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Kentucky 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.

Obtaining a fishing license in Kentucky is a mandatory step before organizing a fishing trip in the Bluegrass State. The KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources offers licenses to fish to both residents and nonresidents. Learn how to get a fishing license, by visiting the department's website and choosing either a regular fishing license or a commercial fishing license. The state also offers special licenses to disabled individuals and veterans. Look at the topics below to read more information about fishing licenses and fishing permits in Kentucky:

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

Types of Kentucky Fishing Licenses

Obtaining one of the following KY licenses to fish is a state requirement for any type of fishing performed on state waters.

Regular Fishing Licenses In Kentucky

The KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources makes available the subsequent licenses and permits to fish:

  • Annual resident fishing
  • Annual nonresident fishing
  • Resident joint husband and wife annual fishing
  • One-day resident fishing
  • Three-year resident fishing
  • One-day nonresident fishing
  • Seven-day nonresident fishing
  • Fifteen-day nonresident fishing
  • Trout resident and nonresident fishing permit
  • Annual resident combination hunting and fishing
  • Sportsman's resident
  • Senior resident combination hunting and fishing
  • Disabled resident combination hunting and fishing

Kentucky senior, resident and disabled licenses to fish are generally more cost-effective than regular licenses. However, children younger than 16 years of age are exempt from buying a fishing license.

Note: The trout permit is an attachment to a valid license to fish. In addition, it is included in the package sportsman's, senior and disabled licenses.

Commercial Fishing Licenses In Kentucky

In an effort to preserve Kentucky's fishing heritage, state commercial fishing is regulated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Any interested fishing businessman must follow the department's rules and regulations and submit a KY commercial fishing license application for one of the following:

  • Resident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags
  • Nonresident commercial fishing license with 10 gear tags
  • Resident roe-bearing fish buyer permit
  • Nonresident roe-bearing fish buyer permit
  • Resident roe-bearing fish harvester permit
  • Nonresident roe-bearing fish harvester permit
  • Resident special net fishery permit
  • Nonresident special net fishery permit
  • Live fish transportation permit
  • Fisheries propagation permit

Buy a KY fishing license by choosing one of the following methods:

  • Via Kentucky's Fish and Wildlife Online License Sales site
  • By phone at: 877-598-2401
  • In person at any state-licensed agent

Kentucky Fishing Education

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provides both amateur and experienced anglers with numerous fishing education opportunities. After obtaining a KY fishing license, visit the department's website and learn more about the following fishing education programs:

  • Online fishing publications
  • Angler's Legacy
  • Become an Outdoors Woman

The KY DFWR website abounds with educational resources in the form of fishing books, guides and posters. Let the below publications introduce you to Kentucky's aquatic world:

  • The Basic Fishing – Catch the Fishing Fever book
  • The Upland Reservoir Ecosystem teacher's guide
  • The Big River Ecosystem teacher's guide
  • The Small Stream Ecosystem teacher's guide
  • The Wetland Slough Ecosystem poster
  • The Teachers Guide Stream Ecosystem poster

Established by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Angler's Legacy program aims to provide adult fishermen and women with courses on self-sustainable fishing. Conceived with the goal to create lifelong anglers, the program teaches how to:

  • Use a spinning rod and reel.
  • Determine the proper hook size.
  • Choose the proper bait.
  • Bait a hook.
  • Take a fish off a hook.
  • Choose the fishing place and time.
  • Respect the fishing rules and regulations.

The internationally recognized BOW program, organized by the KY DFWR and other partners, is intended to develop the outdoor skills of adult women. The following fishing workshops (among others) are available across the state:

  • Basics of fishing
  • Basics of fly tying
  • Basics of wildlife
  • Basics of boating

Kentucky Fishing Organizations

Kentucky anglers – who strive to refine their fishing skills, participate in tournaments or fish in a group – can join one of several fishing clubs and organizations across the state. These clubs and associations offer everything from a meeting forum for fishermen to programs for sustainable fishing. Read about a couple of them below:

  • Bluegrass Yakmasters
  • H&H Bass Club

Bluegrass Yakmasters

The Bluegrass Yakmasters's focus is to promote kayak fishing. The organization provides anglers with opportunities to partake in kayak fishing whilst preserving the state's fishing resources. Fishermen can take advantage of photograph and release tournaments that occur throughout the years. The individual who is ranked the highest at the end of the year receives the prize for best BGYM Kentucky angler.

H&H Bass Club

Formed by individuals who enjoy fishing and the great outdoors, the H&H Bass Club holds a meeting forum for avid KY anglers. The club is open to anyone interested in sharing fishing experiences and participating in fishing tournaments as a group. Potential members can expect the following:

  • Participating in dozen fishing tournaments throughout the year.
  • Attending an awards banquet that recognizes the year's top anglers.
  • Uncovering useful fishing education and resources links on the HHBC website.