Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Arizona Fishing License

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

If you’re looking to fish in Arizona, be sure to get your Arizona fishing license first. 

Arizona is home to a variety of fish in its lakes and waterways, such as smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, crappie, and bluegill. 

Cottonwood Cove, for example, is famed for its large and diverse population of largemouth bass, sparking the attention of anglers from all over the United States.

These licenses are valid for 365 days after the date of purchase and will give access to all types of Arizona fish, including Apache Trout, Rainbow Trout, Flathead Catfish, and Largemouth Bass.

Here’s all the information you need to know when it comes to obtaining your license before you hit the water.

Going fishing in Arizona? Then give a read to our Best Bass Fishing Lakes in Arizona review.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Arizona

 Fishing License RequirementsResident AgeNon-Resident AgeBlind Residents
10+ Years10+ YearsNot Required

To fish in any publicly accessible water in Arizona, a valid Arizona fishing license is necessary for anglers aged ten and above, who are either Arizona residents or non-residents. 

However, those under ten years of age and blind residents, are exempted from purchasing the license. 

Complimentary License 

military veteran salutes the US flag

The state of Arizona does offer two different special licenses that are free to residents who meet the following requirements:

·  Pioneer License – One must be 70 years or older and must have been a bona fide Arizona resident for 25 consecutive years before application.

·  Disabled Veteran – One must provide certification from the Veteran’s Administration confirming permanent service-connected disabilities rated as 100 percent disabling, plus one or more consecutive years of being a bona fide Arizona resident immediately preceding license application.

What age do you need a fishing license in Arizona

AZ Fishing License AgeResident Under 10 YearsNon-Resident Over 10 Years
AZ Fishing licenseNot RequiredRequired


Residents ten years or older need a fishing license in Arizona.

However, residents 70 years or older who have been a resident of Arizona for at least 25 consecutive years are able to apply for the complimentary Pioneer Fishing License.

Arizona Residency Requirements

To be considered an Arizona resident for fishing license and permit purposes, you need to meet certain guidelines. 

Generally speaking, you must claim the state of Arizona as your true, fixed, and permanent home and principal residence for a period of six months prior to applying for a license or permit and have a valid driver’s license or identification to prove residency. 

If you’re a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty and stationed in Arizona (either permanently or temporarily), or if you list Arizona as your home of record while on active duty in another state or country, then you are also considered an Arizona resident. 


Non-residents over the age of 10 need a valid Arizona fishing license. 

If purchasing the license before entering the state, non-residents can mail in an order form to get their license. 

How to Buy an Arizona Fishing License

Hunting and fishing licenses are available for purchase online, at all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices, tackle shops, and at all Arizona game and fish license dealers statewide.

Complimentary fishing licenses, like the Pioneer or the disabled Veterans licenses, can only be purchased at  Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.


To purchase an Arizona fishing license online, go to the Arizona Department of Fish and Game website, fill out the questionnaire, and purchase your ticket.

Local Retailer

If purchasing your ticket online is not an option, you are also able to walk into a State of Arizona Department of Fish and Game office or a licensed vendor (like a sporting goods store) and pick up your fishing license in person.

Some of the popular vendors to pick up your Arizona fishing license in person include both Walmart and K-mart.

How to Purchase a Lifetime License

To purchase a lifetime license for Arizona fishing, you need to fill out the attached form in your name or as a gift recipient.

Sign the affidavit, and mail the application along with a check, cashier’s check, or money order in the amount for the desired license. 

Keep in mind that this license cannot be transferred to another individual once purchased, and there are no refunds or credits for upgrading it.

How Much is a Fishing License in Arizona

LicenseResident FeeNon-Resident Fee
General Fishing License$37/year$55/year
Boy Scout and Girl Scout High Achievement License$5/yearN/A
Short-Term Combo Hunt & Fish$15/day$20/day
Lifetime Fishing License FeeAge 0 – 13Age 14 – 29Age 30 – 44Age 45 – 61Age 62+
Resident Lifetime General Fishing License $629$666$592$555$296
Resident LifetimeGeneral Hunting License$629$666$592$555$296
Resident LifetimeCombo General Hunt/Fish/Trout$969$1,029$912$855$456

As far as the Arizona fishing license cost goes, there are only a few price options for residents and non-residents.

The short-term hunt and fish combo license is the only short-term license available for fishing and is only marginally cheaper than the annual license.

If you’re only planning on fishing in Arizona for a few days, it might be better to spend the extra money and get an annual license instead of the combo license.

This is because both residents and non-residents need to take a hunting safety course before qualifying for a hunting license in Arizona.

Boy Scout and Girl Scout High Achievement AZ Fishing License

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who have achieved the highest level in their organization, and are up to 20 years old, can get a special Honorary Scout hunting and fishing license with a discounted fee of $5.

To qualify, they need to apply using the Honorary Scout License application and present the required documents at any Department office. 

The Eagle Scouts from the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts who have completed the Gold Award are also eligible for this reduced-fee license.

State of Arizona Daily Bag Limits & Regulations

Arizona has specific bagging limits that need to be adhered to by license holders. These regulations are statewide.

Trout (including rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, tiger, Gila, and Apache trout; grayling)4 – Any combination
Bass (largemouth and smallmouth)6 – Any combination
Striped Bass10
Northern PikeUnlimited- Immediate kill or release
Catfish (channel and flathead)10 – Any combination
White Amur – minimum size 30 inches1
Roundtail ChubCatch and Release
Sunfishes (bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, and hybrid sunfish)Unlimited
 All Other Species (except protected native fish): Including white bass, yellow bass, common carp, suckers, buffalofish, bullhead, yellow perch and tilapia 


Fishing With Two Poles

Arizona has newly allowed for anglers to fish with two poles simultaneously. However, the state has made it very clear that under no circumstances are more than two lines allowed at any time. 

Additionally, unattended lines are prohibited at all times. This means leaving your line in the water while you’re away from the area is not allowed due to safety and resource protection concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a 1-day fishing license in Arizona?

A one-day fishing license in Arizona costs $15 per day. 

A short-term fishing license in Arizona only comes in combination with a hunting license, which requires additional training to qualify for.

Where can I fish without a license in Arizona?

You can fish without a license in Arizona, per the AZGFD Fishing Regulations, on certain days and under certain conditions, including: 

Free Fishing Days, which usually occur on the first Saturday of National Fishing and Boating week, don’t require any tag or license.

What is the cost of an annual fishing license in Arizona?

The annual Arizona Fishing License Cost is $37 for residents and $55 for out-of-state anglers. 

Final Thoughts

Getting your fishing license in Arizona is super straightforward and relatively inexpensive. 

If you’re still apprehensive, remember that the money spent on the license goes towards wildlife conservation and the preservation of the waterways and local fisheries in the state, and it is our responsibility as anglers to take care of these areas. 

Once you’ve purchased your Arizona fishing license, be sure to download our lure cheatsheet so you always know the best lure to throw, no matter where you’re throwing it.