Can You Fish Without A License?

fishing sunsetAre Licenses Required?

Fishing is a wonderful sport and one that can be enjoyed for years and years IF you follow the regulations. Fishing, like many other things, has rules and regulations. Every state has different rules and every fishing location may have differing regulations. So you may ask, “can you fish without a license?”

The short answer is no, you cannot. According to Idaho Fish and Game, anyone over the age of 14 requires a fishing license. Persons under the age of 14 do not need a license but will need to follow local regulations. Every state will be different, so be sure to check with them.

When you first begin to drive, you are required to complete certain tests and complete certain courses before you can obtain a license. Thankfully, fishing does not require that you take tests and courses, but you do need to have a valid license to throw the line into the water.

Many may wonder why licenses are necessary or what the consequences would be if you were caught without one. Well, today I want to share with you why these licenses are required and what happens when you are caught. Along with that, I want to show you how to fish without a license if you prefer not to buy one.

Why Do You Need A Fishing License?

When it comes to driving a car, or flying a plane, or hunting big game, a license is required. Why is this the case? Well, in all of these activities there is a large margin or risk involved for you and those around you. The licenses help keep you and others safe while participating in said activities. I know there are other reasons for these license requirements, but safety is one that is shared by all these.
can you fish without a license

Fishing is a bit less risky than firing a shotgun or driving a minivan through downtown Seattle, but there are good reasons to have a license. One reason why fishing licenses are so important is that the money used to sell licenses will be used to stock fish in more bodies of water.

Fishing obviously hurts the fish population if no action is taken to protect them. When you purchase a license, you are essentially funding Fish and Game’s effort to maintain a healthy fish population. Nobody enjoys going fishing for hours and not catching anything. When the populations are kept at healthy levels, you can catch fish easier and the river or lake’s ecosystem is in turn kept at a healthy level.

What Are The Consequences?

Anytime you break the law and get caught there are consequences. If you drive without a license and are pulled over it can make it hard for you to get a license in the future, you can be fined thousands of dollars, and you could even serve time.

Luckily for us, fishing licenses are inexpensive and easy to get. There are no tests, courses, or wait times to get a license. In many states, you can go online and purchase a license within 5 minutes for less than $40! Granted, if you’re not a resident prices are usually more, but if you’re first getting into fishing I would just get used to fishing in your home state. can you fish without a license

If licenses are so cheap then fines should be cheap as well right? Wrong, fines for getting caught without a license are quite steep in many states. In Idaho for example, you could go to court and have to pay a $100 fine plus court fees. You could even have to serve time in jail, up to 6 months! If that isn’t enough, you could have your right to hold a fishing license revoked for 3 years!

Every state will be different, but you could lose your boat, trailer, and truck if you break the right regulations! To me, it’s worth paying $40 each year to fish legally.

How Can You Fish Without A License?

Alright, listen closely because I’m going to tell you how to fish without a license and get away with it every time. This may, however, not be what you think it is. can you fish without a license

Every state, that I know of, has age regulations for kids and teenagers. This age cutoff is usually anywhere from 14-16. What this means is that if you are under this age, you don’t need to purchase a license. This is great for kids that want to learn how to fish, but might not want to spend the money on a license just in case they don’t like it.

Now this solution works great if you’re 12 but what if you’re 25 and want to give fishing a shot without paying for a license? Luckily, most states have “open” days when you can fish without a license, legally. Now, this day isn’t a “purge” for fishing. All other fishing regulations are still enforced, i.e. limits and times, but it is a great opportunity for those that want to dip their toes in the water without committing to a full year.

It’s Decided, You Can’t Fish Without A License!

I know that sometimes it might seem like the license is too expensive or unnecessary, but I believe it is worth it. If you can enjoy the sport of fishing for a year for $40, that seems like a small price to pay. Most of us spend more than double this every time we go to the store or fill our gas tanks. The alternative is much more expensive.

If you are on the fence about fishing, I would strongly recommend you get a license before you put your hook in the water. You can even purchase a license for 1 day if you so wish.

If the license is more than you want to spend to try out the sport, wait for the free day! Look on your local fish and game website for dates and regulations.

All in all, it’s important that we support local fish and game so that they can keep our lakes, rivers, and streams stocked and healthy. As we do this we will be making it possible to come back year after year. When our kids want to learn how to fish, we will know that there is plenty of fish. This is because of the actions we took.

So DON’T fish without a license! SUPPORT your local waters by giving back through licensing fees. You will have more fun fishing knowing that you don’t have to be on the lookout for the law. On top of that, you will feel like a part of the community.

Now that you do have a license, you should learn some fly fishing techniques here!

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.