Everything You Need to Know about Getting Your Texas Fishing License

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

Are you ready to embark on a Texas fishing adventure? Before heading out, make sure you have your valid Texas fishing license. 

Texas is known for having tons of opportunities to fish, even in some of its bigger cities, like Austin. The best part is that acquiring a Texas Fishing License isn’t complicated. 

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the type of licenses available, requirements for getting a license, fees associated with purchasing one, and more.

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

Who Needs a Fishing License in Texas

Fishing License Texas
17+ Years Old17+ Years old

Obtaining a fishing license is mandatory for anyone wishing to fish in Texas’s public waters, regardless of what method they use or their age. 

Anyone under 17 years of age is exempt from the requirement.

Freshwater Fishing License

Residents and non-residents of Texas need a freshwater fishing endorsement (license) to legally fish in public freshwater bodies of water. 

There are three packages to choose from including resident, senior resident, or non-resident fishing license. 

Senior citizens (born after January 1, 1931) can purchase a discounted Senior Freshwater Package.

Prices range from $12-$58 and all freshwater licenses expire on August 31st annually. 

Saltwater Fishing License

Texas offers Saltwater Packages that include either a resident, senior resident, or non-resident fishing license. 

These packages come with the saltwater endorsement and Red Drum Tag. Saltwater Packages range in price between $17 to $63.

Red Drum

red drum fish

Anglers in Texas need to purchase a Red Drum Tag in order to fish for red drum. 

A single tag allows a single Red Drum measuring above 28 inches to be taken each license year and is included with the Saltwater Fishing Endorsement and any package that includes the saltwater endorsement, such as an all-water package.

All-Water Fishing Packages

Texas offers All-Water Packages which include a resident, senior resident, or non-resident fishing license. 

  • This is an annual license package that expires on August 31 regardless of the date of purchase.
  • The packages also come with a freshwater endorsement and Red Drum Tag. 
  • For senior citizens aged 65 and over, there is also the Senior All-Water Package available. 

Reciprocal Licenses

​​Texas and Louisiana share a mutual border and there is a reciprocal agreement in place between these two states. 

This agreement allows recreational fishermen from either Louisiana or Texas to fish in the shared border waters with their resident license from their home state, with one exception, the Gulf of Mexico.

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Texas?

You need a license at 17 years old. Anyone under 17 can fish in Texas’ public waters without a license.


Any resident Texan who plans to fish within the state’s public waters needs to have a resident fishing license.

The following Texas residents are exempt from needing a fishing license:

  • Persons under 17 years of age
  • Anyone born before January 1, 1931
  • Those with an intellectual disability are exempt from needing a fishing license in Texas
  • Those with an intellectual disability who are fishing as part of medically approved therapy must be supervised by personnel employed by a hospital, residence, or school for people with an intellectual disability

Those with an intellectual disability must carry authorization as well as a note from a doctor diagnosing them with said condition.


All non-residents of Texas who fish within the state’s public waters are required to have a non-resident fishing license.

  • Non-residents under 17 years of age are not required to have licenses or packages
  • Louisiana residents 65 years of age or older who possess a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License (including Senior Fish/Hunt License) are exempt from needing licenses/packages
  • Oklahoma residents 65 years or older do not need licenses/packages.

How to Buy a Texas Fishing License 

Anglers can purchase their Texas fishing license online, in person, or over the phone. 


Anglers can visit the Texas license sales website at txfgsales.com. For online transactions, there is a $5 administrative fee that will be applied.

After purchase, you are able to either print your license or store a digital license on the TPWD  mobile app. 

By Phone

Anglers can order a Texas fishing license by phone by calling (800) 895-4248 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM CST, Monday through Friday. 

A $5 administrative fee will be added for transactions made over the phone. Note that the number is closed on most state holidays.

In Person

In addition to TPWD offices and Texas State Parks, official Texas recreational hunting & fishing licenses, stamps, permits, and tags can be purchased at any one of the 1,700 retail locations throughout the state. 

How Much is a Fishing License in Texas

A Texas fishing license cost will vary depending on the type and duration of the license purchased. Resident and non-resident license prices will differ as well.

Texas Fishing License
Package (License) TitlePrice
Resident Freshwater Package$30
Senior Freshwater Package$12
Non-resident Freshwater Package$58
Resident Saltwater Package$35
Senior Saltwater Package$17
Non-resident Saltwater Package$63
Resident All-Water Package$40
Year-from-Purchase All-Water Package$47
Senior All-Water Package$22
Non-resident All-Water Package$68
Resident One-Day All-Water License$11
Special Resident All-Water Fishing License$7
Non-resident One-Day All-Water License$16

Lifetime Licenses and Permits

Eligible Texas residents may buy hunting and fishing licenses that remain valid for the lifetime of the license holder. 

It should be noted that a lifetime license does not grant permission for commercial fur trapping or any other commercial uses related to fishing or hunting. 

Lifetime tags can be purchased at local retailers each year without incurring an additional fee, but remember to also add in certification for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) and a Bonus Red Drum Tag if necessary.

Lifetime License
Lifetime Resident Combination Hunting & Fishing Package$1,800
Lifetime Resident Hunting Package$1,000
Lifetime Resident Fishing Package$1,000
Lifetime Resident Hunting Upgrade to Combo Package$800

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to get an out-of-state fishing license in Texas?

An out-of-state fishing license in Texas costs varies depending on the type and duration of the license. 

The two most popular options are the annual Texas saltwater fishing license and Freshwater license for non-residents.
– Non-resident Annual Saltwater: $63
– Non-resident Annual Freshwater: $58

Can I fish without a license in Texas today?

You can fish without a license in Texas today if you are fishing on private property or if it is a free fishing day, which is the first Saturday of June every year.

Can I purchase my Texas fishing license online?

Yes, you can purchase your Texas fishing license online. Visit the Texas license sales website, fill out the application, and make your purchase.

Final Thoughts

It’s everyone’s responsibility to uphold the laws surrounding recreational hunting and fishing, and getting your license is an absolutely essential part of fulfilling that duty. 

Fortunately, Texas offers a variety of options for securing your license, from online to participating retailers that allow anglers to take advantage of some great fishing opportunities around the state.

So, once you purchase your Texas fishing license, be sure to download our bass fishing cheat sheet, so you always know the best lure to throw no matter where you’re fishing.