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Arkansas Fishing Licenses

Don’t get fined or penalized for fishing without a license. State 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. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

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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. Our concierge services provide a step-by-step checklist to get licensed, along with additional, value-added services.

To fish in Arkansas waters, you must obtain an AR fishing license from the state's Game and Fish Commission. Sport fishing licenses and commercial fishing licenses are the two main types of fishing permits available in Arkansas. Anglers are able to buy a fishing license in Arkansas via the commission's online license sales system, over the phone or in person. Apart from the regular fishing license rates, the AR Game and Fish Commission offers different rates for nonresident, military member and disabled individual licenses to fish. To learn more about the state's permits to fish, look at the topics below:

  • Types of fishing licenses in Arkansas
  • Fishing education in Arkansas
  • Fishing organizations in Arkansas

Types of Arkansas Fishing Licenses

Before planning a fishing trip in Arkansas, decide on the type of fishing you will do and buy one of the below AR fishing permits.

Sport Fishing Licenses in Arkansas

Based on various factors, the AR Commission of Game and Fish offers the following sport fishing licenses:

  • Resident fisheries conservation license
  • Resident three-day fishing license
  • Resident trout permit
  • Nonresident trout permit
  • Nonresident annual fishing license
  • Nonresident three-day or seven-day trip fishing license
  • Resident three-year disability fishing license
  • Resident disabled military veteran lifetime fishing license
  • Resident military retiree lifetime fishing license
  • Sixty-five plus lifetime fishing license
  • Lifetime trout permit
  • Non-expiring lifetime resident hunting and fishing sportsman's permit

Note: In addition to the fishing-only licenses, the commission also offers combination licenses that grant both hunting and fishing privileges.

Commercial Fishing Licenses in Arkansas

The Commission of Game and Fish offers the following commercial fishing licenses for Arkansas fishing businesses:

  • Resident fishing guide license
  • Nonresident fishing guide license
  • Commercial fisherman's permit

Note: Arkansas fishing guide licenses grant the right to aid, assist or guide fishermen for wages in the fish-taking process.  They do not include fishing privileges .

Arkansas fishing permits are recognized in neighboring states as well due to the reciprocal agreement between Arkansas on one side and Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi on the other. The St. Francis and the Mississippi rivers respectively are the natural borders between Arkansas and the aforementioned states, therefore, fishing in these waters is permissible with a license from one of the bordering states.

To get an AR fishing license online, visit the AR GFC website and provide your personal information and a credit card number. You can also purchase a license to fish in Arkansas over the phone by calling 501-223-6349 and providing:

  • A credit card number
  • Your identification number such as:
    • A driver's license number
    • A Social Security Number
    • A hunter education number
    • A state ID number
    • A passport number

To buy an Arkansas fishing license in person, visit any AR sporting goods store, fishing supplies store or GFC office.

Arkansas Fishing Education

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers AK anglers numerous fishing education opportunities. Visit the AR GFC webpage and learn how to register for one of the below AR GFC programs:

  • Project WILD
  • The Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program
  • The Aquatic Resources Education Initiative

Project WILD organizes different outdoor activities for students including fishing workshops. The Fashion a Fish workshop allows students to:

  • Learn about various fish.
  • Classify fish according to body shape.
  • Design fish suitable to various aquatic habitats.

Aligned with the school curriculum, The Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program supports school fishing clubs in Arkansas. Some of the benefits include:

  • Education about fishing.
  • Developing life skills such as:
    • Positive attitude.
    • Work ethic.
    • Setting goals.
    • Solving problems.
    • Making decisions.

The Aquatic Resources Education initiative regulates Arkansas' Mobile Aquarium and Fishing Derby programs. The AR Game and Fish Commission provides state schools, community events and outdoor shows with free-of-charge mobile aquariums for education purposes. Furthermore, the Commission of Game and Fish co-sponsors fishing derby events with other organizations. A stocked fishing site with accompanying technical guidance is provided to residents of any age for the public fishing derbies.

Arkansas Fishing Organizations

Arkansas anglers can join various state fishing organizations and clubs. Some of the associations focus on youth education and natural resources conservation, whilst others only offer online fishing courses. Discover more about these organizations below.

Arkansas Area Catfish Hunters

The Arkansas Area Catfish Hunters website provides AK anglers with a forum to discuss catfishing-related topics. Anglers interested in catfishing can share new techniques, setups, and fishing experiences on the AACH website.

The AACH webpage is divided in the following sections:

  • Photo gallery and videos section
  • Forum for anything from recipes to tips and tricks of the trade
  • Links to other fishing websites

North Arkansas Fly Fishers

The North Arkansas Fly Fishers is a non-profit organization focused on conserving the state's fishing resources and providing youth fly fishing education. Some of the activities include:

  • Organizing an annual fly tying show.
  • Regular monthly meetings.
  • Awarding student scholarships.

Arkansas B.A.S.S. Nation

The Arkansas B.A.S.S. Nation's mission is the conservation of  natural fishing resources. Cooperating alongside  government agencies, the ABN protects the sport of fishing without compromising the state's fishing regulations. Some of the activities include:

  • Organizing fishing tournaments.
  • Publishing the Keeping Bass Alive magazine.
  • Organizing quarterly meetings.