Big Bear Fishing Permit Cost: Everything You Need To Know

Heading out to fish on Big Bear Lake in southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains? You’ll need a permit. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting a Big Bear fishing permit, including cost, requirements, and where to purchase.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: a daily Big Bear fishing permit costs $17. Annual permits range from $47-$67 depending on residency status and age.

Daily Big Bear Fishing Permit Cost and Requirements

Permit Costs $17 Per Day

When planning a fishing trip to Big Bear, it’s important to know the cost of the fishing permit. The daily permit for fishing in Big Bear costs $17 per day. This fee allows anglers to fish in the pristine waters of Big Bear Lake and its surrounding areas for a full day.

The cost of the permit helps support the conservation efforts and maintenance of the fishing areas, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the beauty and abundance of fish in Big Bear Lake.

Required for Ages 16 and Over

To fish in Big Bear, a fishing permit is required for individuals aged 16 and over. This age requirement ensures that all anglers are aware of the rules and regulations associated with fishing and can responsibly participate in this recreational activity.

Younger anglers, under the age of 16, can fish without a permit but must be accompanied by an adult who holds a valid fishing permit.

Valid Only on Day Purchased

It’s important to note that the daily fishing permit for Big Bear is only valid for the day it is purchased. Anglers who wish to fish for multiple days will need to purchase a permit for each day they plan to fish.

This rule ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy the fishing experience in Big Bear and prevents overcrowding at the fishing spots.

For more information on fishing permits and regulations, you can visit the official website of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at Here, you can find detailed information about fishing seasons, catch limits, and other important guidelines to ensure a memorable and enjoyable fishing experience in Big Bear.

Annual Big Bear Fishing Permit Options and Pricing

When it comes to fishing in Big Bear, California, having the right permit is essential. Whether you’re a California resident or visiting from out of state, there are several permit options available to suit your needs.

Understanding the different permit options and their pricing can help ensure you have a great fishing experience in Big Bear.

California Resident Permits

If you’re a resident of California, you have a few different options when it comes to Big Bear fishing permits. The most popular choice among residents is the Annual California Fishing License. This license allows you to fish in all California waters, including Big Bear Lake, for a full year.

It is important to note that additional fees may apply for certain types of fish or specific fishing locations within the state.

Another option for California residents is the One-Day Fishing Permit. This permit allows you to fish in Big Bear Lake for a single day. It is a great option if you’re just looking to spend a day fishing and don’t need a full year permit.

The cost of the One-Day Fishing Permit is typically lower than the annual license, making it a budget-friendly choice for residents.

Non-Resident Permits

If you’re visiting Big Bear from out of state, you’ll need a non-resident fishing permit to fish in Big Bear Lake. The most common choice for non-residents is the One-Day Non-Resident Fishing Permit. This permit allows you to fish in Big Bear Lake for a single day.

It is important to note that non-residents are not eligible for the Annual California Fishing License, so the one-day permit is the best option for short-term fishing trips.

For those planning an extended stay in Big Bear, there is also the option of the Annual Non-Resident Fishing License. This license allows non-residents to fish in all California waters, including Big Bear Lake, for a full year.

It is a great choice if you plan on making multiple fishing trips to Big Bear throughout the year.

Junior and Senior Permits

Big Bear also offers special permits for junior and senior anglers. The Junior Fishing Permit is available for individuals aged 16 and under. This permit allows young anglers to fish in Big Bear Lake under the supervision of a licensed adult.

It is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn and enjoy the sport of fishing.

Senior citizens aged 65 and older also have the option of a discounted Senior Fishing Permit. This permit allows seniors to fish in Big Bear Lake at a reduced cost. It is a wonderful way for seniors to stay active and enjoy the beauty of nature.

For more information on Big Bear fishing permits and pricing, visit the official Big Bear website. They provide detailed information on permit options, pricing, and any additional regulations that may apply.

Remember, having the proper fishing permit not only ensures you’re fishing legally but also supports conservation efforts to maintain the beauty and abundance of fish in Big Bear Lake.

Where to Buy Big Bear Fishing Permits

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Big Bear Lake, it’s important to know where to purchase your fishing permits. Thankfully, there are several convenient options available to ensure you can easily obtain the necessary permits before casting your line into the water.

Online Purchase Options

One of the most convenient ways to buy Big Bear fishing permits is through online platforms. The Big Bear Municipal Water District offers an online permit purchasing system on their official website. Simply visit their website, select the type of permit you need, provide the required information, and make the payment.

It’s a quick and hassle-free process, allowing you to secure your fishing permit from the comfort of your own home.

Additionally, there are other reputable websites that offer Big Bear fishing permits online. These websites often provide detailed information about the various permit options available, including daily and annual permits.

They may also offer additional services such as fishing reports, weather updates, and fishing tips to enhance your fishing experience in Big Bear.

In-Person Vendors Near the Lake

If you prefer to purchase your fishing permit in person, there are several vendors conveniently located near Big Bear Lake. These vendors include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and visitor centers.

They are authorized by the Big Bear Municipal Water District to sell fishing permits, ensuring you can obtain the necessary documents easily.

When purchasing your fishing permit in person, it’s important to bring the required identification and payment method. Some vendors may accept cash only, while others may also accept credit cards. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and check the accepted payment methods to avoid any inconvenience.

Some popular in-person vendors near Big Bear Lake include Big Bear Sporting Goods and Big Bear Marina. These establishments not only sell fishing permits but also offer a wide range of fishing gear, bait, and other supplies you may need for your fishing trip.

They are staffed with knowledgeable and friendly professionals who can provide valuable advice and recommendations to enhance your fishing experience.

Whether you choose to purchase your Big Bear fishing permit online or in person, it’s essential to have the necessary permits before heading out to the lake. Fishing without a valid permit is not only illegal but can also result in fines and penalties.

So, make sure to obtain your fishing permit from an authorized source and enjoy a memorable fishing experience in Big Bear!

Fishing Regulations on Big Bear Lake

Season Dates

Fishing on Big Bear Lake is regulated to ensure the sustainability of the fish population and to provide an enjoyable experience for anglers. The fishing season typically runs from April to October, but it’s always a good idea to check with the local authorities or the Big Bear Lake official website for the exact dates and any changes in regulations.

Bag and Size Limits

Bag and size limits are put in place to protect the fish population and allow them to grow and reproduce. Currently, the bag limit for trout on Big Bear Lake is five fish per day, with a size limit of 12 inches or greater.

This means that anglers are allowed to keep up to five trout that are at least 12 inches in length. It’s important to measure your catch accurately and release any fish that do not meet the size limit to preserve the population for future generations of anglers.

Bait and Lure Regulations

When it comes to bait and lures, there are some regulations in place to ensure fair fishing practices. Live bait, such as worms and minnows, is allowed on Big Bear Lake. Additionally, artificial lures and flies are also permitted.

However, it’s important to note that the use of lead weights or sinkers is prohibited to protect the water quality and the fish population. Make sure to use environmentally-friendly alternatives such as tungsten or steel weights.

Familiarizing yourself with these fishing regulations will ensure that you have a great fishing experience on Big Bear Lake while also contributing to the conservation efforts of the area. Remember to always respect the rules and regulations in place and practice catch-and-release whenever possible to help maintain the sustainability of the fish population.

Tips for Fishing Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, offering a variety of fish species and serene natural surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, these tips will help you make the most of your fishing experience at Big Bear Lake.

Best Times of Day and Year

Timing is crucial when it comes to fishing at Big Bear Lake. The best times of day to catch fish are usually early in the morning or late in the evening when the water is cooler and fish are more active. Additionally, certain times of the year are more productive than others.

Spring and fall are considered prime fishing seasons, as the water temperature is optimal for fish activity. It’s always a good idea to check with local fishing reports or websites like for up-to-date information on the best times to fish at Big Bear Lake.

Top Species and Techniques

Big Bear Lake is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and catfish. Each species requires different techniques and baits to catch them successfully.

For trout fishing, popular techniques include using PowerBait or casting lures like spinners or spoons. Bass fishing techniques often involve using plastic worms or crankbaits. Catfish are frequently caught using stink baits or nightcrawlers.

It’s essential to research and understand the specific techniques and baits that work best for your target species.

Productive Fishing Spots

Big Bear Lake offers numerous productive fishing spots for anglers to explore. One popular area is the North Shore, known for its deep waters and abundant fish populations. The Boulder Bay and Pleasure Point areas are also highly recommended for fishing.

Additionally, the East Boat Ramp and the West Ramp areas are popular spots for bank fishing. It’s always a good idea to talk to local anglers or visit fishing forums to get recommendations on the best fishing spots based on the time of year and the species you are targeting.

Remember, fishing permits are required when fishing at Big Bear Lake. The cost of these permits varies depending on factors such as residency status, age, and duration of the permit. It’s essential to check with the Big Bear Municipal Water District or visit their official website to find out the current permit costs and any additional regulations or restrictions in place.


A day on the water fishing Big Bear Lake makes for an unforgettable outdoor experience. With your permit in hand, you’ll be set to reel in trout, bass, catfish, and more from this scenic southern California lake.

We covered everything from daily and annual permit prices to fishing hot spots so you’ll be prepared.

Got any other questions before you cast off? Let us know in the comments!

Similar Posts