You must purchase a recreational fishing license in Georgia from the GA Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division to fish legally in the state’s lakes, rivers, streams and oceanfront locations. The type of sport fishing license or commercial fishing license you need will depend on where you wish to fish, whether you are a resident of Georgia, and if you intend to fish for personal reasons or commercial purposes. Costs depend on how long the recreational fishing license is valid and if you are eligible for any of the discounts detailed below.
Review the following sections to learn how to get a freshwater fishing license in Georgia, obtain a saltwater fishing license or learn about other GA fishing licenses. Find out the current freshwater fishing license cost and how much you will pay for other types of fishing permits.
Who needs a fishing license in Georgia?
A recreational fishing license is required in GA for all residents and non-residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who catch or attempt to catch fish in the state’s freshwater or saltwater. A special trout game fishing license is required for anglers age 16 and older who fish for or possess mountain trout. Some GA licenses will include the trout privilege. Persons older than 16 with recreational saltwater licenses must also have a saltwater information permit (SIP) to fish in saltwater.
Georgia Fishing License Requirements
There are few requirements to get a non-resident freshwater or saltwater fishing license, but residents must provide proof of state residency to obtain a resident fishing license of any type. Resident freshwater fishing license applicants must have lived in the state for at least three consecutive months before applying for a recreational fishing license, and prove it is their only residence by showing a GA driver’s license or official GA ID card printed with a Georgia address. Certain non-residents can qualify for a lower-priced resident recreational fishing license, including full-time military personnel stationed in GA on active duty and their dependents, and full-time students at Georgia colleges.
Types of Fishing Licenses in Georgia
Georgia saltwater, freshwater and commercial fishing permits include resident and non-resident versions of the following:
- Annual Sportsman’s Licenses
- Youth and Senior Sportsman’s Licenses
- Combination Hunting and Game Fishing License
- Apprentice Combo Hunting/Fishing License
- Commercial Fishing Permits
What types of fish can I catch with a fishing license in Georgia?
Your GA recreational fishing license enables you to catch a wide variety of fish in Georgia’s various waterways. Common Georgia fish species you can catch with your freshwater fishing permit include the following:
- Bass (Alabama, Suwanee, Tallapoosa, Altamaha, Bartram’s, Chattahoochee, largemouth, spotted, smallmouth, redeye, shoal, hybrid and white)
- Bullhead (brown and yellow)
- Common carp
- Freshwater drum
- Longnose gar
- Catfish (channel, blue, flathead, white)
- Crappie (black and white)
- Yellow perch
- Pickerel (chain and redfin)
- Shad (American and hickory)
- Smallmouth buffalo
- Sunfish (bluegill, flier, green, redear, redbreast, rock bass, warmouth and spotted)
- Trout (brown, rainbow, brook)
Popular fish caught with a GA saltwater fishing permit may include the following marine species:
- American Eel
- Atlantic croaker
- Atlantic sturgeon
- Billfish (marlin and sailfish)
- Black drum
- Black sea bass
- King mackerel
- Red porgy, drum and snapper
- Spanish mackerel
- Saltwater bass
What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Georgia?
Your sport fishing license in Georgia may or may not provide all the permits you need for every kind of fishing. A special trout freshwater fishing permit is required for all fishermen age 16 and above to take or possess mountain trout. A recreational saltwater license holder must also obtain a saltwater information permit (SIP) before fishing in saltwater. Always check local fishing regulations for current information on special fishing permits and tags.
How long is a fishing license valid in Georgia?
MostGeorgia recreational fishing license types are annual licenses that expire 365 days after the date of purchase. Certain sport fishing license types are issued for a lifetime, while others are short-term fishing licenses valid for only a few days.
How much does a Georgia fishing license cost?
Your commercial, trip or annual freshwater fishing license cost varies according to residency, as follows:
Resident Fishing License Fees
- Annual Sportsman’s License: $65
- One-day Sportsman’s License: $25, plus $3 for each additional day
- Senior Sportsman’s License: $7
- Combo Hunting/Fishing License: $30 annual or $5 for one day and $1 for additional days
- Apprentice Combo Hunting/Fishing License: $5 for one day and $1 for additional days
- Optional Youth Fishing License: $10
- Senior Fishing License: $4
- Commercial Fishing License: $20
Non-resident Fishing License Fees
- Annual Sportsman’s License: $400
- One-day Sportsman’s License: $170, plus $70 for each additional day
- Combo Hunting/Fishing License: $150 annual or $5 for one day and $1 for additional days
- Apprentice Combo Hunting/Fishing License: $30 for one day and $10 for additional days
- Sport Fishing License: $50 annual or $10 for one day and $3.50 for additional days
- Commercial Fishing License: $200
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Are fishing license discounts available in Georgia?
Georgia offers recreational fishing license discounts to qualified residents who are veterans, disabled, active duty military or senior citizens. How much is a sport fishing license in GA if you fit into one of these categories? Review these sport fishing license discounts and fees:
- Three-year Resident Sportsman’s Disability License: $18
- Annual Resident Sportsman’s Disability License: $8
- Three-year Resident Fishing Disability License: $12
- Annual Resident Fishing Disability License: $6
- Lifetime Recreational Fishing License for the Blind: No fee
- One-Time Veterans Hunting/Fishing License: No fee
Where can I get a fishing license in Georgia?
Obtain a recreational freshwater fishing license and other types of fishing licenses from any Georgia licensing agent. You may also buy a sport fishing license online at the GoGeorgiaOutdoors website or by phone.
How can I replace my Georgia fishing license?
If you lose or destroy your Georgia recreational fishing license, you may reprint it online anytime, free of charge on Go Georgia Outdoors. If you cannot replace it online, call the organization by phone.