Get a Delaware Fishing License

Delaware is home to freshwater and saltwater fishing for striped and largemouth bass. Before visiting one of the state’s top spots, learn the requirements for a Delaware fishing license.

Get a Delaware Fishing License
Fishing License


Since fishing regulations help protect and preserve fish our state fish populations, it is important that every angler check the current set of regulations before each fishing trip. All states have a distinct set of regulations, and most are updated by the season or by the month.


Imagine what a lake, pond, stream, river or the ocean would be like if there were no fishing regulations in place. In order for state fisheries managers and biologists to create effective sport fish management plans, they need to collect as much data about fish populations as possible. Biologists may ask anglers to participate in surveys that include questions about the number of fish being caught or how the fish are being caught.

Fishing License Information

In Delaware, a fishing license is required for anyone 16 and older for fishing, crabbing, or clamming in tidal and non-tidal waters. All anglers age 16 or older must obtain a free Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number each year before fishing in tidal or non-tidal waters. This applies to both residents and nonresidents and anglers exempt from needed a general fishing license.

Residents and non-residents are exempt from needing a fishing license if they have a vehicle with a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit only when that vehicle is located on a designated Delaware State Park beach. Occupants other than the vehicle owner will need a license.

Residents 65 and older are not required to have a permit but must provide proof of residency.

Residents are not required to have permits to fish on their own farmland if it is 20 or more acres, are fishing in fee-based fishing areas, veterans with 60% of more service-connected disability, the legally blind, tuberculosis patients, and those who have served honorably in the Delaware National Guard for at least 90 days consecutively for 12 months after discharge.

Where to Purchase

Delaware fishing licenses can be purchased at DNREC headquarters (89 Kings Highway, Dover), from over 40 licensing agents located throughout the state, or online. The fishing license is valid through December 31 for the calendar year in which it was issued.

Delaware does not have fishing license reciprocity with any other states.


For residents 16 and older, the Delaware fishing license is $8.50 annually. A license to fish off a boat 20 feet or less in length is $40. For a boat longer than 20 feet, the fee is $50.

Additional licenses available for residents include Head Boat ($300), Charter Boat ($150), and Guide/Fishing Boat ($100.)

A trout fishing stamp is required for anglers ages 12 to 15 ($2.50) and adults 16 to 64 ($4.20) to fish for trout.


For nonresidents a Delaware fishing license is $20 annually. Licenses are also available for 7-day tourist fishing for $12.50. To fish from a boat 20 feet or less, the permit cost is $40 for nonresidents. The fee for a boat longer than 20 feet is $50.

Additional licenses available for nonresidents include Head Boat ($600), Charter Boat ($300), and Guide/Fishing Boat ($300.)

The trout fishing license for all nonresidents 12 to 64 is $6.20.