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!
Looking for info on neighboring states, or around the US in general? Check out our full list of licensing guides here.
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 Type||Resident Cost||Non-Resident Cost|
|Sportsman Additional Day||$3||$20|
|Senior Sportsman Lifetime||$70||N/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 Additional Day||$1||$3.50|
|Senior Fishing Lifetime||$35||N/A|
The additional day licenses allow you to extend your fishing license if you’d like to stay longer! You can extend day-after-day up to 10 days, which explains why there are no multi-day packages.
Grab a resident 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 $65 for the year.
Below you’ll find the price of the permits, to help you best decide which combo suits you best.
|Permit Type||Resident Cost||Nonresident Cost|
|Additional Day Trout||$1||$2|
|Saltwater Annual Permit||Free||Free|
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.
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?
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
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.
You cannot purchase these online, as you need to fill out an application and mail it to the Department for Natural Resources.
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.
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.
Growing up next to a river, Rhys was always on the water. From Carp fishing in his native Wales to trying his hand at offshore fishing when traveling abroad, Rhys has vastly expanded his horizons when it comes to casting a line and continues to test new waters whenever he has the opportunity.