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For-Hire/Charter Fishing

Operators of for-hire/charter vessels derive income from bringing recreational fishermen to take and retain legal species of fish.

— Did You Know? —

Louisiana freshwater charter guides must have a Freshwater Charter Guide License beginning November 15, 2021.  Freshwater charter guides must obtain the required insurance documents. Learn more about the requirements to become a licensed charter captain.

Find a Licensed Saltwater Charter Captain

Search the table linked below to make sure your charter captain has an active Charter Boat Fishing Guide License in Louisiana. If you would like more information on available charter captains, please visit the Louisiana Charter Boat Association’s website.


Licensed charter boat fishing guides and mothership vessels must have proof of liability insurance in their possession while on the water and make it available for inspection by duly authorized LDWF agents. 

  • In their name (charter boat fishing guides only)
  • Currently in force
  • Written by a company with at least an A-rating in the latest printing of A.M. Best’s Key Rating Guide
  • Of a commercial nature
  • Not associated with a primary residence
  • At least $300,000 in coverage per occurrence.

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP)

Saltwater charter captains, including those fishing from vessels with a valid federal charter/headboat permit, are required to have a valid Charter ROLP to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, and dolphinfish in Louisiana waters.

more information get or renew your ROLP

Historical Captain Permit Conversion

Historical Captain Permits that were valid or renewable on October 25, 2018, will be eligible for replacement with standard for-hire permits. Individuals have two years (June 21, 2020–June 21, 2022) to replace eligible permits and associate the newly issued permits with a vessel.

To apply for a conversion, contact NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Permit Office  at 877.376.4877 or 727.824.5326.

Federal Southeast For-Hire Electronic Reporting Program (SEFHIER)

As of January 5, 2021, all charter, headboat, and dually-permitted vessels with federal Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish or Coastal Migratory Pelagic permits must comply with Phase 1 requirements of the federal SEFHIER Program. Phase 2 requirements will be implemented March 1, 2022.

more information

Louisiana Fisheries Forward has put together a wide variety of resources to help recreational for-hire, or charter, fishermen understand basic captain requirements; license and permits (state and federal); insurance; seasons, size and possession limits; and best handling methods.  

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