Purchase a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License

Recreational fishermen can purchase a license to fish for personal consumption in the ocean, sounds and coastal rivers.

North Carolina’s Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL), administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries, can be purchased on a 10-day, annual or lifetime basis, or combined with a variety of hunting and inland fishing licenses issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

The license allows recreational fishermen to fish for personal consumption; finfish harvested under this license cannot be sold. Fishermen using this license are held to the state’s recreational size and possession limits. Fishermen holding the CRFL are required to comply with all DMF sampling and survey programs. The license cannot be assigned or transferred and is required for ANY type of recreational finfish taken not included under the Recreational Commercial Gear License. To learn more about the Recreational Commercial Gear License, please visit the division's Recreational Commercial Gear License webpage.

The CRFL is required to recreationally take finfish in the Coastal Fishing Waters, as defined by N.C.G.S. § 113-129 (4). Recreational fishing in Joint Waters (areas managed by both the Marine Fisheries and the Wildlife Resources commissions) will also require either the CRFL or a WRC inland fishing license.