The fishing regulations in Florida start with the fishing license. They then go on to detail bag limits and size restrictions based on each fish. You need to be familiar with the regulations regarding the types of fish that you might catch if you want to fish in Florida.
FLORIDA FISHING LICENSES
There are many types of fishing licenses available in Florida, including saltwater and freshwater. Adult and youth licenses are available (valid up to the 17th birthday). Both residents and non-residents can apply for licenses.
You may need a permit to fish for certain types of fishing. New regulations have been introduced for crab traps and shark traps.
An annual combination license is available if you intend to fish freshwater and saltwater. You can even get a combination license that includes hunting, or one that includes a variety of licenses known collectively as the Gold Sportsman’s License.
For those who plan to fish for many years, lifetime licenses may be available.
NEW REGULATIONS FOR SHORE-BASED SHARK FISHING
Many new regulations have been put in place to allow shore-based shark fishing. In certain circumstances, you will need a permit. Adult anglers also need to take an online education class about shore-based shark fish fishing.
For the complete list of new regulations for shark fishing from shore, go to the Florida Saltwater Fishing Regulations website.
SIZES AND LIMITS
When fishing in Florida, the most important thing is to be aware of the size and limit of the fish you can catch. There will be different limits and sizes for each type of fish. You may need to know how to measure and catch fish depending on the type.
You need to be familiar with the limits on the size and weight of the fish you intend to catch. You will also need to know the seasons in which you can fish and catch certain types of fish.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
- Black Grouper Atlantic and Gulf Black Grouper must be at least 24 inches in length. Only one Atlantic Black Grouper per day can be harvested, while four Gulf Black Grouper may be harvested each day. Gulf Black Grouper may be harvested all year, but Atlantic Black Grouper is only allowed to be harvested between January 1 and April 30.
- Great Barracuda Must measure at least 15 inches in length, but not more than 36 inches. There is a daily limit of 2 per person and 6 per vessel. Each vessel can have one that is more than 36 inches in length. Great Barracuda is only available in certain counties of Florida.
- Bluefish Must have a 12 in. and a daily harvest limit of 10 per day.
It is important to know the limits of the types of fish you can catch, such as the length and weight. You will be punished if you are found violating any fish or wildlife regulations.
- First offense: $50 plus the cost for the permit or license
- Second offense: $250 plus the cost for the permit or license
- Penalty of $250 for third offense
You could be charged with a misdemeanor if you are convicted of a level 2 violation. This can result in higher fines and longer jail sentences.
It is the best and easiest way to make sure you are not violating any Florida fishing regulations. Make sure you are familiar with the seasons and limits for each type of fish that you intend to catch.
The article was written by a professional charter captain at Salty Knots Fishing Charters with 15+ years of experience in the Gulf of Mexico. Salty Knots Fishing Charters is a local fishing charter service based out of St. Pete Beach, Florida. “We know what it takes to catch a giant trophy fish!” Salty Knots Is the best when it comes to Offshore Fishing in St.Pete FL.