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Florida Licensing Requirements

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On: Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 3:59PM | By: Lee Clymer

FWC is once again adjusting licensing requirements for shoreline fishermen in the state of Florida. As of July 1, you must still be licensed but it will no longer cost anything. The nine dollar fee will be going away.  Although the legislature removed the fee for a shoreline fisherman, they retained the license requirement, according to them, to prevent a federal licensing fee from taking place in Florida a little further down the line.

Now that doesn’t mean it won’t cost anything, because you will have to pay the vendor, whether it’s online or at your local bait and tackle store. Residents can get the license on the phone, or on the internet for $3.33 and $2.31 respectively. For internet sales go to Telephone sales can be reached at
888-fish-Florida (888-347-4356). Remember, you must be a Florida resident, and this is a license for shoreline only. If you’re fishing from a boat, a structure (such as a pier), or a structure accessible by boat only, you’ll require a regular saltwater license, and that will cost you $17 as a resident. That same $17 will buy a non-resident a three day license. Thirty dollars will buy a non-resident a week, and a year will cost $47.

Licensing in Florida has long been a debatable subject. I myself have been in a quandary for years about the fees but I was spoiled by having lived here for most of my life and not having any fees. When the fee was first instituted I ignorantly threw a fit since I had never had to pay before. Of course when the fee for shoreline fishing became law, once again, I was not happy. According to the FWC, the fees are used for “protecting, preserving, and enhancing the sport of fishing for today and generations to come. License fees help pay for fishery and hatchery management, habitat development and protection, endangered species programs, fishing and conservation education, lake maps, and other publications, and many other valuable programs.”

Bearing in mind the low costs of our licenses, I now think we get a lot for our money. Although I don’t agree everything they do with the money is necessarily good, I think they do a great job, for the most part. It is interesting the backlash seemed apparent to the legislature by virtue of the number of licenses sold. In all of Monroe County (the Keys), only 434 shoreline-only licenses were sold. Statewide only 82,675 were sold. That sure doesn’t add up to all those long beach rods sold. It may be that people decided that if they were going to spend $9, they might as well go the extra $8. I couldn’t find statistics for that.

I do agree with state Sen. Don Gaetz however. “Shoreline fishing is a part of Florida’s heritage. This has always been a place where people can go to the shore to wet a line, and teach their children how to fish.” The shoreline license came into being to meet federal requirements, as noted earlier. Had the law not been adopted, Florida residents would have been charged from $15 to $20 to sign up with a federal fishing registry, so our legislators were actually doing us a favor. I know. It seems odd to me, too.


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