One thing separating Florida bass fishing regulations from many other states is the detail included from one location to another. Regulations in South Florida, and the Suwanee River and northwest portions of the state are different than those in the central portion. In addition, some lakes or areas have their own specific rules. It is up to the angler to know these rules and abide by them.
There is a 5-fish limit for black bass, which includes the largemouth, Suwanee, spotted and shoal bass, and only one can be 14 inches or more in length. A 20-bag limit applies to striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass, only six of which may be 24 inches or more in length.
For black bass, there is also 5-fish limit, but the length requirements are different in this part of the state. Only one can be 22 inches or more, instead of 14 inches as is the case in South Florida. The limits are the same as above for striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass.
Suwanee River and Northwest Florida
In this part of the state, the regulations are the same for black bass as they are in Central Florida, but there are different limits for striped bass and regulations concerning peacock bass. The bag limit for striped bass is three, with all being at least 18 inches long. The bag limit for peacock bass is two and only one can be 17 inches or longer.
Fish Management Areas
In addition to the general regulations above, there are special places in Florida that have been designated as fish management areas. The bass population is being rebuilt in these areas and they are deemed to need special protection. Specific regulations apply and can vary widely. Check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's website for details (see Resources below) or check with a local bait shop.
In general, all those between ages 16 and 65 need a fishing license, unless it is a resident fishing without a reel or he meets one several other circumstances. Out-of-state residents need a license if they are 17 or over. Three-day, seven-day and annual licenses are available for out-of-state residents. Annual and lifetime licenses are available for Florida residents.