We started Captain Experiences to make it easy to book fishing and hunting guides around the world. With over 1,500 Damn Good Guides, our platform makes finding and booking a trip seamless. Head here to check out our trips.

Louisiana has been known as a Sportsman’s Paradise because it offers an abundance of recreational opportunities to fishermen, hunters, wildlife viewers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The state’s wetlands include bayous, marshes, lakes, swamps, bays, beachfronts, rivers, and more. Anywhere there is that much water, there are bound to be an abundance of great fish to catch.

Louisiana has a lot to offer visitors. The food is world class, and the people of Louisiana are fun-loving and welcoming. The natural beauty of land and waterways of Louisiana are compelling reasons for anyone who enjoys the outdoors to travel to the state. Of course, visitors need a license to enjoy the many fishing and hunting opportunities across the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana Redfish With Captain Adams

Where to Buy Your Louisiana Fishing License

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (“LDWF”) oversees the sale of fishing licenses for the State of Louisiana. To purchase a license, you can visit the LDWF website here and click on “Buy a License”. You can also clickhere to reach the same license sales website.

If you purchase a Louisiana fishing license online, then you are allowed to save a digital copy of your license on your mobile device without a need to carry a paper copy of your license. Of course, you should carry your mobile phone with you on your fishing trip if that is where you have saved your license.

You can also purchase your Louisiana fishing license at many local Louisiana vendors such as area bait shops, tackle stores, and some large chain stores that sell sporting goods. When you purchase a license at a local vendor, then you should get a copy of your printed fishing license that you can carry with you while fishing.

The Saltwater/Freshwater Line for Fishing in Louisiana

If you will only be fishing in freshwater, then your Louisiana nonresident fishing license will be less expensive. Visitors wishing to fish the saltwater of Louisiana can expect to pay twice as much. The State of Louisiana provides a map that shows a saltwater/freshwater line that separates those areas of the state considered saltwater from those areas considered freshwater. This line is several miles inland from the actual coast of Louisiana and includes the many saltwater bay systems throughout the state.

Basic Types of Non Resident Louisiana Fishing Licenses

For nonresidents who wish to fish in Louisiana, you need to make sure that you have the proper type of fishing license. The first thing to consider for most visitors to Louisiana is whether or not you will be fishing with a professional fishing guide on a chartered trip. Charter passenger licenses are significantly less expensive than the licenses needed for anglers who do not hire a fishing guide.

A three-day saltwater charter passenger license is $20 for three consecutive days during the 2022-2023 season. A three-day freshwater charter passenger license is $10 for the 2022-2023 season. If a three-day charter is not enough, then you may wish to look at the other nonresident fishing license options.

Given the relatively low cost of fishing licenses for visitors using fishing guides, the three-day charter licenses appear to be the most economical fishing license option unless you will be making numerous trips to Louisiana each year. Captain Experiences can connect you with many highly-rated fishing guides throughout the Sportsman’s Paradise State. Our fishing guides can answer any additional questions that you may have about licenses before your trip.

Freshwater or Both Freshwater & Saltwater

When fishing in Louisiana without a professional guide, you must again consider whether you will be freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing. The way that the nonresident, non-chartered Louisiana fishing licenses work for the 2022-2023 season is that you must first purchase a “Basic Fishing” license that includes recreational freshwater fishing. Then, you must also purchase a “Saltwater” license in addition to the “Basic Fishing” license in order to fish south of the saltwater/freshwater line.

Even if you will only be fishing in saltwater and will never fish the freshwaters of Louisiana, you still must purchase the basic freshwater license and then add the saltwater license to do that. Although having to purchase both a basic and saltwater Louisiana fishing license may seem unusual, many other states such as Texas require anglers to purchase some type of saltwater stamp or endorsement in addition to a standard fishing license for fishing in saltwater.

The other thing to consider if you are not using a professional fishing guide charter is how many days you will be fishing in Louisiana. If you are going to Louisiana for only one or possibly two trips lasting no more than five consecutive days each trip, then you can purchase the nonresident 5-day licenses. If you are a nonresident who will be going to fish in Louisiana more than two trips per year, then purchasing the season long nonresident fishing licenses will be your best option.

The costs of these non-chartered, nonresident Louisiana fishing licenses for 2022-2023 are:

Louisiana Price Chart

Note that Louisiana used to have other options such as one-day or three-day fishing licenses, but these lower day count options do not appear to be available to all anglers for the 2022-2023 fishing season. The 3-day charter fishing licenses are still available to anglers using professional fishing guides in Louisiana during this year.

Special Discounts and Other Considerations

For certain individuals including some visitors to Louisiana, there are discounts and exceptions to the general licensing requirements. Some examples of these discounts include a military discount and a student discount for students studying in the State of Louisiana. Nonresidents who are natives of Louisiana may also get a discounted price for certain fishing licenses.

Children under the age of 17 are not required to have a license to fish in Louisiana. Seniors who are nonresidents of Louisiana generally are required to purchase a Louisiana fishing license. However, seniors aged 65 and older who are Texas residents and who already have a valid Texas fishing license do not need to purchase a separate Louisiana fishing license. There is a special reciprocal fishing agreement that benefits senior residents of both Texas and Louisiana if they wish to fish in their friendly neighboring state.

As long as you avoid that potential hurricane every few years, there is never a bad time of year to visit the State of Louisiana. Make sure that you have the proper fishing license to enjoy your time on the water while visiting Louisiana. At Captain Experiences, we hope to see you in the near future on a fishing trip along the Louisiana coast or in one of the many freshwater bodies of water that Louisiana has to offer residents as well as visiting anglers.