Anglers from all over the United States travel to Alabama to fish. There are endless opportunities for saltwater and freshwater fishing. But if you want to catch fish in peace, you will need an Alabama Fishing License. The process is a simple one, but there are also plenty of rules and regulations you will need to get acquainted with before you go out on the water. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Why Do I Need a Fishing License in Alabama?
It costs money to protect and conserve Alabama’s wildlife. One method of financing this is through licensing. Licensing funds also go towards the cost of educating people about the state’s natural resources.
Does Everyone Need a Fishing License in Alabama?
The only people exempt from having a fishing license are those under the age of 16. For everyone else between the ages of 16-65, residents, and non-residents, it is mandatory that you have a license. Additionally, license requirements are also dependent upon the location that you choose to fish. Alabama residents are entitled to fish on their local banks in the county in which they live without a license. Just make sure you leave the house with proof of address, a driving license will be suffice.
It is also important to mention that you can not live in more than one state, Alabama must be the only state you reside in for this to apply to you. For example, if you are a student in the State of Georgia and only live in Alabama when you are on a break from college, you will need to get a license.
You will not need to pay for a license if you are in the military visiting home on leave. You are also exempt if you are a college student who is a non-resident between the ages of 17-23. However, you will need to get a residency exception from an authorized outdoor recreation office such as a marine resource office, license commissioner, or probate office. For senior citizens over the age of 65, you will need to provide proof of residency and proof of age.
Finally, if you are fishing with an Alabama saltwater charter or guide, you won’t need to purchase a license. But if you are freshwater fishing, you will need to buy a license whether you are with a guide or not.
Types of Fishing Licenses in Alabama
The main fishing licenses available in Alabama are Saltwater and Freshwater licenses. However, if you are planning on fishing somewhere you can catch both saltwater and freshwater fish, or in brackish water, it is advised that you purchase both licenses to be on the safe side. This will ensure that you don’t get a fine. There are some fish you are not licensed to catch; for example, if you catch a Black Bass with a saltwater license, you will need to release it immediately. You can also purchase the following licenses in Alabama:
- Freshwater Commercial Fishing License
- Spearfishing License
- Wirebasket License
- Wildlife Heritage License
The lifetime fishing license is available for serious anglers who spend the majority of their time on the water. Once you purchase this type of license, you will not need to get another one.
Fishing License Prices in Alabama
There are several factors that will determine the cost of your fishing license. Alabama residents do not pay as much as non-residents. Disabled military veterans and disabled people are eligible for discounts.
Non-resident military personnel who are housed in Alabama are also eligible for a discount. You will need to attend an authorized outdoor recreation office such as a marine-source office, license commissioner, or a probate office. Be sure to bring proof that you have been assigned to Alabama.
In general, residents can expect to pay $13.85 for an annual fishing license and nonresidents pay $53.30. However, since prices are continuously changing, you can check this website for up to date prices.
You will need to purchase a sport fishing license if you are spearfishing. These costs will vary depending on your status, but you can expect to pay up to $100. Check the website for more accurate pricing information.
How to Get a Fishing License in Alabama
Getting a fishing license is a simple process, you can either purchase one from a local government office, or a certified retailer. These include the following:
- State park locations
- The license commissioner’s office
- County probate office
- Ace Hardware
- Academy Sports
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Any state registered tackle and bait store
However, the quickest and easiest way to purchase a fishing license in Alabama is to order it online.
Whether you are purchasing the license online or in person, you will need proof of identification such as a passport or a driver’s license. You will also need your social security number. As mentioned, those in the military will need their assignment paperwork to claim their discount.
License Expiry Dates
The date your license expires will depend on the type of license you get. But in general, your license will be valid for the following durations:
- Annual License: One year from the date of purchase
- 7-Day License: 168 hours after the purchase time
- 3-Day License: 72 hours after the time of purchase
- 1-Day License: 24 hours after the time of purchase
If you decide you want to extend your fishing license, you can either do so online or through one of the physical outlets mentioned above.
Lost or Stolen Fishing License
As soon as you realize that your fishing license has been lost or stolen, you will need to purchase a new one immediately. If you continue to fish without a license, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense and fined between $10-$25.
Now that you are up to speed with the fishing license regulations in Alabama, if you plan on going fishing, make sure you purchase the right license in advance so that you can enjoy your fishing trip without the threat of getting charged with an offense plus paying a fine. As you have read, the process is simple, once you apply, you will have your fishing license in no time at all.