Georgia Fishing License

Georgia

Georgia offers a wide array of bodies of water to choose from. Whether it is to reel-in trophy-sized fish from massive reservoirs or smaller lakes and rivers, Georgia is the perfect place for you!

The state gives tourists and seasoned anglers a variety of fishing licenses to choose from, ranging from short-term to annual ones, including ones for residents and non-residents. The expiry dates of these licenses vary. The links below will help you decide which option would best fit your needs. It is advisable to go through each item first before purchasing your own Georgia Fishing License.

A list of the state's rules and regulations on fishing is available in the link below. Before leaving for your trip, you must be familiar with the protocols in Georgia waters in order to avoid problems during your trip. These laws protect and conserve the fishing populations in the area, safeguard their habitat and promote camaraderie between tourists, locals and seasoned anglers.

All proceeds from fishing licenses are used to fund local programs that promote conservation and protection for the wildlife in the area. These projects help in the proliferation of marine life and the ecosystem. Your awareness in these efforts will help in preserving the environment for generations to come.


The state of Georgia offers one of the most diverse and unique fishing opportunities in the entire United States. There are trout streams that run across the northern sections, and lakes and rivers that engulf the state.

According to the Georgia River Network, there are 70,150 miles of rivers, and streams. Furthermore, Georgia has 4.8 million acres of wetlands, 425,382 acres of public lakes and reservoirs, 954 square miles of estuaries and 100 miles of coastline. What’s great about the shear volume of rivers is that, anglers will never run out of new locations to explore.

Georgia is the home of the largemouth bass due to the quantity that the state produces. The state holds the world record for the biggest largemouth bass caught at 22lbs at the Montgomery River.

Fun fact: nowhere else in the world can you catch 6 of 7 black bass species. Georgia currently has the largemouth, redeye, shoal, smallmouth, spotted, and Suwannee bass. 

Typically, many fisheries management prevents larger bass from being caught due to conservation rules. However, in George, anglers have the opportunity to catch some of the big game basses of the world.

At the Ocmulgee PFA fishing waters, you’re able to catch trophy bass that exceeds 13 pounds! Besides that, Georgia offers a myriad of variety when it comes to fishing. You’ll find cold water species like trout, cool water species such as stripers and walleye, warm water species such as largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish and saltwater species like sea trout, redfish, tarpon and sharks.

Furthermore, fishing isn’t always for the sport. Many families enjoy taking their children for bonding and memories. Georgie facilitates this by offering public fishing areas that are easy and accessible to everyone and kids fishing events that promote excellent catch rates for beginners.

But, before you'll get to do all of that, you need first to secure a fishing license. In this article, we'll discuss how you can procure a fishing license, including rules and regulations to consider.

How to get a Georgia Fishing License? 

Similar to many states, to acquire a fishing license, you have several options to do so:

For general fishing licenses, it’ll cost $15 for Georgia state residents and $50 for non-residents. If you’re looking to fish in saltwater, you’ll need to acquire a free Saltwater Information Permit in addition to your general fishing licenses. If you’re looking to catch mountain trout, you’ll need a separate trout license. Please refer to the types of license and costs section for more in-depth information. 

What if I lose my fishing license? 

If you’re someone that spent lots of money and time obtaining many different types of licenses, then it can be frustrating if you’ve misplaced or damaged them. Luckily, you can easily reprint them for free. First, go to your Go Outdoors Georgia Online account https://license.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx. Next, you’ll need to login by entering your name, date of birth, and any of the following: 

  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Department of Natural Resources Customer ID
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Passport Number
  • U.S. travel visa number
  • Green card number 

How do I renew my Georgia Fishing license?

To renew your licenses, you’ll have to go to your Go Outdoors Georgia Online account to purchase a new one. The fishing license will expire one year from the date that it was issued. 

Who needs a fishing license in Georgia? 

Under the state fishing laws, anyone whether resident or non-resident who is the age of 16 or older are mandated to have a general fishing license to fish in both fresh and saltwater environments. 

Types of Georgia Fishing Licenses and Costs: 

To make it easy for your reference, we’ve compiled tables to help you decide which fishing licenses you’ll need along with the costs based on your age and residency.

Combo Licenses

License

Term

Resident

Non-Resident

Combo Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Annual

$30

$150

 

One-Day

$5

$30

 

+Additional Day

$1

$10

Apprentice Hunting & Fishing License

One-Day

$5

$30

Fishing Licenses 

Fishing Licenses

Term

Resident

Non-Resident

Fishing License (Resident: 16-64, Non Resident: 16+)

Annual

$15

$50

 

One Day

See combo

$10

 

+Additional Day

See combo

$3.50

Optional Youth Fishing License (younger than 16 years old)

 

Multi-Year$10

--

Senior Sportsman License (65+)

Annual

$7

--

Trout License

Annual 

$10

$25

 

One-Day

$5

$10

 

+Additional Day 

$1

$2

SIP Permit

Annual

FREE

FREE

Commercial Fishing License

Seasonal 

$20

$200

Disability Fishing License

Annual

$3

--

 

Three Year

$9

--

Others:

Public Land Access

Term

Resident

Non-Resident

Georgia Lands Pass

Annual 

$30

$60

 

License

Age

Term 

Resident

Non-Resident

Sports Licenses 

Resident 16-64; Non-Resident: 16+

Annual

$65

$400

  

One-Day

$25

$170

  

+Additional Day

$3

$20

Optional Youth Sportsman’s License

Under 16

Multi-Year

$15

--

Senior Sportsman’s License (65+)

65 and over

Annual

$7

--

One-Time Honorary Veterans License

--

One-Year

FREE

--

Disability Sportsman’s License

--

Annual

$5

--

 

--

Three-Year

$15

--

 

Lifetime Licenses

Age

Term

Resident

Non-Resident

Infant Lifetime Sportsman’s License

Under 2

Lifetime

$500

$500

Youth Lifetime Sportsman’s License

2-5

Lifetime

$600

--

Adult Lifetime Sportsman’s License

16-49

Lifetime

$750

--

Older Adult Lifetime Sportsman's License 

50-59

Lifetime

$375

--

Senior Discount Lifetime Sportsman’s License

60-64

Lifetime

$315

--

Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License

65+

Lifetime

$70

--

Senior Lifetime Hunting License

65+

Lifetime

$35

--

Senior Lifetime Fishing License

65+

Lifetime

$35

--

Free Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License

65+

Lifetime

FREE

--

Military and Veterans Lifetime Sportsman’s License

16-49

Lifetime

$600

--

Non-Resident Grandchild Lifetime Sportsman’s License

2-15

Lifetime

--

$1500

Shooting Preserve Life License 

--

Lifetime

$75

$75

Georgia Fish Size and Limits

When it comes to fishing laws and regulations, you need to ensure that you are abiding by these rules at all times to prevent penalties and preserve the habitat of each fishing species as well as its environment. Here are the general guidelines for common fish species. 

Largemouth Bass:

For this species, the guideline is 12 inches minimum statewide except for the areas mentioned below:

  • Lake Blackshear: 14 inches
  • Lake Blue Ridge: no minimum 
  • Lake Burton: no minimum
  • Lake Juliette: no minimum
  • Lake Lanier: 14 inches
  • Lake Oconee: 14 inches
  • Lake Lindsay Grace: Any largemouth mass that is between the length of 15 to 22 inches must be released immediately. Only one bass may be caught above 22 inches
  • Lake Walter F. George: 14 inches
  • West Point Reservoir: 14 inches
  • Public Fishing Areas operated and managed by Department of Natural Resources: 14 inches

Shoal Bass:

  • Lake Lanier: 14 inches
  • Flint River and its accompanying tributaries below Warwick Dam: 12 inches
  • Flint River and its accompanying tributaries above Warwick Dam: 15 inches

Spotted Bass:

  • Lake Lanier: 14 inches

Striped bass, White Bass and Hybrid White-Striped Bass:

Only two fish that are longer than the length of 22 inches may be kept. 

  • In the areas of North Newport River, Medway River including Mount Hope Creek, Little Ogeechee River, Ogeechee River downstream Hwy 22 and downstream Hwy 96, Altamaha River, Saint Mary’s River, Satilla River and the tributaries to their rivers, require a 22 inch minimum for all fish
  • The minimum length is 27 inches on the Savannah River and its tributaries downstream of J. Strom Thurmond Dam. These areas also have a two-fish limit. 

Trout:

No minimum length limit for trout except in the following water areas:

  • Water creek:
    • Brown and rainbow trout: 22 inches
    • Brook trout: 18 inches
  • Noontootla Creek and its tributaries on Blue Ridge WMA
    • All trout minimum of 16 inches

No more than ten freshwater turtles may be caught at one time. There is no closed season for catching and harvesting freshwater turtles. For more information, please visit the following website: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/turtling

Fishing Methods Limits 

Hook and Lines:

Generally, there are no limits for hooks and lines except for the following scenarios:

  • Fishing for trout in trout waters: 1 pole
  • Fishing on public fishing areas: 2 poles
  • Sport shad fishing: 2 poles

Sport Trotlines:

All sport trotlines must be marked with the owner's name and address with visible buoys, submerged at least 3 feet below surface water, and removed after a completed fishing trip. Trotlines are also not allowed on Lake Tobesofkee and any state park lake. 

Best Georgia Fishing Spots 

If you’re in search of the best spots for fishing, we’ve got you covered. For a large volume of largemouth bass, we recommend Lake Seminole located along with the board of Georgia and Florida.

For big game fishing -- such as redfish, snapper, and tarpons -- you can head to the Golden Isles along Georgia’s Atlantic Coast. This spot is excellent for saltwater fishing from the bank, a charter boat, kayaking, and rafting.

For the anglers interested in fly fishing, we recommend the Chattahoochee River to catch some of the best brown and rainbow trout. The record's largest brown trout was caught at an incredible 20 lbs in 2014. If you’re interested in catching different types of species other than Bass, you can head to the St. Simons Island Pier for redfish, flounder, and sharks.