How to get a fishing license and where to get it

By Tom Keer

Mar 29, 2017

Buy your fishing license online, visit a tackle shop, or swing by Town Hall.  You'll need one for fishing season is right around the corner.

If you haven't been fishing this season then it's time to  buy a fishing license. Want to know how to get a fishing license? Head to your local tackle shop, town hall, or get one online.  Here are the pros and cons on each location. 
  • Online sales.  Convenience is king, and you can buy an online fishing license at any time of day or night.  Some websites, like offer state license information, along with great how to fish and where to fish information served up in articles, gear descriptions, detailed coverage about species and techniques, and videos that teach beginners about the different types of gear, how to cast and how tie knots.  You can get information about how register your boat , too
  • Tackle shop:  Still want to see another way for how to get a fishing license? A visit to your local tackle shop is like visiting with good friends.  Once you buy a fishing license you can physically check out new rods, reels, and lures.  If it's close to fishing season then you can get current fishing reports.  A trip to the shop is also great for dropping off rods or reels for repairs.  If you're like me you'll leave with a wallet full of receipts.
  • Town Hall:  Sure you can visit Town Hall and buy a fishing license.  But it's not as much fun or as informative as the other two options.  
I was reminded that fishing season is right around the corner.  My daughter is away at school, but she's itching to fish when she comes back home for the summer.  She asked how to get a fishing license, and for her, an online fishing license purchase made the most sense.  I'm sure we'll hit the shops for more tackle when she gets home, too.  And I can't wait!
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at