What do you need to go fishing? You may have gone to find all your fishing equipment such as reels, rods, lures, hooks, and sinkers. But like most beginner fishermen, you have missed an essential item and without it, your fishing experience won’t go as pleasant as you thought before.
We are talking about a fishing license which is key to practicing legal fishing. Many anglers tend to forget licenses before going fishing. Because they are not aware of the fact that if you fish without a license then it is unlawful.
But what happens if you are caught without a fishing license? The consequences of the latter rely on various factors. If you are lucky then you might face any charges however, a warning will be enough to remind you about the importance of a fishing license.
In many cases, you have to pay a penalty fee as per your negligence towards the law. Although, the charges of penalty fees differ from state to state and their law policy. Thereby, we will advise you to look after your local legislation before your fishing day.
Nevertheless, certain places offer you a free hand to do fishing without carrying a permit. Even though, some states organized free fishing days for their citizen where you can fish without having a license. But you will find these rules rarely at your place.
That’s why in this article, we will discuss what will to you if you are ever caught without a fishing license. We will also tell you how to save yourself from fishing penalty charges.
What are the penalties for fishing without a license?
The penalties for practicing illegal fishing without a license vary from one state to another. However, the overall penalty charges and their process remains the same.
In other words, if you fish without a permit in fresh or salt water then you’re violating the government laws of the wildlife and fish conservation act 1997. Furthermore, you can be fined or even jailed by a lawful organization if you break this law more than once.
These rules are in action since 2006 and their strict implementation is carried away by the constitution. Therefore, these rules must be practiced by every fisherman of this land.
For instance, angling without a permit in Florida will cost you a level one violation. This violation relies on section 379.356 which states it’s a noncriminal offense. Moreover, by breaking this law, you will have to pay a fine of $50 alongside the license fee. If you have seen again breaking the same law in 36 months then you have to pay charges of $100.
Additionally, once you are caught angling without a permit, you will then receive a ticket by your prosecutor on behalf of your unlawful act. You are obliged to accept this ticket and pen down your signature on it. Furthermore, you have to pay the charges within 30 days after the issue of your ticket. By doing so, you will accept your guilt and will be permissible to attend the court hearing.
Although, your acceptance won’t save you from further legal process. It will aid the court to make appropriate charges for future violations. The final judgment will pass by the state county which will decide your fault and determines the penalty relevant to you.
The penalty for your first violation mostly exceeds $50. Yet the fine above $50 and below $500 will be charged for any subsequent breach of law.
But in case, if you have the fishing license that you were not carrying at the time of conviction then you have to show your permit to the court. The latter aids you submit only $10 in charge of court fees.
However, due to any emergency or negligence, if you aren’t able to attend the court hearing nor paid the fine or accepted the ticket then be ready for a bigger loss. As the latter will be considered a second-degree violation. This offense will put you behind the bar for 60 days with a fine of $500.
And in any case, the opponent will be seen violating this rule constantly then the prosecutor may capture its property after reviewing the crime. Furthermore, you have to pay the penalty of $25000 alongside losing your possession. Or you will have to spend a year behind the bars based on the final remarks of court. This decision will be made under section 92.1 of the conservation law.
Who Can Fish Without A Permit?
Some groups of people can fish without having a permit. But be aware of the fact that it is not common. Thereby, do confirm your spot in selected groups before practicing illegal fishing. Although, these exceptions differ in certain states.
Foremost, all fishers below the age of 16 or 17, don’t require to buy a permit while casting. The same principle applies to elder anglers who are 65 or more. However, you should have to carry to national ID with you, so the prosecutor can confirm your age.
Additionally, if you belong to the military then you need a permit to do fishing in your state. But you required to have a permit if you’re intended to fish elsewhere. Citizens with disabilities or those who do fishing as therapy are excluded from this rule. Although, you must have solid proof that you are a veteran or you have some sort of disability.
Lastly, people who do angling in their family homestead are exempt to have a fishing license.
Even though, every fisherman has to abide by the fishing rules whether they’re eligible to have a permit or not.
What type of Fishing License I do need?
Firstly, there are many kinds of fishing licenses issued by the officials. Some of them are saltwater, freshwater, recreational, commercial, and combined fishing permit. So, if purchase a freshwater license then you aren’t permitted to fish in the ocean. That’s why if you tend to fish in both salty and freshwater then go for a combined fishing permit.
However, you must know that any form of fishing license won’t save you from the law. You should have a right permit or else you will be required to take a ticket and pay charges. Thus, carry a valid fishing permit before you angle your bait caster.
Also, make sure to review the expiry date of your license. Because keeping an expired fishing license is equivalent to fish without having a license. Numerous states offer you permits with a wide range of expiry dates. So, you have to pick the one that best covers your requirements.
Therefore, we recommend a 24-hour license to people who cherish occasional fishing expeditions. But if you’re an avid fisherman then go for a yearly permit.
How to Purchase a Fishing License?
Fishermen are required to buy an up-to-date fishing license to get rid of heavy penalty charges and court hearings. Although, the fishing permit expires annually on 30th June. So, you have to extend your permit within June.
However, you will find a fishing permit in many convenience and fish stores. Many platforms are also selling fishing licenses online. Before buying a license, gather all the necessary info to pick a suitable license for yourself. Additionally, payments can be transacted through a variety of methods such as credit cards, MasterCard, etc.
Also, you can purchase fishing permits from the offices of fisheries and wildlife.
You have to pay only $17.50 for buying a basic fishing license that will permit you to fish in freshwater. But you can enjoy onshore recreational fishing for free with a saltwater fishing license. It also allows to fish with a cane pole and live bait. If you are a serious fishing enthusiast then you must avail lifetime licenses. The latter will cost you $200 to $500. Although, the exact cost of your permit depends upon your age and license type.
The Bottom Line
We have answered all your queries. So, you must know that fishing wishing without a permit is a lawful activity that will put you behind the bars. Moreover, you will have to pay the cost of a fishing license alongside $50. The amount will increase if you will break this law multiple times.
However, selected groups are exempt to carry a fishing license. So, they will not face punishment for breaking the fish license law. Thereby, veterans, as well as people with disability, can fish without a permit. The criteria will remain the same for people aged under 16 or over 65. Lastly, people angling at their homestead or on free fishing days are exceptions to the law.
Yet anglers are required to obey fishing rules such as minimum fishing size, seasons bands, and daily bad limits. Thereby, you should thoroughly read all the local rules before attempting to fish. In the end, double-check whether you required a permit or not, to experience a hassle-free fishing trip.