North Carolina Fishing License Rules Explained

Studying Time: 4 minutes

A North Carolina fishing license is your ticket to some really excellent fishing. From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a world of giant hookups is ready for you. All you could get pleasure from it’s a piece of paper. Easy, proper? Not precisely.

North Carolina’s diversified fisheries have a mixture of fishing rules to match, with completely different licenses relying on the place you fish. That’s why we’re slicing by the confusion and throwing out the jargon on this easy-to-understand information. Get the important information on NC fishing licenses so you may hit the water and begin reeling in fish.

Who wants a North Carolina fishing license?

Each angler over 16 wants a fishing license when casting a line in NC waters. Nonetheless, you don’t want a license to fish in non-public ponds on privately-owned land.

Should you’re serving to another person fish, you additionally want a license, even in case you don’t have your personal rod. This consists of one thing as fundamental as baiting hooks and setting the drag.

Who doesn’t want a license?

Kids below 16 don’t want a fishing license. On high of that, you by no means want a license aboard a saltwater constitution boat. Oh, and all people can fish with no license on the 4th of July!

Aside from that, the one exception is for NC residents on depart from the navy, who can fish for as much as 30 days with no license. Should you’re house on furlough, make certain to hold your navy ID and papers confirming your standing once you’re fishing.

Varieties of NC Fishing License

You realize that you simply want a license, however which one? There are two most important sorts of licenses in North Carolina: Inland and Coastal. Inland consists of all of North Carolina’s freshwater, whereas Coastal covers saltwater. These can be found for something from 10 days to a whole lifetime. Extra on that under.

Areas the place recent and saltwater meet are referred to as “joint waters.” These are often lined by both license, however you must at all times test for the waters you’re fishing in. Fortunately, the state made a sequence of useful maps, which you’ll be able to try right here.

In addition to the fundamental license, you used to want a particular Trout Stamp to tackle NC’s varied Trouts. Nonetheless, from 2020, they’re included as customary with an Inland License.

North Carolina License Price

Licenses range in value based mostly on how lengthy they final and whether or not you’re a NC resident or not. Right here’s a breakdown of how a lot every license prices.

Non permanent Fishing Licenses

License Price for Resident Price for Non-Resident
3-Day Trout $8 $8
10-Day Coastal $6 $11
Annual Coastal $16 $32
10-Day Inland $9 $23
Annual Inland $25 $45
Annual Unified $43 N/A

Residents and non-residents are eligible for 10-day and annual passes. Regardless that Trout Stamps are now not required, there’s a particular 3-day allow for individuals who need a number of days of Trout fishing.

NC residents get a number of particular choices, similar to mixed (or “Unified”) Inland and Coastal licenses. This protects the effort of carrying each, however it is available in at $2 costlier than in case you purchased them individually.

Lifetime Licenses

License Price for Residents Price for Non-Residents
Inland (Grownup) $265 N/A
Inland (Senior) $16 N/A
Coastal (below 1) $106 $106
Coastal (1-11) $159 $159
Coastal (12+) $265 $530
Coastal (Senior) $16 N/A
Unified $477 N/A

Should you’re a eager angler and plan on fishing as usually as potential, it could be value getting a lifetime license. Costs differ for residents and non-residents, however there are large advantages to beginning younger – particularly in saltwater.

Infants may be born into a lifetime of fishing from simply $106. Senior residents (65 and over if born earlier than August 1, 1953, or 70+ in any other case) get a fair larger low cost. Coastal and Inland packages each price simply $16 – the identical value as a traditional annual resident license!

Free and Diminished-Price Licenses

The State of North Carolina provides free Unified Lifetime Fishing Licenses to the next teams:

  • NC residents who depend on fishing for meals.
  • NC residents who’re legally blind.
  • Residents in NC care houses.

On high of this, Unified Lifetime Fishing Licenses can be found at a reduced value of $11 plus $2 processing charge for individuals with bodily disabilities:

  • Residents who’re completely and completely disabled.
  • Resident veterans who’re 50% or extra disabled.

The place to Get a North Carolina Fishing License

You realize what you want, now you’ve simply acquired to get it. There are three simple methods to purchase a NC fishing license:

  • On-line. You possibly can full your software on-line utilizing Visa or MasterCard. This comes with a $2 transaction charge, although.
  • By telephone. Name 888-248-6834 to get your license over the telephone. Working hours are 8 A.M. to five P.M. Monday by Friday.
  • In individual. Go to a registered vendor to purchase your license immediately! Many sort out outlets and {hardware} shops promote them, as do chains like Walmart.

Should you purchase your license in individual, you’ll obtain it immediately. In any other case, will probably be mailed to you. You don’t want to carry off fishing, although. simply deliver your license quantity and a type of ID and also you’re set. Nonetheless, as soon as your license arrives, you do want to hold it with you whereas fishing.

Keep in mind that youth, toddler, and disabled lifetime licenses can’t be purchased on-line. That you must name up or head to a neighborhood agent to get these.

What if I lose my license?

Can’t discover your fishing license? No want to fret. Print and fill out this manner and ship it to:

N.C. Wildlife Assets Fee License Part

1707 Mail Service Heart

Raleigh, NC


Alongside together with your software, embody a test or proof of cash order to cowl the executive charge – $1 for lifetime licenses, or $7 for every part else.

Widespread Questions on NC Fishing Licenses

  1. Is my NC fishing license legitimate in different states?

    North Carolina has reciprocal agreements with all of its neighbors besides South Carolina. Because of this you should use your NC fishing license when fishing from a ship within the following locations:

    Georgia: On the Chatuge Reservoir and all its tributaries which are accessible by boat.

    Tennessee: On Slick Rock Creek and Calderwood Reservoir when fishing by boat.

    Virginia: On Kerr and Gaston Reservoirs, in addition to the Dan River and the confluence of the New and Little Rivers.

  2. What counts as a Resident?

    By way of fishing licenses, a resident is anybody who has lived in North Carolina frequently for the previous 6 months. You possibly can show this together with your social safety quantity, driver’s license, and another ID containing your handle. Full-time college students in NC may also get resident licenses.

  3. Does North Carolina have any “free fishing days”?

    Sure! Everybody can fish with no license on 4 July. This is applicable to each recent and saltwater fishing. Regardless that you don't want a license, regular seasons, bag limits, and different rules nonetheless apply.

  4. Can I purchase a license and fish the identical day?

    Sure! NC fishing licenses are legitimate from the day of buy, in order quickly as you’ve paid, you may go fishing. You solely want to hold a type of government-issued ID when fishing, and wildlife enforcement officers will be capable of affirm your buy. Having your license quantity can be useful.

  5. What occurs if I fish with no license?

    You'll be charged with a misdemeanor and can obtain a effective ranging wherever from $35 to $500. You might also withstand 30 days in jail. Do the suitable factor and purchase a license!

And that’s it. We’ve tried to cowl every part you want. to know to get a NC fishing license. When you have any questions, it’s finest to get in contact together with your native NCWRC workplace. If not, discover a constitution in your space or simply get on the market and begin fishing!

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