web analytics



New requirement to target sharks.  There are two permits.  The Shark-Smart Fishing permit is required for boat fishing and the Shore-based Shark Fishing permit is required to fish from shore, piers, and bridges.  Both are free but require a short course followed by a test.   This includes people exempt from requiring a fishing license.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, recreational fishers will be required to complete an online, no-cost recreational blue crab trap registration before using blue crab traps.

A recreational stone crab trap registration will also be required before using stone crab traps, starting with the 2019 stone crab season, which begins Oct. 15, 2019.

License Requirements

Florida fishing licenses are pretty simple; you need a license to attempt to take any species from the saltwater or fresh.  Attempting to take shrimp, crab, lobsters and marine plants, or other saltwater organisms and of course fish fresh and saltwater requires a license.  It does not matter if you are standing on the shore, on a pier a bridge or boat.  There are several special permits required for snook and spiny lobster.  On some piers, a license is not required. However, every pier in Nassau County requires a license.  There also are special rules for private ponds.  The St Marys River is special.  If you start your trip or fish from shore in Florida you need a Florida license.  If you are fishing from the Georgia side you need a Georgia license.

The north jetty at the St Marys Entrance is Georgia. Georgia rules and licenses apply even if you start your trip in Florida.

Fresh or Saltwater

If you are fishing in the ocean or a fresh water pond it is clear which license you need to have.  If you are in a creek or river with a saltwater license and catch a freshwater species you need to release it.   Or you have a freshwater license and catch a saltwater species released it.

Tarpon Permits

Everyone must have to get a tarpon permit to keep one trophy sized tarpon.  It is legal to catch and release a tarpon without a tag.


If you are a Florida resident, determined by a Florida driver’s license or state ID, under the age of 16 or over the age of 65 you do not need a fishing license or special permits except the tarpon tag.

Visitors Licenses

Visitors may buy either a freshwater or saltwater license for 3 days, 7 days or a year.