Which Louisiana Fishing License is Right for You?

Louisiana owns bragging rights to some of the best fishing in the United States. Ranking second — just below Alaska —  for seafood landings in millions of pounds, Louisiana is the No. 1 U.S. supplier of shrimp, oysters, crawfish and alligators. Our record with finfish is not too shabby either.

It’s not just about the economy, either. Fishing in Louisiana also boosts efforts to maintain our beautiful coastline and keep our waterways clean. Best of all, fishing off the Gulf Coast is fun! If you love seafood and water recreation, you’re in the right place.

Charter-for-hire fishing is a great way to enjoy the bounty and have a blast. All you need is a Louisiana fishing license, but it’s important to get one that makes sense for your plans. There are different types of licenses depending on where you live, where you fish, when you fish and what you’re fishing for. If you get the wrong license, you’ll waste money or miss out on fishing altogether. You might even be fined for breaking the rules.

We’ve outlined your options for Louisiana fishing licenses below. 

Option 1: Three-day Charter Fishing Pass

If you live out of state or fish only occasionally, the three-day pass delivers the most bang for your buck. There are several advantages to the three-day pass option. Along with its convenience, this option is very affordable. The three-day window is of your own choosing, and you can start fishing with a charter captain right away. You can even fish an unlimited number of times during the three days the pass is valid.

About the only thing you can’t do with this license is sail away on a private recreational trip. You must fish with a charter captain.

These prices apply to Louisiana residents and out-of-state visitors alike:

  • Saltwater fishing: $20

  • Freshwater fishing: $10

However, notice the important distinction depending on where you fish. For fishing below the saltwater line, you’ll have to spring for the $20 pass. Fishing in a region away from the coast costs just $10.

The Louisiana Charter Boat Association highly recommends the three-day pass for people who don’t live here or who don’t plan to fish year-round. It’s convenient and less expensive than the other options. Also, a portion of your purchase will go toward promoting and protecting Louisiana’s fishing industry. Think jobs, income, tax revenue and fishing innovations that protect Louisiana waters.

You can Get your three-day pass on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website.

Option 2: Annual Fishing License

For fishing year-round in Louisiana, this option is best. The license is good for 365 days, starting on the date of purchase. Pricing depends on residency and the type of fishing you do.

These are Louisiana resident prices:

  • Basic license: $17

  • Saltwater license: $15

These are nonresident prices:

  • Basic license: $68

  • Saltwater license: $60

Again, note that you need an upgrade for saltwater fishing — a basic Louisiana fishing license plus the add-on for saltwater. Residents pay $32 total; nonresidents pay $128 total.

The annual Louisiana fishing license is a great option if you live here and fish a lot. If you live in another state, the three-day pass is still your best bet for a long weekend getaway, a bachelor party, a birthday party, or other occasional fishing plans.

You can buy your pass or annual license here.

Option 3: Lifetime License

If past catches have been stuffed, mounted and hung in your den, you’re probably a diehard sportsman. You need a special license that gives you both fishing and hunting privileges for life. Not surprisingly, it’s more expensive:

  • Louisiana residents: $500
  • Senior residents: $100
  • Nonresidents: $4,000

Louisiana offers lots of specialized permits. There are also various exceptions for students, active military personnel, veterans and disabled and physically challenged people.

If fishing and hunting are a big part of your lifestyle, see all the details and requirements for a lifetime license here.

Let Us Help

You have choices, so don’t buy the first Louisiana fishing license you see. If you’re from out of state, the three-day pass is your best bet. That’s also true for Louisiana residents who fish only now and then.

Remember that the three-day pass is only good for charter fishing with a licensed charter captain. At LCBA, we take pride in our skilled professional guides. Our 100-plus captains ensure a safe, fun, memorable trip for your family or group of friends. Give us a shout now to book your next charter fishing adventure or discuss your options.

[Find a Captain]       [Get Your 3-Day Charter Pass]       [Contact Us]


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