Hooked on New York: A Guide to Fishing Licenses and Seasonal Adventures

Person fishing with a fishing rod.

Fishing in New York offers a world of excitement for anglers of all skill levels. From serene lakes to bustling rivers, the state is a haven for those who love to cast a line. In this article, we will explore the essential details every angler needs to know, including “how much is a fishing license in New York,” “when is fishing season in NY,” and for comparison, “how much is a fishing license in New Hampshire.”

New York Fishing Licenses: Prices and Types

Whether you’re a New York resident or a visitor, a fishing license is a must-have. The costs for these licenses in 2023 are as follows:

Annual License

An Annual License is the perfect choice for those who plan to indulge in the joys of fishing year-round. Let’s explore the different rates for residents and nonresidents, including a special rate for senior residents aged 70 and above:

  • Resident (ages 16-69): $25;
  • Resident (ages 70+): $5;
  • Nonresident: $50.

This versatile license grants you unlimited access to New York’s waters throughout the year, making it an exceptional value for those who frequently enjoy the state’s fishing opportunities.

7-day License

The 7-day license is a great choice for tourists and short-term residents who want to go fishing in New York for a week. To meet the needs of all fishermen, this license category is offered to both locals and nonresidents.

  • Resident: $12;
  • Nonresident: $28.

The 7-day license allows you to immerse yourself in New York’s fishing experiences for a whole week, whether you’re exploring new fishing grounds or simply enjoying a temporary stay.

1-day License

Occasionally, a short but enjoyable fishing trip is all any person needs. This one-day pass is perfect for people who want to go fishing for a short time in New York’s beautiful waters. This fishing license lets you fish for one day, making it easy and cheap for both residents and nonresidents.

  • Resident: $5;
  • Nonresident: $10.

With the 1-day license, you can savor a day of fishing bliss without the commitment of an annual license, making it a great choice for occasional anglers or tourists eager to experience New York’s fishing treasures.

Where to Purchase Fishing Licenses

Once you’ve decided on the type of fishing license that suits your needs, you can purchase it either online or in person at various licensed outlets. Here are your options for obtaining a New York fishing license:

Online Purchase

The NYSDEC website is the easiest way to purchase a fishing license. The internet portal makes getting your license from home simple. Credit cards are accepted, and your digital license is issued promptly.

In-Person Purchase

If you prefer a physical copy of your fishing license or enjoy visiting local establishments, you can purchase your license in person at authorized outlets. These outlets include:

  • Tackle shops;
  • Sporting goods stores;
  • Some Department of Environmental Conservation offices;
  • Town and county clerks’ offices.

When visiting one of these locations, you can pay for your license using various payment methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, or checks.

Important Notes

  • Fishing licenses in New York are required for anyone aged 16 and older;
  • Keep your fishing license with you at all times while fishing, as it serves as proof of your eligibility;
  • Special permits may be required for certain types of fishing, such as freshwater or saltwater fishing, and for specific locations, so make sure to check the regulations before you start.

Fishing Seasons in New York

The fishing seasons in New York vary by species, ensuring that anglers have year-round opportunities. Here are some key dates:

Trout Season

Trout fishing is a beloved activity in New York, drawing anglers from all over. The trout season in New York primarily encompasses fishing in lakes and ponds, providing enthusiasts with an extended period to pursue this iconic species.

  • Season Start: April 1;
  • Season End: October 15.

This generous season ensures that anglers have ample time to test their skills against the elusive and wily trout. Whether you prefer fly fishing in the early spring or baitcasting in the fall, the trout season promises excitement.

It’s essential to be aware of specific regulations that may vary from one water body to another, such as size and possession limits. Checking local rules is crucial to ensure compliance and responsible fishing.

Black Bass Season

New York offers both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, attracting anglers with their aggressive strikes and spirited fights. The black bass season is a highlight for many anglers.

  • Season Start: June 15;
  • Season End: November 30.

What sets the black bass season apart is the period from December 1 to June 14 when fishing is limited to catch and release only, and the use of artificial lures is mandatory. This conservation-oriented approach is vital for maintaining healthy black bass populations while allowing anglers to enjoy their sport year-round.

Northern Pike Season

Northern Pike, with their voracious appetite and explosive strikes, are a favorite among anglers. New York offers an extended season for these formidable predators.

  • Season Start: May 1;
  • Season End: March 15.

The Northern Pike season’s unique feature is the opportunity for winter fishing, adding an extra layer of excitement to the angling experience. As with all fishing seasons, it’s imperative to be mindful of regulations, especially size and possession limits.

Walleye Season

Walleye, prized for their delicious flesh and challenging fishing, are abundant in New York waters. The Walleye season spans multiple seasons, ensuring year-round enjoyment for anglers.

  • Season Start: May 1;
  • Season End: March 15.

The Walleye season encompasses both the refreshing days of spring and the frozen landscapes of winter. Responsible angling practices, including adherence to size and bag limits, are crucial for maintaining healthy Walleye populations.

Conservation Considerations

Fishing seasons are not just a calendar of dates and rules; they serve a vital role in conserving fish populations and preserving aquatic ecosystems. Responsible angling practices, such as catch and release during specified periods, are essential to the sustainability of fish stocks.

Local regulations play a critical role in maintaining the health of individual water bodies. Anglers should stay informed about these regulations, which can vary from lake to lake and river to river. Always respect size and bag limits to ensure the long-term viability of fish populations.

Fishing in New Hampshire: License Costs

For those interested in “how much is a fishing license in New Hampshire,” the prices in 2023 are as follows:

Freshwater Fishing (Annual) License Costs

CategoryCost in 2023
  • Residents: Those who are New Hampshire residents will pay $45.00 for an annual freshwater fishing license. This license allows them to fish in the state’s abundant freshwater bodies for the entire year. It’s a cost-effective option for individuals who frequently engage in fishing within New Hampshire’s boundaries;
  • Nonresidents: Nonresidents, or individuals who do not have a permanent residence in New Hampshire, will pay a slightly higher fee of $63.00 for an annual freshwater fishing license. While this fee is higher, it grants them access to the same fishing opportunities as residents.

1-day Freshwater Fishing License Costs

CategoryCost in 2023
  • Residents: If you’re a resident of New Hampshire planning a short fishing excursion, you have the option of purchasing a 1-day freshwater fishing license for just $10.00. This is a convenient choice for those who want to fish on a specific day without committing to an annual license;
  • Nonresidents: Nonresidents who wish to enjoy a single day of fishing in the scenic lakes and rivers of New Hampshire can obtain a 1-day freshwater fishing license for $15.00. This option allows them to experience the state’s natural beauty without a long-term commitment.

Senior Freshwater Fishing License (Resident only)

New Hampshire offers a special fishing license rate for senior residents who are 68 years of age or older. Senior residents can obtain an annual freshwater fishing license at a reduced cost of $7.00. This is an excellent incentive for senior citizens to continue enjoying their passion for fishing while also supporting conservation efforts.


Whether you’re planning to fish in the Empire State or considering a trip to New Hampshire, understanding the cost of fishing licenses and the seasonal availability of different fish species is crucial. Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to enjoy the rich and diverse fishing experiences that New York and New Hampshire have to offer.


Do I need a license for fishing in New York if I am under 16?

No, those under 16 do not require a license.

Are there free fishing days in New York?

Yes, New York offers several free fishing days annually. Check the NYDEC website for specific dates.

What are the penalties for fishing without a license in New York?

Penalties can include fines and legal repercussions.

Can I use my New York fishing license in New Hampshire?

No, fishing licenses are state-specific and cannot be transferred.

Where can I find more information about specific fishing regulations in New York?

Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) website for comprehensive details.

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