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How much does a Arizona fishing license cost?

Getting ready for the fishing season that is fast approaching in Arizona, I wanted to make sure I had my fishing license. I don’t like being on the Law’s bad side, and want to be able to head to the lake without worrying about being stopped by the game warden and getting an avoidable ticket.  But, I wasn’t sure how much it was to buy one. After doing some research, this is what I found. 

So, how much does an Arizona fishing license actually cost?  Simple answer is that it depends. Based on what type of license that person needs, combination packages, and the duration of the license are the main factors that determine the cost of the license.  However, for the average adult resident of Arizona the average cost of an annual fishing license is $37.00.   

As mentioned before, there are various types of fishing license based on your needs. In the article below you’ll learn about the different types of license for residents and non-residents, where you can purchase your license, different combinations available, and much, much more.

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Arizona Fishing License Prices

In Arizona you’re given the opportunity to choose between fishing license types and packages, some of which can save you quite a bit of money.  If you’re a disabled veteran, child/youth, or senior offers significant price reductions! 

Below you’ll find a list of all fishing licenses offered in Arizona for both residents and non-residents.

Cost of Fishing Licenses in Arizona

General Fishing $37 $55
General Hunting $37 Not Available – See Combination
Combo Hunt & Fish $57 $160
Youth Combo Hunt & Fish $5 $5
Short-Term Combo Hunt & Fish $15/day $20/day
Community Fishing $24 $24
Migratory Bird Stamp $5 $5

Where Can You Purchase Your Arizona Fishing License?

You can purchase your fishing license at a variety of locations and it’s really easy and convenient too!

Below you’ll get all the details about the variations offered. 

  • Buy online fishing license
  • Buy fishing license at authorized License Dealer stores

In Arizona you may qualify to get a complimentary license. Per Game & Fish website:

  • Pioneer License – A person must be 70 years of age or older, plus 25 consecutive years as a bona fide Arizona resident immediately preceding application for the license. Additional information.
  • Disabled Veteran – A person must show certification from the Veteran’s Administration confirming permanent service connected disabilities rated as 100 percent disabling, plus one or more consecutive years as a bona fide Arizona resident immediately preceding application for license. Additional information.

Lifetime License

Only available to Arizona residence the cost will differ based on type and age. Link.

Arizona Fishing Regulations

Since you’re wanting a fishing license there are some things as a holder you must be aware of.  It’s not as easy as buying fishing license and fishing where ever you want for any species of fish. There are laws, guidelines, and regulations you need to follow. 

Below are some listed guidelines that must be followed.

General Fishing Regulations

Fishing in any lake, river, creek, stream, or even pond a Arizona fishing license must be owned. Unless you own or get explicit permission to fish a private body of water such as a private farm pond.

In Arizona, you may fish with two poles or lines in all fishing license types.  Unfortunately it does not change the daily limit you’re allowed to keep.

How old do you have to be to need a fishing license in Arizona?

Children older than 10, must own a valid fishing license in order to be legally fish in the state of Arizona.

Free Fishing Day

Arizona offers a Free Fishing Day once a year in June.  This is designed to introduce someone to fishing and have an enjoyable time outdoors even if it’s for a day.

Where to purchase a fishing license in Arizona?

Arizona allows you to purchase your license online, but it also allows you to store your license as a digital copy on your phone, tablet or other electronic device.

Daily Bag Limit

In Arizona the daily bag limit is defined as “The daily bag limit is the maximum number of fish that may be legally caught and reduced to possession in one day. Once you catch a fish and do not release it, it now counts toward your daily bag limit.”. The duration of the limit lasts for 24-hours (midnight–to-midnight).

Arizona allows anglers to have different types of fish in their possession.

Most fishing waters in Arizona do not have a length limit. However, in the event a length limit is require it is also defined as the tip of the closed mouth to the tip of the tail.

In Arizona, fish can be caught by bow and arrow, crossbow, snare, gig, spear or spear gun, or snagging are valid methods for taking the following fish (unless specific laws prevents it). Below you can catch the following fish by these methods:

  • Carp
  • Buffalo fish
  • Catfish
  • Mullet
  • Tilapia
  • Goldfish
  • Shad

Fishing Closures

From time to time you may encounter a fishing closure in Arizona. A fishing closure means it is illegal to fish in that given area during the closure period.

Common closures could be due to:

  • Restocking
  • Habitat restoration
  • Local wildlife breeding programs
  • Other studies or programs

Transporting Live Bait & Fish

Transporting live fish or bait that you caught in Arizona is illegal.  This includes livewells or other containers, with the exception for licensed/authorized bait dealers.

Directly from Arizona’s Game and Fish website, it is illegal to:

  • Release live baitfish or other live fish into any Arizona waters.
  • To use or possess any restricted live baitfish while fishing waters prohibiting use of that baitfish.
  • To sell live baitfish (or waterdogs) without a Live Baitfish Dealers License.
  • To keep or harm any game fish or aquatic wildlife incidentally taken while capturing live baitfish with seines, dip nets, traps or cast nets.
  • It is illegal to transport live fish (that you caught), including in live wells or other containers. All fish must be killed or released before transportation from the body of water.

***This does not apply to some live bait or fish that are transported from licensed bait dealers, it also excludes those who bought live bait from an authorized dealer (like a tackle shop) and you’re driving to the lake.

Can I use live worms as bait in Arizona?

Yes, it is legal in Arizona to use worms as live bait.

Is it legal to use corn as bait in Arizona?

Yes,  It’s legal to use corn as bait on a hook. Other common baits that are legal to use is salmon eggs, cheese, bread balls, and hotdogs.

Is chumming in Arizona legal?

There was no information found whether it’s legal or illegal. I tried calling the main number listed and a regional office to get my question answered and no one picked up on a Tuesday afternoon at 3:22pm. Grrrrrr.    However some forums say it’s legal so take that for what it’s worth.

NOTE:  This are just some of the important laws, regulations and guidelines. To get the rest of the details visit Arizona fishing regulation online at: https://www.azgfd.com/fishing/regulations/

Fish You Can Catch in Arizona

Wow, there are a TON of fish you can go after in Arizona! Here’s a list I made up to help you out.

Popular Game Fish/Legal Species and Bag Limit

Trout (includes rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, tiger, Gila and Apache, trout; grayling) 6 Any combination
Bass (including largemouth and smallmouth) 6 Any combination
Striped Bass 10
Walleye 6
Northern Pike Unlimited. Immediate kill or release
Catfish (including channel and flathead) 10 Any combination
Crappie (white and black) Unlimited
White Amur (grass carp) minimum size 30 inches 1
Roundtail Chub Catch and release only
Sunfishes (includes bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish and hybrid sunfish) Unlimited
All Other Species (except protected native fish): including, but not limited to, white bass, yellow bass, carp, suckers, buffalofish, bullhead, yellow perch and tilapia Unlimited
Trout (includes rainbow, cutthroat, brown, brook, tiger, Gila and Apache, trout; grayling) 4 2
Bass (including largemouth and smallmouth). 13-Inch minimum length 2 1
Catfish (including channel and flathead) 4 2
White Amur (grass carp) minimum size 30 inches 1
Sunfishes (includes bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish and hybrid sunfish) 10 5

Protected Species Of Fish in Arizona

“The following native fish are protected statewide and may not be angled for, taken, possessed, pursued or captured”:

  • Beautiful shiner
  • Bluehead sucker
  • Bonytail chub
  • Colorado pike minnow
  • Desert pupfish
  • Flannelmouth sucker
  • Gila topminnow
  • Gila trout (except Frye Mesa Reservoir, Goldwater Lake and West Fork of Oak Creek)
  • Humpback chub
  • Little Colorado sucker
  • Little Colorado spinedace,
  • Loach minnow
  • Mexican stoneroller
  • Quitobaquito pupfish
  • Razorback sucker
  • Sonora chub
  • Spikedace
  • Virgin spinedace
  • Virgin roundtail chub
  • Woundfin
  • Yaqui catfish
  • Yaqui chub
  • Yaqui topminnow
  • Zuni bluehead sucker

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Best time to fish in Arizona?

Fishing in Arizona can be done all year long! But the best time of day to fish is early morning (start 1-hour before sunrise until 2-hours after sunrise), in the early evening (start 1-hour before sunset until 2-hours after sunset), and between 12midnight-2am.

Can I use waterdogs as bait?

Yes, waterdogs work great as bait! Several species of fish will gobble these up!

Can I fish for free in Arizona?

Yes, Arizona offers a Free Fishing Day once a year in June. 

Is there a Arizona fishing report available?

Yep, you can check out the Arizona fishing report here.

Is it hard to fish from the shore?

No. Actually it’s really easy if you come prepared. 

All you need to do is come with the right equipment, baits, and gear. Plus, you need a little bit on insight on what’s the best way to fish off the bank. 

Read more: How To Fish From The Bank [The Official Insanely Easy Blueprint]

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