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How to Get Your Fishing License in These Top Angler States

How to Get Your Fishing License in These Top Angler States

Before you embark on a fishing trip in your center console or other boat, securing a fishing license should be your first priority. Make sure to diligently research fishing rules and regulations in the area you’re visiting before you hit the water. Every state is different, so it’s critical to familiarize yourself with each state’s unique laws. 

In the meantime, Boatline is sharing some helpful guidance for how to get your fishing license in these popular states for anglers. 

Note: License regulations and fees can change. If you’re planning a trip in one of the states below, visit that state’s outdoor department website for the most accurate information.

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1. Alaska

All Alaskan residents age 18 and older need a fishing license, while all non-residents age 16 and older need a fishing license. There are four different types of fishing licenses in Alaska – personal use, subsistence, sport, and commercial. Only Alaskan residents can purchase personal or subsistence licenses. Walmart, Fred Meyer’s, and many outdoor stores offer fishing licenses for purchase. You can also buy one online, at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game website. Lastly, if you have a fishing guide, you can usually buy a license directly from them. The cost differs if you’re a resident or a non-resident. For example, a Resident Annual Sport Fishing License is $20. Meanwhile, a Nonresident 1 Day Sport Fishing License is $15.

2. Florida

For both freshwater and saltwater fishing in Florida, there are several different types of licenses. These licenses include resident, non-resident, combination (hunting/fishing), sportsman’s, youth, and lifetime. Anyone over the age of 16 will need to purchase a fishing license. If you’re a resident, you can purchase a one-year or five-year license. If you’re a non-resident, you can choose from an annual, three-day, or seven-day option. For residents, an Annual Freshwater or Saltwater Fishing License is $17. For non-residents, a 3-day Freshwater or Saltwater Fishing License is the same price. 

If you need to buy a Florida fishing license, you can purchase one at, through the Fish Hunt FL app, at a tax collector’s office, or by phone (888-FISH-FLORIDA).

3. Maryland

In Maryland, all anglers 16 years of age and older must possess a fishing license. Furthermore, if you plan to do saltwater fishing in your walkaround or other boat, you must register with the Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration if it’s a requirement in the area where you’d like to fish. 

Maryland offers several different types of licenses, including non-tidal/freshwater (with annual, three-day, and seven-day options), resident senior consolidated, Chesapeake Bay/coastal sport fish, and complimentary. An annual resident non-tidal/freshwater license is $20.50, while non-resident fees are equal to the fee charged for a similar license in their home state. 

The simplest way to purchase a fishing license in Maryland is online through the Department of Natural Resources website’s COMPASS portal. You can also purchase a license through a local license agent in-person or by submitting an application via mail.

4. Michigan

In Michigan, anyone 17 years of age and older must have a valid fishing license. Each license purchased is valid through March 31st of the following year. A fishing license is $26 for residents and $76 for non-residents. Day passes are $10, whether you’re a resident or non-resident. Combination licenses are also offered, for those who also enjoy hunting. Lastly, there are also licenses for seniors, the legally blind, and youth. 

You can buy a Michigan fishing license from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, from one of the state’s license agents, or from a Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center

5. Montana

In Montana, the age requirement for a fishing license is younger than the states mentioned above. Anyone over 11 years of age must carry a fishing license. In addition, an Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass and a conservation license are both required for all Montana anglers. 

There are two different fishing licenses available for residents and non-residents. The first is a full season pass, which is valid from March 1 to the end of February the following year. The second is a short term license, which is available as a two-day pass or a ten-day pass. A resident full-season fishing license is $21, while a non-resident ten-day pass is $56.

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Montana, you can buy a license online through the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks website or through one of many license providers located around the state. 

6. Texas 

In Texas, all anglers 16 years of age and older need a valid fishing license, along with either a freshwater or saltwater endorsement. You’ll have the option to purchase an all-water package, which includes both a license and the necessary endorsement. These are valid until August 31, which is the end of the license year. 

If you’re a resident of Texas, a freshwater fishing license package is $30. If you’re a non-resident, the same package is $58. There are also cheaper packages available for seniors. After you purchase your license, you’ll be cruising around in your bass boat in no time. 

There are three ways to purchase a fishing license in Texas. You can purchase one online, from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. You can purchase one over the phone by calling (800) 895-4248. You can also buy one from an approved vendor/retailer. 

As you can see, each state has completely different rules, regulations, licenses, and fees when it comes to fishing. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you do plenty of research before your fishing trip and create a plan to obtain your fishing license in advance or right when you arrive. It’s illegal to fish without a license, and if you’re caught,  you could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined. Ultimately, it’s not worth the risk. In addition, the license fee you pay will go towards habitat and wildlife programs in the state where you live or visit. That’s a huge perk!

If you’re ready to start looking for a boat to take you on your next fishing trip, check out our new and used nationwide inventory at


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Shelby Ballou
Shelby Ballou

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