Unlock New York Fishing Fun: Get Your License Today!

Unlock New York Fishing Fun: Get Your License Today!

New York is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, getting a fishing license is your first step to unlocking the fishing fun in New York. This article will guide you through the process of obtaining a fishing license, the costs involved, and the best fishing spots to explore in the Empire State.

Why get a Fishing license?

A fishing license is more than just a permit; it’s your ticket to some of the most exciting fishing adventures in New York. If you’re 16 or older, you’ll need a valid fishing license to catch freshwater fish, frogs, or freshwater baitfish in New York. A license gives you the right to take fish by several methods, including angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, nets, traps, and tip-ups.

Unlock New York Fishing Fun: Get Your License Today!

But why exactly do you need a fishing license? Well, it’s not just about following the rules. It’s about contributing to the conservation of our natural resources. The fees collected from fishing licenses are used to fund fishery management, habitat development, endangered species programs, and conservation education. By purchasing a fishing license, you’re helping to ensure that the fish populations continue to thrive and that future generations can enjoy the same fishing opportunities that we have today.

How To Get Your License

There are three ways to get a fishing license in New York. You can visit an official License Issuing Agent, order over the phone, or order online through the official DECALS website.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your fishing license online:

  1. Sign in or register on the DECALS website.
  2. Complete the form with your personal information.
  3. Pay the license fee using a credit or debit card.
  4. Get a screen confirmation (make sure to write down your DEC-LS confirmation number – this is also valid proof of your fishing license).
  5. Print the license and/or have it sent to your home by mail.

License Types & Fees

New York offers different fishing license options depending on whether you’re a resident. The table below provides a summary of the license types and fees:

Type Resident Fee Nonresident Fee
Annual (valid one full year from the date of purchase or renewal) $25 (ages 16-69), $5 (ages 70+) $50
7-day $12 $28
1-day $5 $10

Certain individuals in New York can get a free fishing license. These include military veterans with 40% or more service-related disability, seniors (70+), persons with disability, and Native American members of certain Nations.

Who Needs a License?

Anyone 16 years of age or older needs a fishing license to fish in New York. However, there are some exceptions. You do not need a fishing license if you are:

  • Fishing on a licensed fishing preserve
  • Fishing during the free fishing weekend
  • Fishing at a free learn to fish clinic
  • A resident landowner primarily engaged in farming (including lessees and members of their immediate families) when fishing on farm lands they are occupying and cultivating
  • A farm fish pond license holder (including members of their immediate families) fishing on waters covered by the license
  • A Native American living and fishing on reservation land
  • A patient residing at a qualifying U.S. Veterans Administration hospital or facility in New York State.

Best Fishing Spots in New York

Once you have your license, it’s time to explore the best fishing spots in New York. Here are some of the top locations to consider:

  1. Lake Ontario: This location is an angler hotspot, especially for trout and salmon. You can either get on a boat or fish from the shore.
  2. Hudson River: Summer means striper season on the Hudson. Use non-offset circle hooks and natural boats as you fish along the Hudson.
  3. Oneida Lake: Known for its walleye and bass, Oneida Lake is a must-visit for every angler.
  4. Canadice Lake: It’s the smallest Finger Lake, but don’t let its size fool you. You’ll have a chance to catch a variety of fish species here.
  5. Cayuga Lake: This is one of the premier walleye fisheries. Walleyes are abundant throughout the lake.

Remember, each of these locations has its own set of fishing laws and regulations that need to be followed to protect their fish populations.


Unlocking the fishing fun in New York starts with getting your fishing license. Once you have it, you’re ready to explore the diverse fishing opportunities that New York has to offer. So, get your license today and start your fishing adventure!

For more information, check out our guides on different types of fishing licenses, how to apply for a fishing license, and a comprehensive fishing guide.

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