishing for a day without having to commit to a longer permit. If you follow the steps in this article and use our fishing tips, you can make the most of your time on the water and make memories that will last.


Do I need a fishing license to fish in California?

Yes, unless you are fishing on one of the state’s free fishing days. Otherwise, a fishing license is required for all anglers 16 years of age or older.

How much does a one-day fishing license cost in California?

The cost of a one-day fishing license in California ranges from $15 to $20 depending on your age and residency status.

What types of fish can I catch with a one-day fishing license in California?

A one-day fishing license in California allows you to fish for all species of fish with the exception of certain types of salmon and steelhead.

Do I need to carry my fishing license with me when I go fishing?

Yes, it is required by law to carry a copy of your fishing license with you when you are fishing.

Can I purchase a one-day fishing license in person?

Yes, you can purchase a one-day fishing license in person at a CDFW license agent, such as a sporting goods store or a bait and tackle shop.

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