By Captain David Lifka
Keeping up with Florida Fishing Regulations can be a challenge to say the least. Long time residents have witnessed an extraordinary amount of change over the years, while newer residents face the challenges of having to learn these regulations from scratch.
Familiarity with Florida’s fishing regulations is a must. Starting with licensing, you need determine the type of license required for the type of fishing you will be doing. Freshwater, saltwater, and shoreline licenses, along with different variations and combinations of these licenses are requirements to be able fish most of Florida’s waters. Exemptions exist for children (under 16), seniors (age 65 and older), military, and certain people with disabilities. Also, don’t forget the additional permits Florida requires to keep lobster or Snook when you purchase your license.
Determining what you can catch, how many you can keep, where you can catch them, where you can’t catch them, the time of year you can catch them, the length to the fork of tail, the length to tip of tail, the region you live in, the body of water you caught them in, the type of bait you used, and even the type of hooks you use, are just some of the Fishing Regulations you need to be aware of when fishing Florida’s waters. It seems every year it just gets a little bit harder to go out and wet a line and catch a fish.
Planning and preparing has always been an important part of fishing. Nowadays, part of that preparation is making sure you have a copy of Florida’s Freshwater or Saltwater Fishing Regulations with you. Also available at MyFWC.com, you will have instant access to fish identification, sizes, and limits. To obtain a license almost instantly, you can call 1-888-347-4356, or go online to MyFWC.com/License.
There once was a time when fishing in Florida was easier. Most of today’s regulations didn’t even exist at one time. But times have changed, and many of these regulations exist to help maintain a healthy stock so everyone can enjoy fishing in Florida. Yes, keeping up with Florida’s Fishing Regulations can be a bit of challenge, but with the right preparation, using the resources provided, following these rules will be just one more part to ensure the success of your next fishing trip.
Fishing Report: Bad weather has slowed river fishing. Surf fishing for Blues and other species following the fall bait run is worth a try.
Whether you catch one, some, or none, the family time spent fishing will last a lifetime.