How to Get a One Day Fishing License in Texas?

Texas is renowned for its incredible fishing opportunities, from the Gulf Coast to the many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across the state. Whether you’re a Texas resident or just visiting, a fishing license is required to legally fish in the state’s public waters. For those looking to enjoy a day or two of fishing without committing to an annual license, Texas offers convenient one-day fishing licenses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about obtaining a one-day fishing license in Texas and making the most of your fishing adventure.

Types of One-Day Fishing Licenses in Texas

Texas offers several types of one-day fishing licenses to cater to different angler needs:

Resident One-Day All-Water Fishing License

If you’re a Texas resident looking to fish in both freshwater and saltwater for a day, the resident one-day all-water fishing license is your best bet. This license allows you to fish in all public waters in Texas, including coastal waters, for a single day. As of 2023, the resident one-day all-water fishing license costs $11.

Non-Resident One-Day All-Water Fishing License

Visiting Texas and want to experience the state’s fantastic fishing for a day? The non-resident one-day all-water fishing license has you covered. This license grants non-residents access to all public waters in Texas for a 24-hour period. The cost for a non-resident one-day all-water fishing license is $16 as of 2023.

Lake Texoma Fishing License

If you plan on fishing exclusively on Lake Texoma, which straddles the Texas-Oklahoma border, you can purchase a Lake Texoma fishing license. This $12 license allows you to fish in both the Texas and Oklahoma portions of the lake without needing to purchase separate state licenses. The Lake Texoma fishing license is valid until December 31 of the year it was purchased.

Cost of One-Day Fishing Licenses

As mentioned above, the current fees for one-day fishing licenses in Texas are:

  • Resident one-day all-water fishing license: $11
  • Non-resident one-day all-water fishing license: $16
  • Lake Texoma fishing license: $12

It’s important to note that these one-day licenses are significantly more affordable than annual fishing licenses. For example, a resident annual all-water fishing package costs $40, while a non-resident annual all-water package is $68. One-day licenses offer a cost-effective option for those who only plan to fish occasionally or are visiting Texas for a short period.

Texas also offers discounted fishing licenses for seniors. Residents aged 65 and older can purchase a senior resident all-water fishing package for just $22. However, there are no senior discounts available for one-day licenses.

Where to Purchase a One-Day Fishing License

Texas makes it easy to obtain a one-day fishing license, with several convenient purchase options:

Online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Website

The quickest and easiest way to get your one-day fishing license is by purchasing it online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) website. Simply visit the TPWD online license sales page, create an account or log in, and follow the prompts to purchase your desired license. You can print out your license immediately or save a digital copy on your smartphone.

Authorized License Retailers

One-day fishing licenses are also available at over 1,800 authorized license retailers throughout Texas. These retailers include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, convenience stores, and many other locations. Use the TPWD’s license retailer locator to find a store near you.

By Phone through the TPWD Call Center

If you prefer to purchase your license by phone, you can call the TPWD call center at (800) 895-4248. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time, to assist you with your license purchase. Note that a $5 administrative fee applies to phone orders.

Information Needed to Obtain a License

When purchasing a one-day fishing license, you’ll need to provide some basic personal information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number or state-issued ID number
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for non-residents

Texas residents may need to provide proof of residency, such as a valid Texas driver’s license, voter registration card, or utility bill, when purchasing a license in person. Non-residents will need to present a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID from their home state.

Exemptions and Special Situations

While most anglers need a fishing license to fish in Texas public waters, there are a few exemptions and special situations to be aware of:

Free Fishing Day

Texas offers one free fishing day each year, typically the first Saturday in June. On this day, anyone can fish recreationally in Texas public waters without a fishing license or endorsement. This is a great opportunity to introduce friends or family to fishing or to enjoy a day on the water without the need for a license.

Fishing on Private Property

If you’re fishing on private property with the owner’s consent, you do not need a fishing license. This applies to privately owned ponds, lakes, and stretches of rivers or streams entirely within private property boundaries.

Anglers Under 17 Years Old

Anglers under the age of 17 are not required to have a fishing license in Texas. This exemption applies to both Texas residents and non-residents, making it easy for families with children to enjoy fishing together without the need for additional licenses.

Texas Residents Born Before January 1, 1931

Texas residents born before January 1, 1931, are exempt from fishing license requirements. If you meet this criteria, you can fish in Texas public waters without a license, but you must carry proof of your birthdate, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID.

Fishing Regulations to Be Aware Of

When fishing in Texas with your one-day license, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations to ensure you’re fishing legally and responsibly. Some key regulations to keep in mind include:

Daily Bag Limits and Size Restrictions

Texas enforces daily bag limits and size restrictions for many fish species to help maintain healthy populations. For example, the daily bag limit for largemouth bass is 5 fish, with a minimum length limit of 14 inches. Be sure to check the TPWD’s Outdoor Annual or mobile app for the most up-to-date regulations on the species you plan to target.

Special Regulations for Certain Water Bodies

Some lakes, rivers, and coastal areas in Texas have special regulations that differ from statewide rules. These may include different bag limits, size restrictions, or gear requirements. Always check for any special regulations in effect for the specific water body you plan to fish.

Appropriate Fishing Methods and Gear

Texas law specifies approved fishing methods and gear for different species and water bodies. For example, game fish like bass and catfish may only be caught by pole-and-line, while some non-game species can be taken with other methods like bowfishing or noodling. Make sure you’re using legal fishing methods and gear to avoid potential fines or legal trouble.

Benefits of Supporting Texas Fisheries

When you purchase a one-day fishing license in Texas, you’re not only gaining access to incredible fishing opportunities but also supporting the state’s fisheries and aquatic resources. Here’s how your license fees contribute to the greater good:

Funding Conservation Efforts

100% of fishing license fees go directly to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to fund on-the-ground conservation efforts. This includes fish stocking, habitat restoration, water quality management, and research to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of Texas fisheries.

Habitat Protection and Fish Stocking Programs

Your license fees help support the TPWD’s habitat protection and enhancement initiatives, such as restoring wetlands, planting native vegetation, and creating artificial reefs. These efforts provide critical habitat for fish and other aquatic life. Additionally, the TPWD operates fish hatcheries that raise and stock millions of fish each year to supplement wild populations and provide quality fishing opportunities.

Economic Impact of Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing is a significant contributor to the Texas economy, generating billions of dollars in economic activity and supporting thousands of jobs. By purchasing a fishing license, you’re helping to sustain this important industry and the local communities that depend on it. Your license fees also help fund the TPWD’s efforts to promote fishing and outdoor recreation, introducing new generations to the joys of angling.


A one-day fishing license offers a convenient and affordable way to enjoy Texas’ world-class fishing, whether you’re a resident looking for a quick fishing getaway or a visitor hoping to experience the state’s abundant aquatic resources. By understanding the types of one-day licenses available, where to purchase them, and the regulations you need to follow, you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable day on the water.

Remember, your fishing license fees directly support the conservation and management of Texas fisheries, ensuring that these valuable resources will be available for generations to come. So grab your gear, purchase your one-day license, and get ready to cast a line in the Lone Star State’s incredible waters.

What is the cost of a one-day fishing license in Texas?

A one-day all-water fishing license costs $11 for Texas residents and $16 for non-residents. This license allows you to fish in both freshwater and saltwater for the day specified on the license.

Can I purchase a one-day fishing license ahead of time?

Yes, you can purchase a one-day fishing license ahead of time. The license will be valid only for the specific date you select when making the purchase. You can buy as many one-day licenses as you need for the dates you plan to fish.

Do I need any additional endorsements with a one-day fishing license?

No, when you purchase a one-day all-water fishing license, it includes the freshwater and saltwater endorsements needed to fish in any public waters in Texas for that day. No additional stamp endorsements are required.

How can I purchase a one-day fishing license in Texas?

You have several options to buy a one-day fishing license:
Online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website (
By phone at (800) 895-4248
In person at TPWD offices and at over 1,800 license retailers across the state, such as sporting goods stores, tackle shops, and some grocery stores

Do I get a free Red Drum Tag with a one-day fishing license?

Yes, one free Bonus Red Drum Tag is available with the purchase of your first one-day all-water fishing license. This tag allows you to keep one oversized red drum (longer than 28 inches) for the year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top