Alabama Fishing License: How & Where To Get One in 2023

Don’t get fined or penalized for fishing without a license. Alabama law requires a permit to fish in all bodies of water. FishingLicense.org will help simplify the process of obtaining your license by providing you with all the information you need to complete your license application with the department of wildlife. 

Fishing licenses in Alabama are required for all fishermen who regularly enjoy their favorite hobby in this state. Whether traversing the inland waters for freshwater fish or heading off the coast for saltwater species, anglers must get a fishing license in Alabama to fish legally. Fishing licenses are issued by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. There are two types of Alabama licenses to fish: saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses. Additionally, beginner anglers can take fishing classes in order to get acquainted with the challenges and tricks of the hobby, gaining a better understanding of the fish species available in Alabama. Passionate anglers can join some of the many fishing clubs and organizations throughout the state and meet fellow sportsmen, discuss the newest fishing trends and learn tips on becoming better fishermen.

Alabama Fishing License Requirements

In Alabama, anglers must buy a fishing license to protect and enhance the state’s aquatic resources. The rules apply to both residents and non-residents alike.

Residents

Residents must have a recreational license to fish in Alabama if they’re 16 and older. There are some exceptions, however. The following individuals are exempt:

  • Residents 65 and older with valid proof of residence and age
  • Resident landowners (you own the land where you're fishing) and their immediate family
  • Residents who are home on military leave with ID and paperwork in their possession
  • Residents fishing from the bank in their county of residence with a hook and line (live bait only)

Non-residents

For non-residents, everyone 16 and older must have a license.

How and Where To Buy A Fishing license In Alabama

Purchase Online

To buy fishing licenses in AL, visit the Alabama online fishing license purchasing system.  You can pay with a debit or credit card and immediately print your license. Make sure to have the following information on hand:

  • Country and state of residency
  • Date of birth
  • The license type
  • Your driver's license or ID card number
  • Credit or debit card information

Other Options

You can also purchase your fishing license in one of the following ways:

  • Over the phone, by calling 1-888-848-6887
  • Over the Outdoor Alabama App
  • In-person at:
    • Any Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries office
    • Tanner or Jacksonville District Offices of the Department
    • Your local license commissioner
    • County probate office
    • Or from various license agents

Note: All Recreational fishing licenses expire on August 31 annually

Types of Fishing Licenses in Alabama

To fish in Alabama, you must get the proper fishing license. Once obtained, Alabama residents and visitors can plan fishing vacations in one of the many exciting saltwater and freshwater fishing locations across the state. There are two main kinds of fishing licenses in Alabama:

  • Freshwater Fishing Licenses
  • Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Freshwater fishing licenses in Alabama are used for fishing in lakes, rivers, ponds, and other inland waters in the state. These licenses are issued to residents 16-64 years of age and are divided into the following types:

Resident

If you’re a resident, you’ll need to prove your residency. Your residency is defined in your driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card. There are several freshwater licenses available to residents. The licenses and their costs for 2023 are:

  • Annual License: Individuals 16-64 years of age, $15.05. 65+, $15.05 (optional)
  • Daily License: A license for one day to fish in a State-owned County Public Fishing Lake costs $6.85.
  • Lifetime License: The cost for this type of license varies by your age at the time of issuance. These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder, even if you move out of state.
  • Disabled Licenses: Discount fishing licenses are available for disabled anglers. If you’re 100% physically disabled, an annual license costs $3.20. For disabled military veterans, an annual license is $3.30. A disabled 3-day event license costs $100.
  • Wildlife Heritage License: This type of license allows residents age 16-64 to fish in freshwater bodies and hunt small game in Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries for $12.40.
  • Spearfishing License: The cost is $6.00 but you’ll also need to have a freshwater fishing license.
  • Commercial Fishing License: $100, Freshwater non-game fish dealer license (retail, $11; wholesale, $26)

Note: License fees are subject to change without notice.

Non-resident

If you're a non-resident you’ll need to have a non-resident recreational license to fish. Your options are:

  • Annual License: The cost for an annual license for those from Louisiana is $70.30 and for residents of Mississippi It’s $67.25. For residents of all other states, the cost is $58.15.
  • 7-day Trip License: Those from Georgia pay $33.30. The license cost for residents from all other states is $32.55.
  • Family 3-day Trip License: The cost for families from Florida and Georgia is $33.30. All others state residents pay $32.55.
  • College Student Hunting/Fishing License: For non-residents who are full-time students in an Alabama higher education institute, the cost for this type of license is $15.05.
  • Public Fishing Lakes License: For this type of license, valid only in state-owned Public Fishing Lakes, the costs vary based on where you’re fishing and when you purchase your license.
  • Spearfishing License: The cost for an annual license for non-residents is $8.50 and for a 7-day trip, it’s $3.50. You’ll also need to have a freshwater fishing license.
  • Commercial Fishing License: prices vary. Freshwater non-game fish dealer license (retail, $11; wholesale, $26). Minnow or live fish dealer (retail, $201; wholesale, $251)

Note: License fees are subject to change without notice.

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

AL saltwater fishing licenses are issued to individuals who plan to fish in Alabama's coastal areas. This includes the Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay, Bon Secour Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website to view a map that shows the areas where you need to have a saltwater fishing license.

Residents

  • Annual: $26.50
  • 7-day trip: $11
  • Pier: $6.85
  • Spearfishing: $6.00
  • Disabled and disabled veterans: $3.20 and $3.30 respectively
  • Reef fish endorsement: $10.00

Note: License fees are subject to change without notice.

It’s important to note that even if you have not been required to purchase an annual saltwater license, such as those who are 65 or older or only fishing exclusively from a pier, you’ll still need to complete the saltwater angler registration. Registration is free.

Non-residents

  • Annual: $57
  • 7-day trip: $31.40
  • Pier: $12.80
  • Spearfishing: $8.50
  • Spearfishing Trip: $3.50
  • Disabled and disabled veterans: $3.20 and $3.30 respectively
  • Reef fish endorsement: $10.00

Note: License fees are subject to change without notice.

Fishing Education in Alabama

Prior to getting a fishing license, new anglers who would like to learn more about this widespread hobby can participate in the many fishing education programs or take fishing classes. Some of the most popular programs for fishermen education are:

  • USAngler offers detailed tips, guides, and product reviews for various species of fish.
  • The AL Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop, that includes the following classes:
    • Introduction to fishing
    • Beginning fly-tying
    • The bass class
    • Angler adventures
    • Bowfishing
  • The Bass University offers online, in-class, and on-water training for all anglers, regardless of experience and age.

Fishing Organizations in Alabama

Anglers who would like to expand their knowledge, learn valuable tips and tricks from more experienced fishermen or simply make new friends with shared interests can join an Alabama fishing organization. The following are some of the state's fishing organizations and clubs:

  • The Alabama Coastal Fishermans' Association
  • Alabama Youth Fishing

The Alabama Coastal Fishermans' Association is a local saltwater fishing club with the main goal of promoting sportsmanship, angler friendship and fish species conservation along the coasts of Alabama. Some of the activities include:

  • Sharing useful tips on fishing
  • Holding meetings the first Thursday of every month, from February to November
  • Fishing tournaments on a monthly basis, from March through November
  • Year-long fishing tournaments

The Alabama Youth Fishing is a community program for young anglers who would like to learn how to fish from an early age, but may not have had such possibilities. The program organizes many community fishing events where families are involved in teaching the children about fishing, equipment and general fishing tips, all the while enjoying the fun of fishing together.

©2022 FishingLicense.org All Rights Reserved