Saltwater Shoreline Fishing Information
Florida residents who only saltwater fish from the land or a structure attached to land, may get the no-cost resident recreational saltwater shoreline fishing license. This license does NOT cover anyone fishing from a boat or from an island that they arrived at by boat.
Individuals who hold a recreational saltwater fishing license or any other license that includes recreational saltwater fishing privileges do not need a shoreline fishing license.
1. When did the shoreline saltwater license requirement take effect?
The shoreline saltwater fishing license requirement took effect Aug. 1, 2009.
2. Who is required to have a valid saltwater shoreline fishing license with them?
Resident saltwater anglers who fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore will need a shoreline fishing license unless they have a regular saltwater fishing license, persons with disabilities fishing license, other combo license or are exempt.
3. How much does the license cost?
The license is free. However, anglers who obtain the license over the phone will pay a convenience fee of $4.25 to the vendor who provides the service, and those who obtain the license online will pay a $2.25 convenience fee. Free shoreline licenses are available at retail agents, such as sporting goods stores or other retailers that sell hunting or fishing equipment, and at county tax collectors' offices.
4. If I have a regular saltwater fishing license, will I have to get a shoreline license too?
No. A resident regular saltwater fishing license that covers fishing from shore as well as from a vessel costs $17 and may be the best option for most anglers unless they feel certain they will fish only from shore.
5. If I wade into the water to saltwater fish, will I no longer be covered by the shoreline license?
Anglers who wade into the water to saltwater fish are considered to be fishing from shore as long as they can stand on the bottom and do not access or leave the area by boat.
6. If I ride in a boat to a saltwater fishing spot and then fish from shore, am I still covered by the shoreline license?
No. If an angler arrives at the saltwater fishing location by boat, he must have a regular saltwater fishing license, regardless of whether he fishes from shore.
7. Do nonresident saltwater anglers qualify for the shoreline license?
No. The shoreline saltwater fishing license is available to Florida residents only. Nonresident saltwater anglers must purchase a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license at $17 for three days, $30 for seven days or $47 for one year, regardless of whether they fish from shore or a vessel. These prices include administrative fees, but handling fees are additional.
8. Is anybody exempt from the shoreline saltwater license requirement?
The new shoreline saltwater license requirement allows exemptions for residents who are age 65 or older, all children under age 16, resident disabled persons who meet certain qualifications, active duty military personnel while home on leave, and all anglers who fish from a licensed pier. In addition, the license requirement includes exemptions for resident anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid who have proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCFS or the Agency for Health Care Administration, and anglers who use a pole or line without a line retrieval mechanism (such as a reel) in their home counties.
9. If I saltwater fish from shore, using a cane pole, Cuban yoyo or hand line with no reel attached, do I still have to have the shoreline saltwater license?
There is an exemption for resident saltwater anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, using natural bait, and it applies to anglers who fish from shore, structures affixed to shore or vessels. This exemption applies only in the angler's home county.
10. If I saltwater fish from shore, using a cast net, crab net, dip net, some other kind of net, crab basket, trap, gig or spear, am I still covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism?
The exemption for saltwater anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, does not include anglers who use any type of gear other than hook and line. For instance, crabbers who use traps, baskets, crab nets, dip nets or landing nets will need to have a fishing license. Also, fishermen who use cast nets or other types of nets are not exempt from license requirements.
11. If I gather scallops or other shellfish by hand, am I covered by the saltwater license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing line retrieval mechanism?
No. The exemption for anglers using a pole or line not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism does not include those who gather shellfish or other marine animals by hand.
12. If I get a shoreline saltwater license now, can I buy a regular saltwater fishing license later if I decide to fish from a vessel or from shore using non-exempt gear?
Yes. Anglers who have a shoreline saltwater license but need a regular saltwater fishing license can purchase a regular saltwater fishing license, even if they already have a shoreline license.
13. Why did the state pass this shoreline saltwater fishing license requirement?
At the request of the FWC, the Florida Legislature passed the shoreline saltwater fishing license requirement to head off a federal registration requirement that would have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2010, and would have had a $15 to $25 fee, beginning in 2011. The shoreline license makes Florida's resident anglers exempt from that federal fee.
14. Is there a similar shoreline license for freshwater anglers?
No. There never was a general exemption for fishing from the shore or a structure attached to shore in freshwater, so no new license was needed. In addition, the new exemption for anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid applies only to resident saltwater anglers fishing from shore or a structure attached to shore and does not relate to freshwater.
15. Where can I find more information about license requirements?
More information about license and permit requirements, outdoor recreation and FWC programs is available at MyFWC.com.
16. Do I need a Snook Permit if I have a shoreline saltwater license?
Yes, if you are not exempt and have a shoreline saltwater license you are required to have a Snook Permit to keep a snook in season.
17. Do I need to add the State Reef Fish Angler designation to my license?
Starting July 1, 2020, anglers age 16 and older (including those exempt from license requirements) fishing from a private boat, who plan to harvest, possess, or land specific reef fish must sign up to participate in the State Reef Fish Survey by adding the State Reef Fish Angler designation to their license or customer account.