Purchasing Your Texas Fishing License
As the largest contiguous state in America, Texas is also home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the country.
With high-level fisheries lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Lake O’ the Pines, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Lake Fork, Lake Palestine, and hundreds more, you can find some of the bass fishing in the world here.
If you count all the smaller lakes scattered through Texas, you are looking at nearly 7,000 in total.
If you are planning on fishing any of these lakes, however, you are going to need a valid Texas fishing license.
Related: If you are planning to fish in the Lone Star State, we recommend checking out friends at Texas Fishing on Facebook. It’s a great and active fishing community with a wealth of information.
Who Needs to Purchase a Texas Fishing License
As a general rule, any angler who is fishing public water in Texas will usually need to have a valid fishing license.
There are exceptions, however.
If you are a Texas resident (and can prove your residency), you may qualify for a exemption if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You are under 17 years of age
- You were born before January 1, 1931 (note: eligibility dates may adjust each year, so check the official TPWD website for the most up-to-date information)
- You have a documented intellectual disability and are fishing under the supervision of an approved provider
- You have a documented intellectual disability and are fishing under the guidance of a licensed angler who has permission from the family or guardian to take you fishing
Criteria for those fishing in Texas but living in another state are slightly different.
To qualify for a license exemption as a non-resident, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You are under 17 years of age
- You are a resident of Oklahoma and are 65 years of age or older
- You are a resident of Louisiana and are 65 years of age or older and have a valid Louisiana recreational fishing license
Why You Should Purchase a Valid License?
Well, for starters, fishing without a valid license on public waters is illegal.
If you’ve got a little outlaw in you and want to skirt the rules, then consider this: close to three million anglers hit the water for fishing every year in Texas. That’s a lot of traffic, a lot of fishing pressure, and a lot of maintenance involved in keeping these waters stocked, clean, and healthy.
Your license fees help provide salaries for the hard-working folks from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who are working to ensure that the state maintains its high-level fishing quality.
Where to Buy Your Texas Fishing License
As with most states, you can purchase your Texas fishing license either online or at one of any number of retailers throughout the state.
If you like the convenience of making purchases from the comfort of your own home, Texas provides that option.
Step One: Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website
Step Two: Click on the appropriate license for your age and residence
Step Three: Follow the on-page instructions to complete your order
Note: You will be prompted to have your driver’s license and social security number, so make sure you have this information handy.
If you are hesitant to make purchases online, or if you simply prefer to conduct your business in person, there’s good news. Throughout the state, there are a few hundred places you can obtain your Texas fishing license.
From gas stations and small bait shops to big-box retailers like Academy and Wal-Mart, you will be able to find numerous stores throughout the state that offer licenses.
To search for stores near you, click here.