If you’re going to hit the high seas, it’s crucial that you’re fishing legally. Your Alabama Fishing License isn’t some pointless restriction—the fees you pay are going right back to the Alabama Gulf Coast community. A number of important programs are funded this way, including habitat development and protection, fishery and hatchery management, endangered species programs, fishing and conservation education, artificial reef construction, boat ramps and other boating access facilities, enforcement and various publications like maps and brochures.
Getting signed up is easy. As long as you’re 16 years old, you’ve got a valid driver’s license (or two other forms of ID) and you’ve been living in Alabama for at least three months, you’re good to go. All it takes is a bit of information and a small fee (unless you’re older than 64, in which case it’s free after you register annually), and nowadays you can purchase your license online and even register online if you are over 64 or have a lifetime license.
There are different kinds of fishing licenses available in Alabama, so it all depends on what you’re looking for. You can pick between freshwater, saltwater, or both; you can even combine your fishing license with a hunting license if you’re into that. Then just figure out how long you plan to fish—a week, a year, or a lifetime.
Once you’ve obtained your license and you’re ready to set sail, make sure you look over the rules and regulations for each species that you plan to pursue. Some fish will be off limits during certain times of the year, and you may have to throw a few back depending on how big they are.
For more information about the licensing process, check out the specifics for Freshwater Licenses (1) and Saltwater Licenses (2) and the Rules and Regulations for Alabama Fishing (3), and then Sign Up (4) whenever you’ve got everything in order.