Georgia Fishing License: The Complete Guide (2023)

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Home to over a million Trout, famed for its Bass, and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia’s fishing scene is incredibly diverse. However you want to experience angling in the Peach State, one thing’s for sure: you’ll first need to get a Georgia fishing license.

How much does a Georgia fishing license cost? What types of licenses are there? And how do you buy one in the first place? In this guide, we’ll answer all these questions and more. Read on!

Georgia Fishing License: The Complete Guide (1)

Looking for info on neighboring states, or around the US in general? Check out our full list of licensing guides here.

(Video) Getting a Georgia Fishing License: Rules Explained | FishingBooker

Who needs a license to fish in Georgia?

Pretty much everyone over the age of 16 needs a license to go fishing in Georgia. While some groups are eligible for a free license, all anglers must carry a valid license from Georgia’s DNR.

In addition, if you want to go after Trout, or if you want to explore the state’s Atlantic shores, you’ll also need a special permit.

What type of fishing license can I get?

You can purchase a license for as short a period as one day or for as long as the rest of your life. Georgia fishing licenses come in many packages, so you’re sure to find something that tailors to your needs.

Residents and non-residents should apply for different licenses, as prices differ for both groups. You’re considered a resident of Georgia if you’ve had a registered address in the state for the past 3 months.

You can prove your residency through any state-issued ID card, or legal document confirming your status. Military personnel on leave and full-time students in Georgia are also considered to be residents.

One great thing about Georgia fishing licenses is that you can combine them with a hunting license. The option known as the “Sportsman” license covers all your fishing and hunting needs, including your Trout permit.

If you’re planning on fishing for life in Georgia, then a lifetime option is probably your best bet.

How much is a Georgia fishing license?

The cost of a Georgia fishing license depends on several factors. Residents of Georgia will receive discounts compared to out-of-state anglers, and there are also discounts depending on age.


License TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Sportsman Annual$65$400
Sportsman 1-Day$25$170
Sportsman Additional Day$3$20
Senior Sportsman Lifetime$70N/A
Senior Sportsman Annual$7$N/A
Hunting & Fishing Annual$30$150
Hunting & Fishing 1-Day$5$30
Hunting & Fishing Additional Day$1$10
Fishing Annual$15$50
Fishing 1-Day$5$10
Fishing Additional Day$1$3.50
Senior Fishing Lifetime$35N/A
Senior Fishing Annual$4N/A

The additional day licenses allow you to extend your fishing license if you’d like to staylonger! You can extend day-after-day up to 10 days, which explains why there are no multi-day packages.

(Video) 2021 Georgia fishing regulations available

Grab a fishing license for $15 for the year, $5 for the day, and just $1 for any additional day, or grab the Sportsman’s license. The Sportsman license will set you back just $5 for the year or $15 for a 3-year, full-privilege license.

Below you’ll find the price of the permits, to help you best decide which combo suits you best.


Permit TypeResident CostNonresident Cost
Annual Trout$10$25
1-Day Trout$5$10
Additional Day Trout$1$2
Saltwater Annual PermitFreeFree

Everyone can get a free saltwater fishing permit. If you’re just looking to fish in Georgia’s Atlantic waters, a fishing license with the additional saltwater permit should be enough.

If you’re only going to be fishing for a short time, it may be worth considering a 1-day or an annual license. With these, you can add the appropriate stamp without paying too much. You can even benefit from the annual license and permit if you expect to fish multiple times throughout the year.

However, if you love the outdoors and like to go hunting, then it’s clear what’s the best option for you. Combing your hunting and fishing licenses will allow you to get more bang for your buck, while the Sportsman will cover your Trout stamp, too.

If you want to hunt or fish in Georgia for years to come, get the Sportsman package for life. The cost of these licenses varies depending on your age. Here’s the price breakdown per age group.

Lifetime Licenses

AgeLicense Cost
Under 2$500

If you were born before June 30, 1952, you’ll also be eligible for a free Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s license.

For non-residents, Lifetime Sportsman’s Licenses are available only until the age of two. There’s one exception: non-resident anglers under the age of 16 that can get a lifetime license if they’re a grandchild of a current resident Lifetime License holder (does not include free Senior Lifetime License holders).

Where can I buy a Georgia fishing license?

Georgia Fishing License: The Complete Guide (2)
(Video) Georgia Fishing License Information

The state of Georgia has plenty of options for you to pick up your fishing license. The process is the same for the permits, and both residents and non-residents can apply in exactly the same way. Just make sure to select the correct option for a smooth process. You can get a license:

  • Online. This service works 24/7 and you won’t even have to speak to anyone.
  • In-person. You can pick up your license at any WRD or CRD office, state parks, all major retailers like Walmart, and any hardware or bait and tackle store.
  • By phone at 800-366-2661.

In order to apply for your license, you’ll need to provide your social security number. Make sure to have it to hand, and you’ll have no trouble getting out on the water right away.

Common questions about GA fishing licenses

  1. When does my license expire?

    When it comes to the length of your fishing license, it’s pretty straightforward. Your fishing license is valid from the day of purchase until the day specified by the license type you bought. A 1-day license is valid until midnight that day and an annual fishing license lasts 365 days from purchase. Of course, if you have a lifetime license, you’ll be good for the rest of your life.

    This system works the same for the Trout permit, too, but the saltwater permit is slightly different. The saltwater season runs from March until February. So if you purchase a permit to fish in the seas, you’ll need to renew it before the last day of February the following year.

  2. Are there any discounts for the disabled?

    Georgia offers discounted fishing licenses to people with disabilities, but only for those who are registered as 100% disabled or 100% blind. These licenses cost $6 annually or $12 for a three-year license (including administrative fees).

    You cannot purchase these online, as you need to fill out an application and mail it to the Department for Natural Resources.

    (Video) How To Get Your Captain's License To Become A Fishing Guide

    Unlike for residents of Georgia, there are no discounts for senior or for disabled visitors from out-of-state.

    Every visitor will have to make do with the significant difference in price.

  3. What happens if I lose my fishing license?

    There’s no need to worry if you lose your license. You can have a new one within seconds. Just log on to the Go Outdoors Georgia website, enter some basic details, and you can print a new copy right away.

  4. Can I use my Georgia license in inter-state waters?

    Georgia has a reciprocal agreement with many of its neighboring states with regard to fishing inter-state waters. This means you won’t have to worry about straying into another state if you have your Georgia state fishing license on you.

    In other words, you'll be able to fish the waters along the borders with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Keep in mind, however, that this doesn't cover all inter-state waters.

    For example, Georgia does have a reciprocal agreement with Florida regarding fishing licenses, but that only covers freshwater fishing near the border – St. Mary’s River and Lake Seminole, to be precise.

    If you're planning on fishing with a fishing license from another state, it's best that you check which exact waters you can fish with your local DNR. You should also familiarize yourself with the local size and bag limits before you drop your lines.

So now you’re ready to grab your fishing license, maybe book a local charter, and explore Georgia’s wealth of fishing opportunities. Get your fish on and let us know about your experience in the comments below.

(Video) How to get y our Georgia Senior Hunting & Fishing permit for $0.00


Does a 65 year old need a fishing license in Georgia? ›

Georgia residents 65 and older born before July 1, 1952 can obtain a free Senior Lifetime Sportsman's hunting and fishing license. There are no transaction fees for this free license. This license does not have to be renewed, and is valid for your lifetime.

How much does a Georgia fishing license cost? ›

Annual fishing or hunting licenses good for 365 days from its purchase date cost $15 each for state residents. Discounted short-term licenses from one to 10 days are also available for residents and non-residents. A basic one day fishing license for non-residents is only $10.

Do out of state seniors need a fishing license in Georgia? ›

Fishing License: $50 annual | $10 for one-day & $3.50 for additional days. Nonresidents 16 years of age and older must have a fishing license to fish in fresh and salt waters of Georgia. This license covers basic fishing privileges.

How many rods can you fish with in Georgia? ›

There is no restriction on the number of poles and lines used to fish for game fish except: Fishing for trout in designated trout waters: 1 pole. Fishing on Public Fishing Areas: 2 poles. Sport shad fishing: 2 poles.

How much is a senior fishing license in Georgia? ›

Recreational Fishing License Fees
Senior Lifetime Sportsman's License65+$70.00
Senior Lifetime Hunting License65+$35.00
Senior Lifetime Fishing License65+$35.00
Free Senior Lifetime Sportsman's License (born on or before June 30, 1952)see License RequirementsFREE
10 more rows

How old do you have to be to get a lifetime fishing license in Georgia? ›

Georgia residents 65 and older can get a Senior Lifetime Sportsman's license online, by telephone 1-800-366-2661, or from license agent locations. If you were born before July 1, 1952, you are eligible to get a lifetime license at no cost.

How many trout can you keep a day in Georgia? ›

Trout anglers age 16 and up must have in their possession a fishing license and trout license. Anglers may only fish with one rod during daylight hours and each angler must have their own stringer. On seasonal trout streams, the creel limit (how many you may keep) for trout is 8 fish, and there is no size limit.

Can I fish in Alabama with a Georgia fishing license? ›

Reciprocal Agreements for Bordering States

Georgia DNR has Agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina allowing holders of Georgia fishing licenses to fish in the waters covered without obtaining a fishing license from the bordering state.

What happens if you get caught fishing without a license in GA? ›

Fishing without a license in GA will cost you $170.00 fine, it almost seems worth the risk!

Can you fish on private property without a license in Georgia? ›

The owner of a private pond, the owner's immediate family, or tenants with the owner's consent shall be permitted to fish within the bounds of the pond at any time and in any manner without a fishing license.

How old do you have to be to get a senior discount for a fishing license in Ohio? ›

Ohio residents who are at least 66 years old and born on or before December 31, 1937, are issued these licenses and permits free of charge.

Can I have my fishing license on my phone in Georgia? ›

Go Outdoors GA App

Features include: Ability to access a copy of your current license. Store multiple licenses on one phone. Purchase fishing or hunting licenses online.

What is the 90 10 fishing rule? ›

90% of ALL FEEDING FISH can be found in just 10% of the water in any given time and place. The best news is that it can all be done in just 10 minutes per trip (once you have the Smart Fishing Spot System – that we'll give you risk-free in the video below).

Is it legal to use bluegill for bait in Georgia? ›

It is legal to use both shad and bluegill (either dead or alive) for bait in Georgia. However anglers can only catch shad with a cast net. If you intend to use bluegill for bait you must catch them on hook and line. This can easily be done with crickets or worms around lake docks.

Do senior citizens have to pay for fishing license? ›

Effective January 1, 2022, reduced-fee sport fishing licenses will be available for low-income California residents, 65 years of age and older, who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Legal Immigrants (CAPI).

Do veterans get free fishing license in Georgia? ›

A One Time Veterans License is available free to Georgia resident military veterans who served on active Federal duty for 90 or more days and were honorably discharged on July 1, 2005, or later. This free license is valid for one year from date of issue, is available to Georgia residents, and may be issued only once.

What size bass can you keep in Georgia? ›

Largemouth Bass

12 inches statewide except: Lake Blackshear: 14 inches.

How much is the ticket for fishing without a license in Georgia? ›

Fish and Game Violations
Hunting Without a License$125
Hunting Without a License – Non-Resident$200
Hunting on Land Without Permission$600
Hunting on Managed Area$200
Possession of Alcohol in a State Park$175
6 more rows

Where is the best place to fish in Georgia? ›

The 10 Best Places To Fish In Georgia
  1. Lake Seminole. Lying along the border of Georgia and Florida, Lake Seminole is home to monster largemouth bass. ...
  2. Golden Isles. ...
  3. Lake Hartwell. ...
  4. Clarks Hill Lake. ...
  5. Chattahoochee River. ...
  6. Lake Oconee. ...
  7. Flint River. ...
  8. Lake Allatoona.
7 Feb 2019

How much does a lifetime hunting and fishing license cost in Georgia? ›

Transaction fees apply: $3 online and at retail outlets; and $5 by telephone
Infant Lifetime Sportsman's LicenseUnder 2$500.00
Youth Lifetime Sportsman's License2-15$600.00
Adult Lifetime Sportsman's License16-49$750.00
Older Adult Lifetime Sportsman's License50-59$375.00
10 more rows

Can you use live bait for trout in Georgia? ›

Trout Fishing Rules

It is unlawful to use live fish for bait in trout streams. Seining bait-fish is not allowed in any trout stream.

Can you trout fish at night in GA? ›

No night fishing. Size and possession limits: Size limits: 22 inches for brown and rainbow trout and 18 inches for brook trout. It is a violation to possess a trout smaller than these limits while fishing on Waters creek.

Where is the best trout fishing in GA? ›

The communities of Blue Ridge and Clarkesville in the North Georgia mountains are two of the best places for fly fishing around, especially for trout because of the cold water. Blue Ridge is considered to be the state's trout fishing capital with dozens of outfitters on the Toccoa River.

Does a 70 year old need a fishing license in Alabama? ›

Any Alabama resident between the age of 16 & 64 must obtain a fishing/hunting license to fish or hunt on public or private land or water ways. Alabama residents age 65 or older are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license as long as they have proper identification to prove their age.

Can you use corn to fish in Georgia? ›

In general, using corn is legal as long as it is done using a hook, while chumming is illegal in the majority of areas.

Can you fish with two rods in Alabama? ›

There is no restriction on the number of rods used by anglers in most Alabama public water bodies with the following exceptions. No more than three rods and reels, or poles, or any combination thereof may be used on Weiss or Neely Henry Reservoir at any time.

Can local police check fishing license? ›

Absolutely. Just because an officer isn't sporting a fish and game officer's (F&G) uniform doesn't mean they cannot ask you to produce a fishing or hunting license.

Can you keep a fish you caught? ›

Refrigerate the Fish

Before refrigerating a fish, wash it in cold water and dry it with a clean cloth or paper towels. Then wrap the clean fish in waxed paper, plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store it on ice or in the refrigerator. You can usually store a fish in the refrigerator for up to two days.

What lake in Georgia has the best fishing? ›

Lake Hartwell is one of the best fishing lakes in Georgia because of its population. It attracts anglers from Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina all year long. It's also a great place to go winter bass fishing as this Georgia location is known for it's spotted bass which prefer cooler water temperatures.

Can you carry a gun while fishing in Georgia? ›

There is no firearms training required to obtain a Georgia WCL. You must be at least 21 years old (18 for members of the military) to get a concealed carry license in Georgia. No license is needed to carry a handgun in a person's home, vehicle, place of business, while fishing or hunting, or unloaded in a case.

Can a game warden come on private property in Georgia? ›

They can go upon [private] property and look outside buildings in the performance of their duties, so they can just walk up onto your property, look around your building, and see if they find anything illegal.

What is considered bait in Georgia? ›

Bait: corn, wheat, other grains, salts, apples, and other feed that has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement to game animals or game birds.

Does a 66 year old need a fishing license in Florida? ›

Florida residents age 65 or older only need a Florida Driver License or Identification Card to prove residency and age. They are not required to purchase the following recreational licenses and permits: Saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing and hunting licenses.

Does a 10-year old need a fishing license in OK? ›

Oklahoma Residents. Under 16 years of age are exempt from the purchase of: Fishing license.

How much is a fishing license in Florida for seniors? ›

Residents age 65 or older may obtain, at no cost, complimentary hunting and fishing certificates from county tax collectors' offices.

What is a SIP fishing permit in GA? ›

Saltwater Information Program Permit

Since Georgia's fishing license covers both freshwater and saltwater fishing, the SIP permit helps identify individuals who saltwater fish in Georgia so they can be included in surveys.

Can you hunt deer on your own property without a license in Georgia? ›

Do I Need a Hunting License to Hunt On My Own Land in Georgia? The short answer is no, you do not! Georgia residents with a Georgia driver's license or official Georgia government ID card can hunt on their own property without a hunting license or big game permit (if hunting deer, turkey or bear).

Can you get a GA fishing license at Walmart? ›

Fishing License Cost at Walmart in Georgia

You can get a saltwater fishing license free of cost for both locals and tourists in Georgia. However, the annual Walmart fishing license costs $10 for residents and $25 for non-residents for freshwater.

What is the best month to crappie fish? ›

Spring spawn is a best time to fish for crappie. Search bottoms made of small gravel or places with lots of wood cover. Males will clear out beds in these areas and stay to protect them during the spawn, making them very aggressive.

Can you put crappie in a 1 acre pond? ›

Stocking crappie is not recommended for any pond less than 20 acres in size. It is very difficult to manage their numbers because they are prolific breeders. “They are tough to manage even in ponds at the low end of that limit because predators and anglers can't keep up with crappie spawns, he said.

What's the best depth to fish for crappie? ›

Raising the bait slowly through the water can help locate fish. In the fall, crappie move back to shallower water, but not usually less than 10 feet deep. During the winter, they often gather in schools suspended 20 to 30 feet deep or deeper over structure, such as a ridge or river chan nel.

What pressure is too high for fishing? ›

High Pressure (30.50 +/Clear Skies) - Fish bite Medium to Slow in deeper water or near cover while fishing slowly. Medium Pressure (29.70 – 30.40/Fair Weather) - Normal Fishing using different gear or baits to meet the needs of the fish. Low Pressure (29.60 and under/Cloudy/Rainy Weather) - Fishing Slows.

Can you fish on 100 floors? ›

The Lava Eel is a fish that can be caught during all times and seasons in the Mines on the 100th floor and at the Volcano Caldera. It is the only fish that can spawn in lava.

What is the fishing formula? ›

For almost a century, mathematical formula has been used to attempt to estimate the weight of caught fish. The oldest known and still the most widely used by anglers, although it is not the best, is known as the “Standard Formula” (Length X Girth X Girth divided by 800) (L X G X G/800).

Can you chum for fish in Georgia? ›

Chumming in south Georgia can be used while fishing for many different species including sharks, kingfish, tarpon, and bull reds. It can also be used bottom fishing offshore and even for inshore fishing.

Is catfishing illegal in Georgia? ›

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing of flathead, channel, or blue catfish in the fresh waters of this state without a resident or nonresident fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.

Does Florida require a fishing license for people over 65? ›

Florida residents age 65 or older only need a Florida Driver License or Identification Card to prove residency and age. They are not required to purchase the following recreational licenses and permits: Saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing and hunting licenses.

Can you fish without a license in Georgia? ›

Both fishing the public waters of Georgia and hunting require licensing.

What happens if you get caught without a fishing license in Georgia? ›

Generally, if you are caught fishing without a license, you will be given a ticket, that is, a citation is issued to you. You are required to accept this ticket and append your signature. You have to pay the fine within 30 days of the issued ticket date.

Do Florida seniors need fishing license in Georgia? ›

Pretty much everyone over the age of 16 needs a license to go fishing in Georgia. While some groups are eligible for a free license, all anglers must carry a valid license from Georgia's DNR.

Can I fish in Georgia with a Florida fishing license? ›

Licenses. Any person who has a valid fishing license and properly issued permits or licenses, or both, required by Georgia or Florida in their possession may sport fish for freshwater fish in the waters covered.

Does a 68 year old need a fishing license in Florida? ›

Florida residents age 65 or older do not need a recreational hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license or a *Florida waterfowl, migratory bird, deer, turkey, snook, spiny lobster, archery season, crossbow season, muzzleloading season permit or management area permit by possessing proof of age and ...

Do senior citizens need a fishing license in Alabama? ›

All Alabama residents age 65 or older are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license as long as they have proper identification to prove their age. If born on or after August 1, 1977, you must have a Hunter Education Identification number.

How many fish can you keep in Georgia? ›

Game Species Daily Limits
SpeciesDaily Limit
CrappieBlack and/or White30
PickerelChain, Grass and/or Redfin15
ShadAmerican and/or Hickory8
Striped Bass, White Bass and/or Hybrid White-Striped Bass15, only two of which can be 22 inches or longer.
6 more rows

What states honor Georgia fishing license? ›

Reciprocal Agreements for Bordering States

Georgia DNR has Agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina allowing holders of Georgia fishing licenses to fish in the waters covered without obtaining a fishing license from the bordering state.


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