2019 Delaware Fishing Regulations & Creel limits

Delaware Fishing License

If you are going to go fishing, crabbing, or clamming in Delaware you must obtain a fishing license. Since 2008 the State of Delaware has required all people engaged in recreational fishing activities (in fresh and salt water) to purchase a Delaware fishing license. A license can be obtained from your local bait shop, most public marinas, and most major retailers that have a sporting counter.  The Head boat and charter boat fishing licenses are only available through DNREC.

Click here to get a Delaware fishing license online

Click here to get your Delaware boat registration online

Click here to get your Boat fishing license online 

   It is illegal to fish for any species of game fish in Delaware with more than two hooks and lines, and each hook and line shall have no more than three separate lures with hooks.

Delaware fishing license costs (effective Jan. 1, 2019)

License Type License Fee Agent Fee Maximum Cost
Resident fishing (Age 16-64) $8.50 $2.50 $11
Non-resident fishing (Age 16 and over) $20 $2.50 $22.50
7-Day Non-resident fishing (Age 16 and over) $12.50 $2.50 $15
Resident Trout Stamp (Age 16-64) $4.20 $1 $5.20
Non-resident Trout Stamp (Age 12 and over) $6.20 $1 $7.20
Young Angler Trout Stamp (Age 12-15) $2.10 $1 $3.10
*Resident boat fishing (20′ vessel and below) $40 $2.50 $42.50
*Resident boat fishing (Vessel over 20′) $50 $2.50 $52.50
*Resident head-boat license $300    
*Resident charterboat license $150    
*Non-resident boat fishing license (20′ vessel and below) $40 $2.50 $42.50
*Non-resident boat fishing license (Vessel over 20′) $50 $2.50 $52.50
*Non-resident head-boat license $600    
*Non-resident charter boat license $300

2019 Delaware Surf Fishing tag, delaware state park passes, ORV permits, OSV vehicle permit, sussex county, delaware
2019 Delaware Surf Fishing tag

Delaware Surf Fishing Vehicle Permits  

In Delaware, you may drive your 4×4 or all wheel drive vehicle  onto four Delaware State Park beaches to fish.  Beach Plum Island State Park, Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore state park, and Fenwick Island State park.   You must be actively engaged in fishing at all times.  You have to have a surf fishing vehicle permit (beach tag)on your vehicle.  The vehicle must be licensed, and registered to legally operate on the roadways and it must have at least seven inches of ground clearance. No low riding vehicles.  Delaware beach sand is soft and even looser in the summer time.  You also have to have certain gear with you at all times to drive onto the beach and actively fish.  It does not matter which direction you park your vehicle.  Many prefer the front towards the sand so they can use their fishing racks.  Rangers would prefer you park front forward, so they can see your surf fishing vehicle permit.You are required to have ….
a tire gauge
a board for a jack
a shovel
a tow strap
Fishing gear and bait
sand spikes for your rods

We recommend a few other items that the parks don’t require.  A fire extinguisher is a good addition to your surf vehicle.  Lot of people grilling on the beach and vehicles have caught on fire before.  An old bed sheet or blanket and heavy gloves, this is good to have if you get a bird tangled up in your line.  A first aid kit is a must have addition.Surf fishing vehicle permits are available through the Delaware State Park Service offices.

Visit our Popular Fishing locations page

OptionsResidentNon-Resident
Registered Vehicle$90 per year$180 per year
Seniors age 62 and over$55 per year$110 per year
Replacement Permit
(restrictions apply)
$10$10
DNREC, 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, new castle county, kent county, sussex county, creel limits, regulations, state fishing records,
2019 Delaware Fishing Guide
DNREC, 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, new castle county, kent county, sussex county, creel limits, regulations, state fishing records,
2019 Delaware Fishing Guide