Get Your Florida Saltwater Fishing License Online Before Your Trip

Updated on July 14, 2018
I hooked a lot of sheepshead and red snapper from this fishing pier at Cocoa Beach.
I hooked a lot of sheepshead and red snapper from this fishing pier at Cocoa Beach. | Source

Florida's Saltwater Fishing License

You need to carry a saltwater fishing license—paper or waterproof "hard card"—on your person the entire time you are fishing. If you cannot produce a saltwater fishing license when asked by a Marine Patrol Officer, you could be subject to fines and confiscation of your fishing equipment or more.

Salt Water Fishing Fun

Get a license and have some fun salt water fishing
Get a license and have some fun salt water fishing | Source

Who Needs a Saltwater Fishing License in Florida

In Florida you need a different fishing license for fresh water than you do for saltwater fishing. You cannot use a saltwater license to catch freshwater fish.

Florida residents and non-residents pay different fees. You have a choice of three different licences: a one year license, a five-year license or (for residents) a lifetime license.

Ninety percent of the money collected from fishing licenses goes to marine research, fish hatcheries, habitat restoration, building artificial reefs and law enforcement. You are contributing to the conservation of the fishing industry, for use in the future for your kids, by buying a saltwater fishing license.

A resident is defined as anyone who has resided in Florida for six months, United States Armed Forces who reside in the state, or any student who lives in the state. Anyone holding a Florida Driver's license can buy a Florida resident's salt water fishing license.

TIP: You don't need a Florida saltwater fishing license if:

  • You are under 16.
  • You are a Florida resident fishing from land.
  • You are a retired Florida resident.
  • You are fishing from a pier that holds a Salt water fishing license.

If you are a certified, permanently disabled person, living in Florida, you can get a permanent saltwater fishing license for free.

You can buy a Florida saltwater fishing license from any county tax office or from most bait and tackle shops. You can also purchase a salt water fishing license online.

Red Fish at Sebastion Inlet

Saltwater Fishing License Costs

Resident License Costs

One-year: $17.00, plus $5.00 if you want a hard card

Five-year: $79.00 plus $5.00 for hard card

Lifetime resident-only card (13 Years and Up): $1001.50

You also need to buy a $10.00 tag to fish for snook and a $51.50 tag to catch a tarpon.

Non-Resident License Costs

One Year: $47.00

3 Days: $17.00

7 Days: $30.00, plus the same amounts for snook and tarpon tags. Even if you don't keep these fish, you still need a tag to have them in your possession.

Florida Snook Fishing

Salt Water Fishing Rules for Sport Fish

There are specific rules for catching sport game fish. The six main game fish in Florida saltwater are:

  • redfish
  • snook
  • tarpon
  • bonefish
  • sailfish
  • permit fish over 20 inches in length

The game fish most often caught are redfish, snook and tarpon.

Redfish cannot be kept if under 18 inches or over 27 inches, and you can only keep one per day.

Snook cannot be kept if less than 28 inches or more than 34 inches, and you can only keep two per day. The season for snook is closed statewide from December 15 to January 31, plus June, July and August. A snook tag is required in addition to a Florida salt water fishing license. You can keep two snook per day.

You need a $50.00 tag to keep tarpon and are allowed to keep two per fishing day.

If you buy the proper saltwater fishing licenses with the tags, you will have no problems fishing in the salt and brine waters of Florida's coastal and intercoastal waters.

Have a great day fishing!

Tarpon Fishing on a Florida Beach

Fishing Licenses

Do you fish by the rules?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • Where do I buy a license for saltwater fishing in Florida?

    You can by it online at this link or at any bait shop in Florida.

  • At what age do you no longer need a saltwater license?

    Florida residents don't need a license and any retired person age 65 or Military person doesn't require a license however you must have proof of age or military status if asked .


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes ninety percent of the money goes to preserve Florida's marine life and supports the Florida Marine Patrol. It is a win win to bget a fishing license. Thank you for stopping in to comment. Have a great day.

      That is a true fact Lipnancy. Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate your time.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      We all have to follow the rules with fishing. I do not know a true sportmen who wants to drain our resources

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      7 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Suzzy - I like the fact that some of the money for the licensing fees goes back into the preservation of the environment, law enforcement and hatcheries.

      Another interesting and useful hub.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow that was a long time ago. I love Vero Beach with it's quaint uptown area to shop in. There is great fishing in Vero also. Thank you movingout for your comment.

    • movingout profile image


      7 years ago from Georgia

      Being from Vero Beach, I fished many of these waters. Back before there was a bridge across Sebastian Inlet and wooden bridges at Wabasso. Very informative! Voted up!

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you peachpurple for stopping in to comment. The fishing license money goes to conserve our marine life. I am sure your fish are just as fun to catch and are as tasty as ours. Thanks for the vote.

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I didn't know that you need a license to fish in western countries. Over here in Malaysia, many people cast their fishing rods into the sea without any license either. Of course, we don't have big fishes as tarpon or snook fish, just the normal archovies, talipia and gelam, small prey. Voted useful

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you WillStarr. The fact your Grampa got in trouble makes this memory all the better. Florida would have been swamp back then but I can only imagine the fish stories from that era.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We both got badly sunburned, and Grandpa really caught it for that when we got back to Dunnellon (a little tourist town) that night. It's a great memory. That was in the early 50's when Florida was still mostly swamp.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's a great memory Willstarr. I love to hear comments like yours. Thank you. I hope you find the picture.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Many, many years ago, my grandfather took my cousin and me fishing off the wharf at Cedar Key Fl. We used up all his live shrimp bait on a school of trash fish! I still have that photo somewhere.

      Good Hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)