Florida, a state with hundreds of miles of beach on its three sides. It’s a city all about fun on the beach and sea. As the saying goes, Why ask questions? Just have fun. There are many interesting facts about Florida. The fact that this city has the highest golf courses in all states of America, the fact that it has Atlantic on one side and the opposite side is occupied by the Gulf of Mexico, and more. Florida is also known as Sunshine State. Isn’t that interesting. Speaking of interesting facts, have you ever looked at the fishing laws in Florida? It surely is different from other states of the US. We all know that we, Americans are fond of fishing and will not let go of any chance of fishing. As Florida has hundreds of miles of beaches all around, there is enough space for everyone to fish. But things have to be under control. Otherwise, the natural life of fish in Florida would get hampered.
That being said, let us summarize the fishing laws in Florida.
Fishing laws in Florida
The fishing rules in Florida are vast and get updated continuously for various political and non-political reasons. Regardless of what it is, you must keep yourself up-to-date with their rules as officers may check your license whenever they want. And different law violations require different fees. So be sure to check them every time you go fishing in Florida.
- Anyone who wishes to fish in Florida must have a fishing license. This applies to fishing in both saltwater and freshwater. Some exemptions apply to this rule.
- A Florida fishing license is required by both residents and non-residents of Florida. Every license has an expiry date. Except for the ones that are for lifetime use.
- If a fishing license expires, the person who yields it must renew it immediately for continuing legally fishing in Florida.
- If you just want to cast a line, catch a fish, and release the fish alive afterward, a license is required. If you cast a line for fun, you still need a license.
- Those whose names are in the National Saltwater Angler Registry are required to have a Florida recreational fishing license. If any of the registered members fall under the terms of any exemptions rules, they do not need to have a fishing license for fishing in Florida.
- Those who are less than the age of 16 and above the age of 65 do not require any license. Resident seniors of age 65+ require a permit or proof of their age. Such proof can be a Florida driving license or ID card.
- Freshwater fishing licenses cannot be used to fish in Saltwater and vice versa. Saltwater fishing license varies. If you are fishing on a boat in saltwater, you are required to get a free shore water license.
- To obtain any marine creature from the beaches of Florida, you are required to have a saltwater fish license. Marine creatures include native and non-native sea creatures like crabs, lobster, and even sea plants.
- If someone is passively helping someone who has an appropriate fishing license, is required to have a fishing license and additional permits. Passive activities in helping fishing include setting decoys, birds calling, and baiting hooks. The same rule applies to active assistance as well. If someone falls under the term of any license exemptions, they are free to help others in fishing both actively and passively.
- If someone is observing or recording someone else fishing but is not actively or passively helping them in any way for fishing does not require any license. That is because they are not involved in the fishing activity.
- Members of the Armed Force of the United States that are on leave for 30 days or less are free to fish in Florida. They do not need any license for saltwater and freshwater.
- Those who are fishing in freshwater on the homestead of their close relatives are not required to have any freshwater fishing license. The close relatives for this exemption are spouse, minor child, and parents. That also refers to fishing on the freshwater of your private property in Florida does not require you to have a freshwater fishing license.
- Those who are permanently or disabled and possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person’s Hunting and Fishing License do not require to have any regular fishing license. This applies to freshwater and saltwater. The disabled person also has to be a resident of Florida.
- There are bag and size limits that apply in Florida. These rules are changed frequently. Violation of this law requires you to pay a fine. Different size violations require you to pay different amounts of fines. The bag and size limit chart can be found on myfwc.com or in the app “Fish Rules”.
Aren’t these rules interesting and different from the other states of America? Yes, there are some similarities. The reason why Florida has so many rules for fishing is to protect the natural life and habitats of fishes in Florida water. If you want to get the complete list of fishing laws in Florida, visit https://myfwc.com/fishing/. There are two sets of laws. One for saltwater fishing and one for freshwater fishing. Wherever you fish in Florida, be sure to follow all the laws.