I Forgot My Fishing License At Home

I Forgot My Fishing License At Home: What To Do

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Oh oh, so you have forgotten your fishing license at home. Now, this may not sound like a very big deal, but the fact that you do need a license to fish should already say enough. Yes, fishing without a license can be quite costly and come with some big penalties. What do you do if you forget your fishing license at home?

Well, simply put, you probably want to find the nearest place to get a replacement license, which is cheap, because the cost of a replacement license is much less than the penalties you will incur for fishing without one. But what about the game warden, can they look up your fishing license in the worst case scenario?

Can A Game Warden Look Up Your Fishing License?

Ok, so technically speaking, yes, a game warden can look up your fishing license. Now, this is not like with the police where they have their special little computers with databases on them.

A game warden will most likely have to call dispatch and get into contact with the head office. From the head office, they can then look up your fishing license from there. Technically speaking, this is doable and it should not be a problem.

However, technically is the operational word there. The point here is that a game warden is under absolutely no obligation to take you back to his or her truck, call dispatch, and find out whether or not you have a fishing license.

Sure, if they are nice people, they might help you out, but on the other hand, if you get someone that is in a bad mood or just not willing to help, then you might be in trouble. So, yes, they can look up your fishing license, but are under no obligation to do so.

They may just hit you with a big ticket and other punishments if they see fit. Therefore, if you forget your fishing license at home, never rely on the assumption that a game warden can just look it up, because chances are that they won’t care about you, and are happy to slap you with a big ticket for fishing without your license.

It’s like driving. Sure, you might have a license somewhere, but it is actually having it on your person that counts.

What Happens If I Fish Without A License?

This is hard to say, because it all depends on which country you live in, and which state or province you live in regardless of the country.

If we are talking about the USA or Canada, each province or state has different rules regarding this. For example, in some places you might just get a small financial penalty, or in other words, a ticket.

Yes, different states have different penalties for fishing without your license. Some tickets can be as low as $50, while others can reach $1,000 or above.

Moreover, in very extreme circumstances, depending on the game warden that catches you fishing without your license, they may even be able to confiscate your fishing gear, or worse.

So, as you can see, fishing without your license on your body is really not worth it at all.

Some Fishing License Tips

So, what do you do if you have forgotten your fishing license at home, or have lost it somehow?

Let’s go over some tips on what the best course of action here is;

1. Extra Copies

First off, you would be wise to print out multiple copies of your fishing license. Keep one in your fishing gear, one in the boat, one in your wallet, and one in the car.

In case some of them go missing, at least you will have backups.

2. Approach Them Before They Approach You

If you have forgotten your fishing license at home, you can always attempt to go right to the game warden or to the game warden office and ask them.

If you are nice about it, and you go ask before you go fishing, or in other words, before you get caught, chances are they will be nice about it, and either print out a new copy or let you go fishing after they look your license up.

In this case it is better to ask for permission than it is to ask for forgiveness.

3. Get A Smartphone App

There are actually a few smartphone applications now where you can store digital versions of cards and licensed. Just store a digital version on your phone, so if you lose the hard copy, at least you will have a backup to fall back on.

4. Get A Replacement

Perhaps the best thing to do if you lose your fishing license is to either get a replacement or get a new one altogether.

Fishing licenses are very cheap and getting a replacement card or paper for an existing one barely costs anything at all.

What you can be sure of is that getting a new license or just a replacement for a lost fishing license is much less costly than getting a ticket for fishing without one.


Folks, fishing without your fishing license on your in one way or another is just not worth it. There is no point in getting a huge ticket for fishing without it, when you can just spend a few bucks to get a replacement.

In some places the penalties for fishing without a fishing license on your person can be super steep, so there is just no point in risking it.