Florida Saltwater Fishing Requirements

Florida Saltwater Fishing Requirements
Six different saltwater fishing licenses are available for Florida residents. A "Gold Sportsman's" license includes fishing in saltwater and freshwater, hunting and archery as well as lobster and snook permits. The "Military Gold Sportsman's" license includes all of the same fishing and hunting privileges at a discounted rate. Separate licenses are sold for solely saltwater fishing, saltwater shoreline permits, combination salt and fresh water fishing, as well as fishing and hunting combination licenses. Florida visitors can purchase saltwater fishing licenses valid for a year or in three- or seven-day increments. Separate permits are required to catch snook, tarpon and lobster.

Blue Crab

Anglers who catch blue crab can harvest up to 10 gallons per day. There are no minimum size requirements on blue crabs. Egg-bearing crabs cannot be trapped. No crabs may be harvested one hour after sunset or one hour before sunrise. A maximum of five traps can be set per day per person. Blue crab season runs from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 in waters less than three miles from shore. No trapping is permitted in federal waterways.

Grouper and Red Snapper

Red snapper must be at least 20 inches long if caught in the Atlantic or 16 inches long if harvested from Gulf waters. Anglers may bag 10 per day during open season, which runs from June 1 to Aug. 14.


Yellow or black grouper must be 24 inches long if caught in Atlantic or Monroe counties, with a bag limit of two each per day. Grouper caught in Gulf waters must be at least 22 inches long, unless caught in Monroe County. Yellow and black grouper season is closed Feb. 1 to March 31. Warsaw and Wassau grouper do not carry a minimum-size harvesting requirement. Anglers may harvest one each of these types of grouper per day. Scamp grouper must be at least 16 inches long unless caught in Atlantic or Monroe counties, where a 24-inch long requirement is enforced. Scamp grouper must be caught whole, with a per day limit of five in Atlantic waters and four in Gulf waters. Scamp grouper season is closed from Feb. 1 to March 31.

Article Written By Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill began writing professionally in 1990. She is a travel writer and photographer working for print and online media, primarily covering Florida, ecotourism and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Her writing credits include RUMBUM, Yahoo News, Visit South magazine,and North Carolina Coastal Guide. She studied journalism and education at Ohio University and real estate at Hondros College.

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