The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Louisiana Fishing License

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

Louisiana fishing license laws change depending on a variety of factors, so it’s important to make sure you have the right information before you purchase your license. 

Residents, non-residents, and those wanting to use the water for recreation or commercial purposes all have their own set of guidelines to follow. 

Fortunately, we can provide you with everything you need to know to be able to fish in the state of Louisiana. From the eligibility criteria to fees and regulations, we have all the information you need in one place. 

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

Who Needs a Fishing License in Louisiana 

Who Needs a Fishing License in LA

Ages 18 and over in Louisiana must have a Basic Fishing License to fish recreationally. This license covers all legal gear and methods of catching freshwater species.

In Louisiana, the two main types of fishing licenses are the Basic License, which covers all inland waters, and Saltwater License, covering coastal areas. 

The boundary that separates these two is known as the “saltwater line” and is located along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Keep this in mind when choosing your license so you can make sure you’re covered for all the angling spots

saltwater line fishing in Louisiana

To fish south of the saltwater line, anglers must also possess a Saltwater License (unless they are targeting and possessing only freshwater fish, then just the Basic Fishing License is needed).

The Louisiana saltwater fishing license also allows for all legal gear and methods of catching saltwater species.

Also, If you’re only planning to fish with a pole or hook and line without a reel and no artificial bait, dip nets, landing nets, minnow traps, crab nets, or crab lines, all you need is a Hook and Line License – no other license is required for both resident and non-resident anglers. 

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Louisiana?

Both residents and non-residents need a fishing license if older than 18 in LA, however, senior residents are able to take advantage of fishing with only their ID if born before a certain date.


Anglers aged 17 and under and Louisiana residents born before June 1, 1940, who have lived in the state for six months are not required to have a Basic or Saltwater Fishing license.

To qualify as a resident in Louisiana and acquire a fishing license, you must meet the Bona Fide Residency Requirements. 

This requires that you comply with all of the following:

  • Have been continuously residing in the state for six months
  • Registered to vote (if applicable)
  • Possess a valid Louisiana driver’s license
  • Own a vehicle with a valid Louisiana registration
  • File a Louisiana state income tax return (if applicable) 

Individuals who possess a resident license from any other state or country are not eligible for a resident fishing license in Louisiana.


Just like residents, non-residents 18 and over are able to purchase many of the same fishing licenses but at a higher price.

Reciprocal Texas License

reciprocal fishing license in texas and louisiana

Louisiana and Texas have a reciprocal agreement that allows residents from both states the ability to fish in border waters (except the Gulf of Mexico) with their respective home state’s recreational fishing license. 

This agreement is due to the shared border between Louisiana and Texas along western Louisiana waters.

Disability Licenses

Louisiana residents with disabilities are eligible to get free recreational hunting and fishing licenses. 

Applicants must present a copy of their valid Louisiana driver’s license or identification card, issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles, as well as proper proof of disability when submitting their license application. 

Disabled Louisiana veterans with a permanent service-connected disability classification of 50% or more are also eligible for free hunting and fishing licenses. 

This includes Basic and Saltwater Fishing Licenses, Basic Hunting Licenses for Deer, Waterfowl, Turkey Hunting, and the WMA Access Permit. 

How to Buy a Louisiana Fishing License 

There are two different ways to purchase a LA fishing license. Online or in person from a local license vendor or at the LDFW office.


You can purchase or renew your Louisiana fishing license online from the Louisiana department of wildlife and fisheries website. fill out the necessary information and submit your application. 

Once complete, you will receive an email with a digital copy of your license which you can save on your cell phone.

Local Retailers

If you’d prefer to purchase your Louisiana fishing license locally, designated vendors or the LDWF office in Baton Rouge are both options. For online purchases, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all accepted forms of payment.

How Much is a Fishing License in Louisiana 

Fishing license prices vary depending on the duration of the license and whether or not you are a resident. 

Also, a non-resident native is a Louisiana native who no longer resides in the state, can still purchase a Louisiana Native License.

There are also lifetime licenses available for a one-time fee.

License/Permit Resident, Military, and Student FeeNonresident FeeNonresident Native 10 DayNonresident 5 Day
Hook and Line (cane pole; roadside crabbing)$5$5— 
Basic Fishing$17$68$17 $30
Saltwater (Basic Fishing License required)$15$60$15$30
Senior Hunting/Fishing (born before June 1, 1940)Free
Senior Hunting/Fishing (born between June 1, 1940, and May 31, 1962)$5
Louisiana Sportman’s Paradise License**$100$400$100$120
Charter Passenger Saltwater (3-day)$20$20
Charter Passenger Freshwater (3-day)$10$10
Recreational Offshore Landing PermitFreeFree

**Louisiana sportsman’s paradise license holders get access to basic (freshwater) and saltwater fishing licenses, basic, deer, waterfowl, and turkey hunting licenses, as well as the WMA access permit.

Lifetime Licenses

Lifetime licenses in Louisiana can be purchased by both residents and non-residents. Lifetime licenses  are a one-time purchase and are valid for the duration of the purchaser’s life. 

Lifetime LicenseLicense Fee
Resident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License (any age, except seniors 65 and older)$500
Resident Lifetime Senior Hunting/Fishing License (65 and older)$100
Nonresident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing$4,000
Duplicate Lifetime License Card$7.50

Fishing Gear Permit Costs

Many gear, method, and species-specific gear licenses are required to fish and harvest certain species. Gear permits are required for crab traps, crawfish traps, trotlines, and bow fishing equipment and spears. 

Before you begin fishing in Louisiana, it’s essential to ensure you have obtained all the necessary permits to participate in recreational fishing activities legally.

Permit TypeBagging LimitResident PriceNon-resident Price
Oyster TongPrice per tong$5  (Per Tong)$20 (Per Tong)
Cans/Buckets 5$10.00$40
Crawfish Traps 35$15.00$60
Crab Traps 10$15.00$60
Slat Traps 5$20.00$80
Wire Nets 5$20.00$80
Hoop Nets 5$20.00$80
Trawls Up To 16 Feet$25.00$100
Trawls 16-25 Feet$80.00$320
Lifetime Fishing Gear**10 times annual price per gear type

Free Fishing Day

Louisiana offers two free fishing days a year in June. 

Free Fishing Days are days when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) allows anyone to fish for free without needing a fishing license.

These days offer an opportunity for people, especially children and those new to the sport, to experience fishing in a fun and safe way. 

Free Fishing Days were created to increase awareness of fishing opportunities across Louisiana and encourage more people to participate in fishing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a 3-day fishing license in Louisiana?

A 3-day fishing license in Louisiana is only available for those hoping to fish off of a chartered boat for three consecutive days. 

A charter fishing license costs $10 for freshwater (residents and non-residents) and $20 for Saltwater (residents and non-residents).

Otherwise, the only other available options for a short-term license are for five and ten-day increments. 

At what age do you no longer need a fishing license in Louisiana?

The age that you no longer need a fishing license in Louisiana is 84 years old or born before June 1, 1940.

When is the deadline for buying a fishing license in Louisiana?

There is no longer a deadline for buying a fishing license in Louisiana. 

In recent years, LA has adopted a 365 license year, so your license is valid for one year after the date of purchase.

Final Thoughts

If you’re planning to fish in Louisiana, it’s important to remember to get your Louisiana Fishing License. 

This helps preserve the state’s fisheries and fund conservation initiatives in the area so that future generations of anglers can also enjoy going out on the water to fish. Not to mention, it’s the law. 

So, once you have your license, be sure to download our bass lures cheat sheet, so you always know which lure to throw and when to throw it.