Why Do I Need a Fishing license?

Going out fishing is an amazing way to spend a peaceful day alone or an engaging day with your family or friends. But no matter if you’re catch and release fishing, or looking to fill the cooler with “meat,” chances are you’ll need a fishing license to fully enjoy your time.

Now, following the rules of state and federal fisheries is very important. Especially for commercial fishing vessels. You see, when gone unchecked, commercial overfishing leaves less for us recreational anglers to catch and enjoy.

For decades now, we recreational anglers have been calling for commercial vessels to stop draining the oceans of all our fish. And while some commercial regulations have certainly helped a bit…

We recreational anglers have to do our part too.

According to NOAA, Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities (IUU) violate both national and international fishing regulations.

“IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.

“It also threatens our economic security and the natural resources that are critical to global food security…

“and it puts law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers in the United States and abroad at a disadvantage.”

While we can’t control what the big commercial guys are doing, especially those who are not in our federal or state waters, we can control what we are doing.

Getting your fishing license and understanding the size and bag limits of your catch makes you a good steward of our environment and helps assure the strength of the fishery.

Recreational anglers and hunters have been known to be some of the staunchest supporters of licensing (and size/bag) requirements because we know how important it is to have as many fish and game available to us, the people, as possible. 

In order to ensure we can continue to catch our target species, and our kids and grandkids can too, It’s very important that you get your fishing license, and you know the season, size, and bag limits of what you’re catching.

Now, every state has its own regulations regarding either saltwater or freshwater fishing. Here in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, has some pretty clear-cut rules when it comes to fishing licenses.

The FWC website will show you who needs a license and who is exempt. Additionally, the FWC website has resources on species, bag, and size limits, as well as dates that fishing for certain species are open, or closed.

But it’s not just the state of Florida that will show you what you need to be a legal angler. Every state has its own rules when it comes to licensing requirements. But the thing to remember is this, get your license. It’s not only probably required, but it’s the right thing to do.

If you live in Florida, you can order your fishing license online HERE.

If you live in any other state, simply do a search for “Montana fishing license”, for example, and you’ll find out how you can become licensed.

Get your license, stay on top of the changes in your fishery, and be a good steward of our waters. Afterall, our grandkids will want to go fishing too…

And wouldn’t it be nice to still be able to catch and eat fresh fish with them?

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