Maine Fishing Licenses
You are required to own a valid fishing permit to fish in Maine's waters. Interested anglers can learn how to buy fishing permits on the website of ME Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The two general types of Maine licenses to fish are freshwater fishing licenses and the saltwater fishing licenses. Additionally, amateur fishermen and women can participate in various education programs and workshops offered by the department or join fishing clubs and organizations. To learn more about ME fishing licenses, education and organizations, read the topics below:
- Types of fishing licenses in Maine
- Fishing education in Maine
- Fishing organizations in Maine
Types of Maine Fishing Licenses
No individual (resident or otherwise) is permitted to fish in Maine without a fishing license. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offers the following permits to fish:
- Freshwater fishing licenses
- Saltwater fishing licenses
Freshwater Fishing Licenses in Maine
In accordance with the state rules and regulations for inland sport fishing, any ME angler must obtain one of the following recreational fishing permits:
- Resident combination fishing and hunting
- Resident combination fishing and archery
- Resident superpack (fishing, hunting and archery)
- Resident one-day fishing
- Resident fishing
- Servicemen resident fishing and hunting
- Serviceman dependent fishing and hunting
- Nonresident one-day, three-day, seven-day and 15-day fishing
- Nonresident season fishing
- Nonresident combination fishing and hunting
- Alien combination fishing and hunting
- Alien season fishing
Resident fishing licenses in Maine are generally more cost-effective. Furthermore, members of the military in Maine and their close relatives may purchase fishing licenses at reduced rates as well.
To get a ME fishing license, visit the DIFW Online Sportsman's Electronic System, choose your preferred license, enter your personal information and provide a credit card number. If you prefer buying a fishing license in person, visit any Inland Fisheries and Wildlife agent across the state.
Note: Exempt from buying an ME fishing license are anglers younger than 16 years of age and residents who fish on their own land.
Saltwater Fishing Licenses in Maine
ME saltwater fishing permits allow applicants to fish in state waters within the rise and fall of the tide and within marine limits. If an angler wishes to sell his saltwater catch, he or she must obtain a commercial saltwater fishing license. To buy saltwater fishing permits, contact the Department of Marine Resources. The state department is responsible for conserving and developing Maine's marine resources, whereas the Bureau of Resource Management strives toward sustainable freshwater and saltwater state fisheries.
The following regulations apply to saltwater fishing for several types of fish:
- The bag limit
- The possession limit
- The methods of fishing
- The size of the catch
Anglers in possession of a lifetime freshwater fishing license can saltwater fish after registering in the Department of Marine Resources' Saltwater Registry.
Note: Registration by lifetime freshwater fishing permit holders is required annually.
To get more information about saltwater fishing in Maine, contact the Recreational Marine Fisheries Program at: 207-633-9500.
Maine Fishing Education
Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offers various programs, workshops and trainings to avid anglers. Learn more about a couple of programs below:
- Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs
- Camp North Woods
One of Maine's most important youth educational programs, the Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program aims to address issues affecting young people in the state. Various workshops are organized across ME that promote:
- Family interaction.
- Positive alternatives to drug use.
- Building self-esteem and communication skills.
- Good problem-solving and decision-making skills.
The DIFW department offers hands-on educational opportunities to Maine youth. Camp North Woods is one such program where students can learn the importance of preserving the state's natural resources along with various types of fishing techniques. The following fishing workshops are available at Camp North Woods:
- Fly tying
- Fly fishing
- Spin fishing
Maine Fishing Organizations
Numerous state fishing clubs and organizations offer anglers the opportunity to improve their craft, find like-minded fishermen or support Maine's fishing heritage. Learn about these clubs and organizations below.
Central Maine Bassmasters
The Central Maine Bassmasters' goal is to promote the mission of the global B.A.S.S. Nation fishing club network. The club's activities include:
- Monthly meetings.
- Organizing fishing tournaments.
- Fundraising for fishing conservation.
- Shoreline cleaning actions.
- Promoting fishing among the youth.
Maine Youth Fish and Game Association
The MYFGA mission is to strengthen Maine's natural habitats and promote wildlife education to students. The organization strives to present the importance and joys of the state’s nature to children by organizing:
- Family ice-fishing events.
- Scientific survey outings with state biologists.
- State sponsored trainings.
- Annual fund-raising events.
Maine Coast Fishermen's Association
Led by anglers in the fishing industry, the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association campaigns for protection and preservation of the state’s fishing heritage. The organization was founded with the aim to accommodate the needs of the fishing communities whilst sustaining MA fisheries.