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Types Of Fishing Licenses
Fishing tips, trip checklists and delicious fresh fish recipes.
SALTWATER FISHING LICENSES
You need a saltwater fishing license to fish in the sea or ocean in some states. A saltwater fishing permit allows you to catch marine animals like fish, crabs, and clams. But, many states issue a special license to catch protected animals:
- Recreational lobster permit
- Snook fishing license
- Gulf reef angler permit
- Exempt angler red drum tag
Few states have saltwater fishing, and so few offer these license options. If you are planning a fishing trip, consider a non-resident saltwater fishing license. States like Florida provide different saltwater fishing permits by location. Other states offer a shoreline saltwater fishing license or pier license for land fishing. If granted, fees for saltwater fishing licenses vary by state and license.
FRESHWATER FISHING LICENSES
States require a freshwater fishing license for fishing in ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. Freshwater fishing permits allow you to catch freshwater fish. But, there are regulations on what species and weight of fish you can take home. Some you must live-release.
Recreational freshwater fishing licenses vary by state. Some offer a resident freshwater fishing license and a non-resident freshwater fishing license. Other states have different licenses:
- 3-day sports fishing license - This license allows fishing for short trips at a reduced price.
- Trout and Salmon fishing license - This license allows you to keep trout and salmon in some states.
- Private pond fishing license - This permit allows private or for-hire pond fishing.
- Disabled Veteran fishing license - Many states offer free or reduced licenses for disabled veterans.
Freshwater fishing license costs vary by state and license type. Some states give free and reduced freshwater permits to certain people: youth, seniors, military veterans and people with certain disabilities.
DO I NEED A COURSE TO GET A FISHING LICENSE?
Most states do not require fishing courses to get a fishing license. But, they can be beneficial for anglers looking to fish in new waters. States hold fishing classes, events, and fishing clinics at state parks or conservation centers. Fishing lessons range from classes for children to sessions for the seasoned fisherman.
Vacationers can find private fishing classes and hire guides at their destination. Private fishing lessons from a local guide help many people fishing in a new area.
WHERE TO ACCOMMODATE
The best lodging options for fishing are those closest to your destination. Find an alternative to a hotel by camping in a state park or staying in a cabin. The best places to stay on fishing trips depend on what fishing type you want. A beachside hotel might work best if you are going saltwater fishing on the coast. But, you might prefer camping if you are fishing on the lake.
You can find fishing lodging options at popular destinations. Hotels or motels are often a short walk or drive away from a good fishing spot. Online reviews, guides, and previous visitors can point out where to stay.
JOIN A FISHING ORGANIZATION
Joining a fishing organization or club can help you meet other anglers in your state. Find the best local fishing organizations by checking your state's fish and wildlife department. Each department offers at least one organization or club.
- Women-only clubs - There are several fishing clubs for women anglers.
- Fishing style clubs - For a specific style of fishing, like fly-fishing, you can join a club particular to that style.
- Youth Organizations - Volunteering with youth groups helps teach fishing to the community.
- Conservation organizations - Most states offer some conservation group. Some focus on conserving of specific fish.
Whether you enjoy bass, freshwater, or saltwater fishing, there is a club for you. You can find a group for almost any interest in any state.
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