Fishing in Texas is one of the favorite pastimes of residents located throughout the state. And it's easy to see why, since there are so many locations for freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and offshore fishing in the gulf coast. With such a lively fishing culture, there are many opportunities throughout Texas cities for beginners and expert anglers alike to hone their craft and learn from other fishing enthusiasts with varying skillsets.
A range of travel options, from planes to cars to charter boats captained by fishing professionals, makes it easy for both Texas residents and visitors to reach their favorite fishing spots. There are also a number of fishing organizations in Texas that help promote the sport and support enthusiasts throughout the state.
But, before embarking on any fishing excursion, remember to learn about the various Texas fishing rules and regulations. All prospective fishers in Texas born after January 1, 1931 must carry a freshwater fishing license, a saltwater fishing license or a license that covers both saltwater and freshwater fishing in the public waters of Texas. Read on below for more information on how to get a fishing license in Texas, along with the various state fishing guidelines.
Texas is home to some of the best saltwater fishing locations in the country, both inland and off the coast. However, resident and non-resident anglers who would like to practice some Texas saltwater fishing must have the proper saltwater fishing license before breaking out a rod and reel. Saltwater fishing licenses are required for all anglers born after January 1, 1931 who want to take any marine life out of the public saltwater bodies in and around Texas.
Check out the saltwater fishing license guide for more information on how to acquire a Texas saltwater fishing license. Information includes: proof of residency to be eligible to buy a saltwater fishing license, how to purchase a replacement saltwater fishing license and how to buy nonresident or lifetime saltwater fishing licenses. We also cover restrictions and requirements for military and senior saltwater fishing licenses.
Though fishing license rules apply to a majority of areas in Texas, fishing licenses are not required for fishing from the bank in a Texas state park, or fishing in waters that reside completely within a state park. Additionally, the first Saturday in June each year is known statewide as Free Fishing Day. On Free Fishing Day, all anglers can do as much fishing as they like without purchasing a fishing license.
Both residents and visitors can apply for a saltwater fishing license in Texas, as long as certain qualifications and requirements are met. Senior licenses, lifetime licenses and combination packages are also available for interested applicants. Read the sections below to learn more about licenses to fish in the state.
The process to buy saltwater fishing licenses in Texas is similar to getting a freshwater fishing license. You must be at least 17 years of age and show proof that you have resided in the state for at least six months. Resident fishing licenses are also part of combination packages. The TX Parks and Wildlife Department requires residents to present three different types of documents that prove residency, such as: your most recent utility bill, your current driving license, your tax return from the IRS, your car registration, your homestead property tax statement, etc.
If you do not live in Texas, you can apply for an out-of-state saltwater fishing license instead, which is issued to those applicants who do not meet the qualifications of residency. A non resident fishing license can be obtained at any location where fishing licenses are sold in the state. You may also be able to purchase your TX fishing license by phone or online.
Although you are not technically required to renew a saltwater fishing license, you can apply for a new one with a licensed agent. There are roughly 1,700 locations across the state for you to purchase your saltwater license to fish from. Upon getting your new license, you may also choose to add select endorsements as part of your package.
Fishing permit holders with a lost license or a damaged license are required to obtain a duplicate, per the standard rules of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. As part of the process, you will need to fill out an Application for Replacement License and include your driver’s license number, your date of birth and other important information. You must also specify the type of license you purchased and need replaced.
If you are a resident of Texas who is currently serving in the military, you may purchase a saltwater fishing license with the proper documentation in hand. You must show proof of your military service orders, stating that your residential address is in Texas or that you have been stationed there for six months prior to applying.
Senior residents can apply for one of the following fishing licenses: a Resident Senior Freshwater Fishing License, a Resident Senior Saltwater Fishing License or a Resident Senior All-Water Fishing License. Combination packages are also available. Take note that if your date of birth was before January 1, 1931, you are not required to get a fishing license.
A lifetime saltwater fishing license is considered valid for the duration of the license holder’s life. In order to purchase a lifetime license, you can do so in one of three ways: in person, over the phone or online. If you would like to apply by phone, simply call the TXPWD at 1-800-792-1112. In person, you will need to visit a Texas Parks and Wildlife location to process your request.
Fees and costs associated with a license to saltwater fish may vary, depending on the type of package you would like to purchase, or if it is single licensing. Other factors may also affect the price of your fishing permit, such as whether you are a resident or visitor of the state.
For hopeful anglers searching for a decent fishing spot, there are literally hundreds of great locations in Texas for freshwater fishing. However, anglers who hope to do some freshwater fishing within the Texas state limits must obtain a freshwater fishing license before dipping bait into the water. Fishing licenses are required in Texas for any fisherman born after January 1, 1931 to take any fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life from Texas public waters.
Our freshwater fishing information goes into detail on the specific requirements for purchasing a Texas freshwater fishing license. Available information includes: how to buy a freshwater fishing license for residents, various freshwater fishing license packages for nonresidents and how to purchase a replacement freshwater fishing license. There is also additional information for marines and seniors looking to purchase discounted freshwater fishing licenses.
There are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirements. Freshwater fishing licenses are not mandatory for anglers fishing in a Texas state park or on Free Fishing Day each June.
For those who relish the sport of fishing, you will be glad to know that the Texas Parks and Wildlife offers a number of fishing licenses – both freshwater and saltwater – to interested applicants. Regardless of whether you are a resident of the state or simply visiting, there are many ways for you to apply. Continue reading to learn how you can start fishing in the state’s bodies of water.
If you live in Texas and would like to get a fishing license with a freshwater endorsement, you can apply for a resident license to fish, as long as you submit the standard documentation and payment for proper licensing. In order to legally fish in the state, residents must show proof that they have called Texas home for a period of six months or more. Three proofs of residency must be submitted by way of a utility bill, a state homestead property tax statement, paycheck receipts, your TX drivers license, your voter registration card, your car registration, etc.
If you do not meet the qualifications to get a resident fishing license, you will need to buy a non resident license to fish, instead. A nonresident fishing license can be obtained by presenting proof of photo ID, proof of your Social Security Number and payment for set fees.
Licensed anglers are not required to renew a freshwater fishing license, per se. However, depending on the type of license you purchased, you will need to apply for a new one if you intend to continue fishing after its expiration date. Take note that lifetime licenses are considered valid for the fisherman’s lifetime; therefore, you will not need to re-submit any fishing application.
In order to request a freshwater fishing license replacement, you will need to visit with any licensed agent in the state. There are currently an estimated 1,700 license agents in Texas to assist you. Part of the process to get a duplicate freshwater license to fish will require you to fill out an application and present proof of photo ID.
Whether you are on active duty or a military veteran, the state of Texas offers a wide selection of fishing licenses and fishing combination packages for you. Some of these include the TX Resident Active Duty Military “Super Combo” Hunting and All-Water Fishing Package and the TX Resident Active Military All-Water Fishing Package. All of which are available to you free of charge, as long as you present proper military paperwork and proof of residency.
Seniors who are 65 years of age or older may purchase one of three different licenses: a Resident Senior Freshwater Fishing License, a Resident Senior Saltwater Fishing License or a Resident Senior All-Water Fishing License. Combination packages are also offered for interested applicants.
If you have your sights set on a lifetime fishing license, you can purchase one in person or by calling the Texas Parks and Wildlife toll-free number at 1-800-792-1112. You may also print the Application for Texas Resident Lifetime License online and take it with you to a TPWD law enforcement office in your area.
With so many available single fishing licenses and combo fishing packages available, the cost of fees will vary.