Fishing Licenses in Louisiana


Understanding the difference between recreational fishing license options and commercial fishing license options in Louisiana can be extremely important for local fishermen. A sport fishing license, otherwise known as a freshwater license, is used primarily by anglers who fish for sport or as a hobby. Commercial fishing licenses are used for large scale fishing operations relating to business or bulk sale of fish. Since Louisiana is a coastal state, there are also opportunities for a saltwater fishing license which may be necessary depending on where an angler is fishing.

Before deciding between a freshwater fishing permit and a saltwater permit in Louisiana, anglers should first acknowledge their intention behind fishing. For instance, if a fisherman intends to fish solely for saltwater species, then he or she will need to add the recreational saltwater fishing license to their basic game and fishing license. To learn more about getting a fishing license in LA, continue below.

Who needs a fishing license in Louisiana?

A basic game fishing license in Louisiana will be mandatory for any resident or non-resident angler age 16 or older. The state exemptions for a saltwater fishing permit or a recreational fishing permit include:

  • Residents and non-residents aged 15 and younger.
  • Residents born before June 1, 1940 and who have also lived in Louisiana for at least six months.

Lousiana Fishing License Requirements

In order to purchase a recreational fishing license or commercial fishing license in Louisiana, it must first be established whether or not the angler is a resident of the state. In order to prove residency, anglers must prove that they have lived in Louisiana continuously at least six months prior to applying for a fishing license. Ways to prove residency include:

  • Being registered to vote in Louisiana.
  • Having a valid Louisiana driver’s license.
  • Having a valid Louisiana vehicle registration.
  • Earned into and file Louisiana state income tax.

Requirements for commercial fishing permits are a little different. Anglers seeking a commercial license for fishing will need to prove residency within the state, but also provide documentation of a federal tax ID number assigned to their business or an occupational license.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Louisiana

The types of fishing licenses in Louisiana all differ depending on the need of the angler. It is important for a fisherman to establish which type of license will be necessary, but also the length of time in which a license will be needed for. The types of fishing licenses in Louisiana include:

  • Hook & Line license – allows anglers to fish with a cane pole; no other license is necessary
  • Basic fishing license
  • Saltwater fishing license
  • Non-resident basic trip license (one day)
  • Non-resident saltwater trip (one day)
  • Non-resident saltwater season (basic license required)
  • Senior Hunting/Fishing license – for seniors who turned 60 years old on or after June 1, 2000
  • Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise – includes basic and saltwater licenses, plus other hunting and gear licenses
  • Charter Passenger (three day) – valid to fish from a charter vessel in saltwater areas or Charter Skiff (three day) – valid for non-residents to fish under a licensed chaser skiff in saltwater areas

What types of fish can I catch with a fishing license in Louisiana?

Since Louisiana has a variety of options for saltwater fishing license opportunities as well as freshwater fishing license opportunities, the types of fish that can be caught are abundant. The type of fishing that can be caught using a game license in Louisiana include:


    • Trigger fish
    • Bass
    • Amberjack
    • Grouper
    • Bluegill
    • Barracuda
    • Tuna (yellowfin and blackfin)
      • Sunfish
      • Crappie
      • Bonita
      • Catfish
      • White and blue marlin
      • Mahi-mahi

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Louisiana?

There are special fishing licenses necessary for certain areas of Louisiana. In Louisiana, a “saltwater line” was established in order to properly divide Louisiana into freshwater and saltwater areas. The saltwater fishing license must be added to the basic fishing license for anglers who choose to fish south of the “saltwater line.”Only the basic sport fishing license is necessary for anglers who fish north of the saltwater line.

There are special fishing license gear tags that will also be needed if anglers are fishing outside of the usual gear. Some of the special fishing license types for recreational fishing gear include:


      • Cans/buckets
      • Crab traps
      • Crawfish traps
      • Hoop nets
      • Oyster tong
      • Pipes/drums
      • Slat traps
      • Trawls
      • Wire nets

How long is a fishing license valid in Louisiana?

The length of time in which a recreational fishing license is valid for will depend on the type of license purchased. Most sport fishing licenses will be valid from the date of purchase through June 30 each year. Licenses officially go on sale June 1. There are certain exceptions in which a game fishing license will be issued on a temporary basis, whether than be one day or three days respectively.

How much does a Louisiana fishing license cost?

Learning the cost of a freshwater fishing license is an important consideration for most anglers. Additionally, understanding the commercial fishing license price is also important for anglers who wish to sell fish in Louisiana. The prices for the most common recreational, saltwater and commercial licenses include:

      • Commercial fishing license (resident) – $55
      • Commercial fishing license (non-resident) – $460
      • Hook & Line license (resident) – $2.50
      • Basic fishing license (resident) – $9.50
      • Basic fishing license (non-resident) $60
      • Saltwater fishing license (resident) – $13
      • Saltwater fishing license (non-resident) – $30
      • Non-resident basic trip license (one day) – $5
      • Non-resident saltwater trip (one day) – $17.50
      • Non-resident saltwater season – $30
      • Senior Hunting/Fishing license (resident) – $5
      • Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise (resident) – $100
      • Charter Passenger (three day resident) – $10
      • Charter Passenger (three day non-resident) – $10
      • Charter Skiff (three day non-resident) – $30

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Are fishing license discounts available in Louisiana?

There are many discounts for sport fishing licenses in Louisiana that can lead to much lower out of pocket cost. For example, the most common discount for game and fish fishing licenses is the resident rate for those who establish residency before purchasing a license. In addition, other discounts can include military, student, disability and lifetime licenses.

Where can I get a fishing license in Louisiana?

For purchasing a saltwater fishing license or freshwater fishing license in Louisiana, anglers can visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) website, or call toll-free by phone. For commercial fishing license inquires, anglers will need to visit the LDWF office in Baton Rouge during normal business hours.

How can I replace my Louisiana fishing license?

If a recreational fishing license is lost or damaged, anglers can purchase a duplicate license for $2. No duplicates will be allowed for temporary licenses.


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