If you’re planning a relaxing fishing trip, you’ll need to obtain a fishing license, which you should do before loading up your fishing gear in the car and heading out. The cost of a fishing license varies depending on where you want to go fishing, how old you are, and how long the license will be valid.
What can you bring home with you if you have a fishing license?
If you intend to take fish, clams, crayfish, mussels, or any other aquatic life from Texas’s public waters, you will need a valid fishing license in addition to your other fishing equipment. Additionally, you may wish to include a freshwater or saltwater endorsement. Take note that you cannot take frogs or turtles with a fishing license, and you must have a hunting license in order to hunt for them.
Who is allowed to go fishing without a fishing license?
The first criterion to consider is one’s age. If you were born before January 1, 1931, or if you are younger than 17 years old, you are not required to have a fishing license to fish in Texas waters.
A fishing license is not required for anyone who has been advised to go fishing as part of their medical treatment plan. When fishing, he or she must be under the supervision of authorized personnel at all times. It is necessary to have the authorization on hand that identifies the entity that is providing the service.
A person with an intellectual disability who is under the supervision of a licensed angler is subject to the same restrictions. The angler can be a member of the disabled person’s family or someone who has been authorized by the disabled person’s family to accompany them. A doctor’s official report confirming the person’s intellectual disability must be provided to the person with an intellectual disability.
License year fishing packages
Special resident, senior resident, non-resident, or resident licenses are available, and they are valid from the date of purchase until the 31st of August in the same year. A freshwater fishing package can be upgraded to include a saltwater endorsement, and the same is true for the other way around.
Special resident all-water fishing license
This fishing license is valid for any Texas resident who is legally blind and who wishes to fish. Additionally, having additional endorsements such as saltwater or freshwater endorsements are not required for this license, and one red drum tag is included with the purchase of this license. The cost is seven dollars.
Senior resident fishing packages
Everyone living in Texas who is over the age of 65 and who was born on or after the 1st of January, 1931 is eligible for this benefit. It costs $22 to purchase an all-water fishing license, $17 to purchase a saltwater license, and $12 to purchase a freshwater fishing license.
Resident fishing packages
This license will be required if you are between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. Where you intend to go fishing determines the amount of money you will have to pay in fishing fees. The freshwater package will cost you $30, the saltwater package will cost you $35, and the all-water package will cost you $400.
Non-resident fishing packages
These are appropriate for non-residents who are between the ages of 18 and 65. It costs $58 for the freshwater package, $63 for the saltwater package, and $68 for the all-water package.
One-day all-water fishing license
It can be purchased by both residents and non-residents, and it is valid for the day that the customer chooses. It is also possible to purchase multiple consecutive days at the same time.
It is not necessary to obtain endorsements for this license, and a single red drum tag is provided free of charge for the first one-day license period only. For a non-resident license, the cost is $16, while for a resident license, the cost is $11.
Year-from-purchase all-water fishing package
It is only available to residents of the state of Texas. It comes with a fishing license, a saltwater endorsement, a freshwater endorsement, and a red drum tag, all of which are useful for fishing. All of these are valid from the date of purchase through the end of the month of purchase in the following license year.
Choose the best type of license
Consider how many times you intend to go fishing in a year and whether it is more cost-effective to purchase a yearly license or a series of one-day licenses is more cost-effective.
Even though a year-round package includes everything you need to fish and bring home your catch, it is significantly more expensive than a daily fishing license. Purchase a yearly package only if you are certain that you will be fishing frequently during the package’s validity period.
Fishing guide license
Anyone who is involved in fishing in the state’s waters, whether by accompanying, assisting, or transporting any person engaged in fishing in the state’s waters, is required to obtain a fishing license. Depending on the category and whether or not the person is a resident or a non-resident, the price will vary.
Lake Texoma license
Without the need to purchase additional Texas or Oklahoma fishing licenses, you will be able to fish in both the Texas and Oklahoma waters of Lake Texoma with this license. It is valid from the date of purchase until the end of the calendar year in which it was purchased. Texas residents over the age of 65 can fish on Lake Texoma for a fee of $12, but they are not required to have a license.
Resident sport oyster boat license
You must pay $13 for this service, which is required if you have a boat currently registered in Texas or if you have a certificate of documentation from the United States Coast Guard proving that the owner is a legal resident of Texas.
Non-resident sport oyster boat license
It is required for boats that are not registered in Texas or if the certificate of documentation from the United States Coast Guard indicates that the owner is not a resident of Texas. The license is $51 and can be obtained from any of the law enforcement agencies in the area.
Endorsements and tags
These are required if you want to fish in either saltwater or freshwater, or if you want to use specific equipment such as a trawl or a trotline, among other things.
Freshwater fishing endorsement
Fishing in Texas’s freshwaters will cost you $5, and you will be required to purchase it. A valid fishing license is also required, with the exception of situations in which you are not required to have a fishing license under the terms of the law. The freshwater endorsement is included in the freshwater package, the all-water fishing package, and the lifetime fishing license, among other things.
Saltwater fishing endorsement
It is required for anyone who wishes to fish in the saltwaters of Texas and costs ten dollars. If a person is not required to have a fishing license, then the saltwater endorsement is not required in that situation.
In addition, a red drum tag is provided free of charge with every saltwater fishing endorsement that is purchased. It is included in the saltwater package, the all-water fishing package, and a lifetime fishing license, among other packages.
Bonus red drum tag
When transporting a red drum that is larger than 28 inches in diameter, you will need to purchase this tag. Any license sale location will sell it to you for only $3, and you can get it from there.
Saltwater trotline tag
Every 300 feet on all non-commercial and commercial sail lines fixed in Texas’ coastal waters must be marked with this $5 tag, which is required for every 300 feet. It is available for purchase at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Law Enforcement offices.
Individual bait-shrimp trawl tag
It is required for all trawls used to catch shrimp, regardless of their intended use, when operating under a recreational license. It is available from the TPWD Coastal Law Enforcement offices for $37 and can be obtained there.
Fishing without license
During the first Saturday in June of every year, anyone can go fishing for pleasure without a license or endorsement. The authorities have set up a free fishing opportunity in order to encourage more people to try their hand at fishing for the first time.
If you already have a fishing license, you can invite a friend or a family member to accompany you on your fishing excursion. They may discover a new and beneficial hobby as a result of this.
Fishing in private waters
In waters completely enclosed within private property, you can fish without a license or endorsement if you follow the rules.
Fishing in Texas’s state parks
More than 70 state parks offer free fishing opportunities for residents to unwind. Despite the fact that they will be able to fish throughout the year, they will be required to pay park entry fees. Always keep in mind that fishing regulations, such as bag and length restrictions, are still in effect.
If you are fishing in waters completely enclosed within state park boundaries or on state park property, you are not required to have a fishing license or endorsements on your boat. Before engaging in any fishing activities, you should always check with the park authorities to ensure that you are aware of and comply with all applicable rules and regulations.
Fishing licenses required for border waters
Fishing licenses, also known as Permiso de Pesca Deportiva, are required for fishing along the Texas-Mexico border. These are issued by the Mexican Commission Nacional de Acucultura y Pesca and are valid for one year. You can purchase a permit for one day, seven days, thirty days, or a year in advance.
In order to fish in waters that form a common boundary between the states of Louisiana and Texas, you must possess a fishing license issued by one of these two states. It makes no difference whether you are a resident or a non-resident.
If you are younger than 17 years old or older than 65 years old, you do not need a driver’s license. If you want to take any fish, it must meet the length and bag limit requirements set by the state of Texas.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.