Texas Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Texas is known for its lush waters that are teeming with a wide variety of fish populations. And since fishing is supposed to be a fundamental part of every Texan’s life, the state is the perfect destination for anglers.
Applying for your own Texas fishing license is easy. You can buy one online or from accredited resellers such as a tackle shop or local sports store near you. You can try your luck in the fresh or salt water that pervades the area, but make sure you get a license for each as the stamps differ from area to area. These are required so that you can capture a wide variety of marine life such as fish, clams, and the like from Texan waters.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Local rules and regulations are implemented to preserve fish stocks, marine life and their respective habitats for future generations. Because some laws change without notice, it is important to check for updates regularly. The link below will walk you through everything you need to know before starting your journey.
All proceeds from the fishing licenses are used to fund local programs that promote the protection and conservation of wildlife in the area. These projects help spread marine life and the ecosystem. Your awareness of these efforts will help to preserve the environment for future generations.
Texas Fishing Licenses
Not only is Texas known for its world-class barbecue, but it’s also a unique fishing destination. Roll your world class tackle on Lake Texoma or the Gulf of Mexico for a remarkable and memorable fishing experience. All you have to do is plan your itinerary, bring your game of fishing, and purchase a Texas fishing license.
There are several different types of fishing licenses and permits you can choose from in the state of Texas. Each of these licenses has a specific purpose, and it is very easy to know which is right for you. So that you can find the right one for you, we have put together brief instructions for you.
Here is everything you need to know:
The Basics: What Permits & Licenses Do You Need To Fish In Texas?
As mentioned earlier, there are several types of licenses you can choose from to legally fish in Texas state waters. In general, however, you only need three basic types of licenses:
- Salt water license – Used in fishing for sea and saltwater fish throughout the state of Texas.
- Freshwater license – Used when fishing in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and other freshwater fishing spots in Texas.
- Red Drum Day – Required to keep one (1) redfish longer than 28 inches per year.
Who Needs a Fishing License in Texas?
Now that you know what licenses and permits are needed to fish in Texas, it is also important to know who will need them. Several factors will affect whether you need one or not. But the general rule is that anyone attempting to bring fish, clams, clams, crabs, or other aquatic life in Texas public waters, must have an up-to-date Texas fishing license with a notice. A saltwater permit is required for fishing in coastal waters; a freshwater note is required for inland waters. However, there are some exceptions. See below:
A license is not required for a resident who:
- under 17
- born before January 1, 1931
- a resident with intellectual disabilities who is participating in medically approved therapy
- a person with intellectual disabilities fishing under the direct supervision of a licensed angler who is either a family member or has family permission to take the person out fishing
- Fishing during the annual Free Fishing Day (the first Saturday in June)
A license is not required for a non-resident who:
- a child under 17 years of age
- Louisiana residents aged 65 or older with a valid Louisiana recreational fishing license (including senior fishing / hunting license)
- Oklahoma residents 65 years of age or older
- Fishing during the annual Free Fishing Day (the first Saturday in June)
Who are considered a resident of Texas?
A resident of Texas is:
- a person who lived in Texas for more than six consecutive months immediately prior to purchasing their license,
- officially documented members of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
- US Forces personnel (and their dependents) on “active duty” everywhere
The following documents can be used to prove residency in Texas:
- a recent homestead tax return in Texas
- the last six months of utility bills
- the last six months of paycheck receipts
- the last tax return from the Internal Revenue Service
- a statement from a parole board or probation officer stating that the individual has resided in Texas without interruption for the six months immediately prior to the application for a license or permit
- a valid Texas driver’s license
- a current Texas voter registration certificate
- a current vehicle registration document issued at least six months prior to the application for a driver’s license or permit
Please note that all documents must include the applicant’s name and a physical address in Texas. With the exception of a valid driver’s license or other government issued ID, no additional residence documents are required at the time of purchase or fishing.
Where can I buy a Texas fishing license / package?
You can easily purchase a Texas fishing license or fishing package from the following providers:
Please note that some licenses, such as boat and guide licenses, can only be obtained from TPWD headquarters in Austin and other law enforcement agencies.
Various Texas fishing licenses / packages
The state of Texas has a wide variety of fishing licenses and packages available for you to choose from, whether you are a resident or non-resident. The following matrix summarizes all available licenses and packages that you can purchase:
|Residents aged 17-64|
|Fishing package for 1 day in all waters||$ 11|
|Freshwater fishing package||$ 30|
|Saltwater fishing package||$ 35|
|All-water fishing package||$ 40|
|Fishing in all waters 1 year after purchase||$ 47|
|Combination of freshwater hunting and fishing||$ 50|
|Hunting and fishing combination in salt water||$ 55|
|Combination for hunting and fishing in all waters||$ 60|
|“GreatCombo” package||$ 68|
|Residents and non-residents under the age of 17|
|Belt for freed fishermen||$ 3|
|Residents aged 17-64|
|Day fishing in all waters||$ 16|
|Freshwater fishing package||$ 58|
|Saltwater fishing package||$ 63|
|Fishing package in all waters||$ 68|
|Freshwater fishing package||$ 12|
|Combination of freshwater hunting and fishing||$ 16|
|Saltwater fishing package||$ 17|
|Hunting and fishing combination in salt water||$ 21|
|Flat rate for fishing in all waters||$ 22|
|Combination for hunting and fishing in all waters||$ 26|
|“GreatCombo” package||$ 32|
(not required for people under 17 years of age)
|Recommendation for freshwater fishing||$ 5|
|Recommendation for saltwater fishing||$ 10|
Both residents and non-residents can obtain a Texas fishing license. Annual freshwater fishing, Salt water and an all-water license are available at different prices. A resident can purchase one of the three for $ 30.00, $ 35.00, and $ 40.00, respectively, while a nonresident can purchase them for $ 58.00, $ 63.00, and $ 68.00, respectively. A one-day all-water license can also be purchased for $ 11.00 (residents) and $ 16.00 (non-residents). For more information, please read the complete instructions here.
Where does the money from the licenses go?
The money from license sales in the state of Texas goes to various conservation-related activities such as fishery and hatchery management, habitat development and protection, fish stocking programs, and fisheries and conservation education.
License validity, renewal and reproductions
A Texas fishing license is valid from the date of purchase through August 31 of the same year, except for:
- Temporary hunting and fishing licenses and packages
- Fishing in the year from license purchase
- Fishing license on Lake Texoma
Once your license expires, you will need to purchase a new one to continue fishing in Texas. If you have lost or damaged your license, you can replace it at any license sales point by signing an affidavit to replace a license. Fees vary between $ 3 and $ 10.
In the state of Texas, the following activities are prohibited and are considered illegal:
- Hunting or fishing without a valid license, permit and appropriate endorsement (s) on you and available for inspection by a ranger, unless otherwise permitted by age, program or mutual agreement with another state.
- Use someone else’s license or tag to hunt or fish.
- Let someone else hunt or fish with your license or tags.
- buy or acquire more than one of the following types of licenses:
- Resident Hunt
- Texas Resident Active Duty Military “Super Combo” package
- Youth hunting
- Combination hunting and fishing package for residents
- Senior hunt
- Senior combination hunting and fishing package
- Disabled Veteran “Super Combo”
- Texas Resident Active Duty Military Hunting Package – Resident “Super Combo” package
- General hunt for non-residents
- “Super Combo” package for seniors
- Hunting non-resident spring turkey
Daily baggage and possessions restrictions
When fishing in Texas, keep these rules in mind:
- State-wide rules apply to all public fresh water bodies with the exception of the places mentioned Exceptions to national freshwater harvest regulations.
- There are no national day or length restrictions for freshwater fish that are not listed.
- Saltwater finfish species caught in this state’s public fresh waters have saltwater bag, ownership, and length restrictions.
- Double the nationwide daily baggage limit.
- In waters where daily baggage restrictions are more important than statewide daily baggage restrictions, possession restrictions remain twice the statewide daily baggage restrictions: Lakes Caddo, Kirby, Livingston, Palestine, Toledo Bend, and the Sabine River below Toledo Bend.
- Fish stored by a person at their place of residence do not count towards their limit of ownership.
Please read the full instructions on the TPWD website for the daily pocket limit for each type.
frequently asked Questions
Q: Can I use my Texas fishing license in Oklahoma?
Only Texas state residents 65 and older can fish in Oklahoma without purchasing an OK license (bring ID).
Q: When is Free Fishing Day in 2020?
Free Fishing Day is scheduled for the first Saturday in June. This year the Free Fishing Day will take place on June 6th, 2020.
Q: How much does a Lake Texoma license cost?
The Lake Texoma license, which is required to fish in all waters of this lake without an additional license, is $ 12.00. Texas residents over 65 do not need this license to fish in the Oklahoma part. This license is valid until December 31st.