July 23, 2024

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Delaware Fishing License Guide: Complete Guide

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Famously the first state to ratify the Constitution, Delaware may be the second smallest state in the US, but its fishing potential is vast. From the brackish waters of the Delaware River to the salty stretches of its namesake bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware has it all. But to fully enjoy the “Small Wonder,” you’ll need a Delaware fishing license.

You can get your hands on a variety of species here, from Striped Bass, Flounder, Bluefish, and Black Seabass to offshore trophies like Tuna and Marlin. Whether you’re fishing from shore, a pier, or a charter boat, Delaware’s waters promise excitement and abundant catches for everyone. Keep reading to find out how to get your Delaware fishing license and start planning your next angling expedition!

Who needs a Delaware fishing license?

First things first. Any visitor aged 16 and over and residents aged 16-64, must have a valid Delaware fishing license to cast a line here. The good news is that there’s one license that covers both freshwater and saltwater fishing!

Additionally, all resident anglers aged 16+ must have a Delaware-issued Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. These are issued annually but there’s no fee, and it comes automatically with a Delaware fishing permit. However, even if you’re exempt from the licensing requirements, you may need to apply separately for a FIN number through Digital DNREC.

Your general fishing license covers all recreational fishing, crabbing, and clamming activities in the state’s waters. Moreover, it’s required for taking bait fish (finfish) using pretty much all types of gear. That being said, Trout enthusiasts will need to get a separate Delaware Trout Stamp. This stamp is necessary to target these gorgeous fish in designated Trout waters.

Who doesn’t need a Delaware fishing license?

A view from behind of an angler in a baseball cap and full fishing gear, holding a heavy-duty fishing rod in between two trolling rods and fishing the deep waters of the Atlantic on a clear day
Photo courtesy of Dorado Loco

As we alluded to above, there are a few groups of people who don’t need a license. Other than children under the age of 16, here’s who else can cast their lines without a permit:

  • Boat fishing license holders. This permit exempts anyone fishing on that boat from needing a separate fishing license. The boat owner’s license covers everyone aboard. DE residents who purchase a boat fishing license also receive a regular fishing license for use anywhere in the state. Non-residents must purchase a non-resident fishing license to fish elsewhere in Delaware when not aboard their vessel.
  • Head/Charter boat passengers. Head and charter boat licenses cover all paying passengers, the captain, and the crew while fishing aboard the vessel. These licenses are issued directly from the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
  • Surf fishing vehicle permit holders. Operators of vehicles with a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit are exempt from fishing license requirements when their vehicle is on a designated Delaware State Park beach. Other occupants of the vehicle must have a valid license if they are fishing, however.
  • Senior residents aged 65 and older are exempt but must have proof of age and residency. This applies for Trout Stamps, too.
  • On-farm anglers. Residents who own or live on a farm in Delaware with 20 acres or more, along with their immediate family members residing on the farm, may fish on that farm without a fishing license. Non-residents who reside on such farms and are engaged in husbandry, as well as their immediate family members, can also fish without a license. Non-resident farm owners who do not live on the farm may fish on the property with written permission from the occupant.
  • Anyone fishing exclusively in federal waters outside of Delaware’s 3-mile limit does not require a license.

Other Special Exemptions

Delaware residents who are patients in rehabilitation hospitals under the Department of Health and Social Services or who are legally blind, and those fishing in fee-fishing facilities registered with the Department of Agriculture, may qualify for exemptions. For more information, contact Delaware’s DNR at 302-739-9918.

While there are exceptions to the rule, every angler over the age of 16, regardless of whether they need a license or not, must get a FIN number unless stated otherwise.

Additionally, the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control may designate up to two free fishing days during National Fishing Week. On these days, residents and non-residents can hit the waters without a permit, but all other statutory and regulatory regulations still apply.

Information for Residents

Delaware is a haven for anglers across its fresh and saltwater playgrounds. If you’re a DE resident aged between 16 and 64, you’ll need a resident license to cast your line. These last the whole year and are pretty affordable!

Looking to chase Trout? Don’t forget to pick up your Trout Stamp. And, for younger enthusiasts aged 12-15, Delaware has rolled out a Young Angler Trout Stamp at a wallet-friendly rate. This initiative invites the next generation of anglers to spend some quality time outdoors.

Information for Non-Residents

For non-residents aged 16 and up, the state offers a comprehensive non-resident license that covers all your angling adventures until the end of the year. But, if you’re here for just a quick getaway, the 7-day permit is your perfect companion, letting you soak in Delaware’s prime fishing spots on a short-term basis.

Just make sure to also grab your Trout Stamp if you’re a freshwater angler aged 12 or older!

Delaware Fishing License Cost

The types of fishing licenses available in Delaware are pretty straightforward – and so is the pricing structure. Check out the table below to see how much your permit will set you back.

Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee Agent Fee
Fishing License (16-64) $8.50 N/A $2.50
Fishing License (16+) N/A $20.00 $2.50
7-day License (16+) N/A $12.50 $2.50
Trout Stamp (16-64) $4.20 N/A $1.00
Trout Stamp (12-15) $2.10 N/A $1.00
Trout Stamp (12+) N/A $6.20 $1.00

As you can see, there’s also an agent fee for processing these transactions. But, with costs so low, it’s a small price to pay to get out on the First State’s incredible waterways!

Where to Get a Delaware Fishing License

An infographic featuring the flag of Delaware above text that says "Delaware fishing licence, where to get yours," along with an illustration of a boat underneath against a blue background

Purchasing a Delaware fishing license is straightforward and can be done through two convenient methods:

  • Online, by visiting Digital DNREC, the state’s official online licensing system. This platform allows you to purchase and print your fishing license from the comfort of your home.
  • In-person at various authorized license agents across the state. These agents include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and other retail locations that sell fishing supplies. You can also obtain your fishing license directly from the licensing desk at the DNREC’s Richardson and Robbins Building.

These options ensure that acquiring your Delaware fishing license is a hassle-free process. That way, you can focus on planning your next fishing adventure in the Small Wonder!

The Wonders Keep Coming with a DE Fishing License!

Now that you’re equipped with all the information you need, it’s time to grab your Delaware fishing license and get ready for an unforgettable fishing experience. Whether you’re fighting Stripers in the bay or exploring the offshore depths for Tuna and Marlin, your permit is your gateway to endless adventures. So, don’t wait—the fish are biting, and the Small Wonder is waiting for you!

Hopefully, we’ve answered all your questions about Delaware fishing licenses in this guide. Read about the Small Wonder’s fishing prowess in more detail in our comprehensive Delaware Fishing guide. Or, grab your gear, get your permits, and book a fishing charter near you to fish like a local!

The post Delaware Fishing License: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Delaware Fishing License: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/delaware-fishing-license/
Published Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2024 14:06:50 +0000

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