Alabama Saltwater Fishing License: A Comprehensive Guide

Saltwater fishing along Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast offers anglers access to some of the finest inshore and offshore fisheries in the country. To legally fish these waters, most anglers are required to have an appropriate Alabama saltwater fishing license. This guide will provide everything you need to know about getting properly licensed for saltwater fishing in Alabama.

Who Needs an Alabama Saltwater Fishing License?

In Alabama, a saltwater fishing license is required for:

  • All residents ages 16–64 fishing by rod and reel or artificial bait in public saltwaters
  • All non-residents ages 16 and older fishing by any method in public saltwaters

Exemptions

Some exemptions apply for:

  • Alabama residents over 65 or those who are totally disabled
  • Alabama residents under age 16 (annual license still required for some endorsements, like Reef Fish)
  • Fishing from a licensed pier

Alabama residents who qualify for license exemptions should still carry applicable fishing permits when on the water.

Types of Alabama Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Alabama offers several license options for residents and visitors tailored to their needs and trip duration:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Resident Saltwater License: $24.35
  • 7-day Trip Resident Saltwater License: $10.15

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Non-Resident Saltwater License: $51.70
  • 7-day Trip Non-Resident Saltwater License: $28.15

Specialty Licenses and Endorsements

In addition to basic recreational saltwater licenses, Alabama also offers:

  • Reef Fish Endorsement: $10 annual fee for Reef fish like Snapper, Triggerfish and Grouper
  • Spearfishing License: Required for spearfishing in saltwater areas

Carefully review Alabama fishing regulations to determine if additional permits or endorsements are needed for your fishing plans.

How to Purchase an Alabama Saltwater Fishing License

Alabama fishing licenses can be purchased:

When purchasing online or in person, you will need:

  • Valid ID, like a driver’s license
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of residency if purchasing a resident license

Payment can be made via debit/credit card or cash when buying in person.

Alabama Saltwater Fishing Rules and Regulations

When fishing Alabama’s plentiful saltwater fisheries, be sure to know and follow all recreational fishing regulations:

  • Size limits: Minimum keeper sizes for popular species like Speckled Trout, Redfish and Flounder
  • Bag limits: Daily limits on number of fish by species that can be kept
  • Seasons: Open and closed seasons for some fish, like Greater Amberjack
  • Methods: Acceptable harvesting methods for species: cast net, spearfishing, etc.

Failure to comply with regulations can result in warnings, fines, boat seizures, and license revocation. Before fishing in unfamiliar waters, review species restrictions carefully.

License Duration and Renewal

  • Alabama fishing licenses expire on August 31 each year
  • Licenses for the next license year become available for purchase on September 1, annually
  • Replacement licenses can be obtained for $5 plus the cost of the original license if it is lost or destroyed

For the smoothest fishing experience, purchase your saltwater fishing license online or from an authorized agent before heading out on the water. Carry your license at all times when fishing, as Conservation Enforcement Officers routinely check for proof of proper licensing in Alabama’s waters.

Conclusion

An appropriate Alabama fishing license is mandatory for most anglers fishing in the state’s public saltwater fisheries. Be sure to carry your license and understand all rules and regulations for smooth sailing while fishing Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

For additional questions on Alabama saltwater fishing licenses, endorsements, size/bag limits, and more, contact the Marine Resources Division directly.

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