Does It Make Sense To Purchase A Lifetime Florida Fishing License? [VIDEO]

By: Joseph Simonds on February 24, 2016
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lifetime florida fishing license

$3,552.50 to go fishing and hunting in Florida!

That’s a lot of coin for a fishing license…

You are probably wondering where in the heck that big number came from… and I don’t blame you.

That $3,552.50 represents how much I would have to spend on Florida licenses for the rest of my life (assuming I live to 65 and that I continue to pay my license fees up to age 65) to have access to all freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and hunting options (permits) in Florida for the rest of my life.

And that assumes that the FWC doesn’t raise prices on fishing and hunting licenses in my lifetime (which has about a zero percent chance of happening)!

If there is just a 1% average inflation rate over my life (also assuming the FWC doesn’t raise the current age of 65 where you no longer have to legally purchase a fishing license), the cost goes up to $4,740.83 over my life to have these same fishing and hunting licenses.

Let me show you the numbers behind why a lifetime Florida Fishing License may or may not make sense for you.

Important Notes:

  • I was in no way paid, encouraged, or compensated by the FWC or any other entity for making this video and blog post
  • I have placed screenshots from the video of the following cost analysis  in regards to buying a Florida Lifetime Fishing License at different ages:
    • 4-year-old angler analysis
    • 10-year-old angler analysis
    • 35-year-old angler analysis
    • 50-year-old-angler analysis
  • Keep in mind that anglers under age 16, and anglers above 65 currently do not have to pay for a fishing or hunting license (however, a few of the permits are still required over age 65)
  • All of the lifetime fishing license prices are correct as of Feb 24, 2016 and were found on the FWC website here
  • All of the annual fishing license prices and permit prices are correct as of Feb 24, 2016 and were found on this page from the FWC website
  • In order to keep it simple (as there are numerous variations of lifetime licenses, annual licenses, permits, and hybrid combo licenses), I compared the price of a lifetime license vs the annual cost to get everything that comes with the lifetime license.
    • For instance, the lifetime saltwater fishing license comparison showed the cost of the lifetime license vs the annual saltwater fishing license, plus the snook permit, plus the spiny lobster permit.
  • I realized after all of my recording and editing that I left the wrong titles on a few of the excel pages, so please disregard (however, all of the numbers and analysis is still correct as the labels did not affect them)
  • I will be doing a similar video to analyze the 5 year Florida fishing license and some other 1-year hybrid license options as well, so make sure to subscribe to the Salt Strong newsletter to get all updates and new fishing tips here.

Lifetime Florida Fishing License [Analysis]

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Florida Fishing License Excel Screenshots

As you saw in the video, I break down the numbers for multiple age brackets.

I focus on the Florida Lifetime Sportsman Package because it is such a great deal (as the numbers show). And even if you only go hunting once every couple of years, it still makes sense (if you can afford it of course).

4-Year-Old Florida Fishing License Analysis

lifetime florida fishing license


10-Year-Old Florida Fishing License Analysis

lifetime florida fishing license


35-Year-Old Florida Fishing License Analysis

florida lifetime saltwater fishing license


50-Year-Old Florida Fishing License Analysis

lifetime florida fishing license


Note: If you would like a copy of my excel spreadsheet above, send an email to and request the “Fishing License Spreadsheet” in the email subject line.

How To Purchase A Florida Fishing License

There are multiple ways to buy a Florida fishing license (this goes for saltwater, freshwater, and hunting licenses), from retail stores like Walmart, to buying your fishing license online, to simply picking up the phone and placing an order.

Here is the page from the FWC website that explains all of the rules and ways to buy your fishing license online.

Click here to go directly to the FWC site where you can look your license up, renew, update, etc.

The FWC also made a really cool app (just search FWC in the app store) that allows you to always have your fishing and/or hunting license on you (so you don’t have to carry around your card).

For any of you wondering where the money goes when you purchase a fishing license, the revenue goes to things like public boat ramps, public marinas, artificial reefs, fishing clinics, hiring FWC employees, etc.

Note: When purchasing your fishing license online, note that the FWC did not take Amex the last time I checked so have your Visa, Discover, or Mastercard ready.


lifetime florida fishing license

All in all, buying a lifetime Florida fishing license makes complete sense for pretty much any age.

It is certainly a NO-BRAINER for any kid, and from the numbers I calculated it is a No-Brainer for pretty much any age until you start getting past 60.

At age 60, it makes sense to buy the 5-year Florida fishing license.

At age 61-64, it makes more sense to get the 1-year license package.

Once you get to 65 years and older, the current FWC rules are that you don’t need most of the licenses covered above (with the exception of some of the permits). Of course, the rules can change down the road, and “seniors” are always encouraged to support fishing by continuing to buy a license if they can afford to.

As I mentioned in the video, I encourage any of you with kids to save up enough money to buy them a lifetime fishing license. It will be something that neither of you regret down the road… it helps support fishing, and it saves you and your child a ton of money over the years.

Finally, my brother and I have found that a certain amount of extra respect (and less harassment) comes your way when you flash your Lifetime Card to the marine patrol when getting pulled over for a routine check…

And if you see any issues with my numbers above, I am not a mathematician, so I gladly welcome any corrections.

Fish On and Support Fishing!


P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. Thank you.

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