Florida Salt Water Fishing Laws

Florida Salt Water Fishing Laws
Florida has some of the best saltwater fishing available in the continental United States. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has long recognized the social and economic importance of recreational fishing. The Commission reviews the status of fisheries annually, and adjusts season, size and bag limits to conform with recommendations from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Saltwater Fishing License

Florida boasts that it is the fishing capitol of the world. With over one million licensed recreational anglers, it would be difficult to argue that statement. You can purchase your recreational fishing license online at the Commission's website or by calling (888) FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). According to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission, money from the sale of saltwater fishing licenses is used to improve and restore fish habitat and for marine fisheries research, law enforcement and public education on marine resources.

Type of License

Florida residents can choose one of the following 2009 saltwater licenses.

One-year shoreline only $9.00
One-year $17.00 covers both watercraft and shoreline fishing.
Five-year $79.00
One-year gold sportsman $100.00
One-year military gold sportsman $20

Non-resident saltwater licenses:

Three-day $17.00
Seven-day $30.00
One-year $47.00

Season, Size and Bag Limits

For 2009, these regulations for some of the most popular recreational fish are enforced:

Greater Amberjack--28-inch fork length Atlantic, 30-inch fork length Gulf, no closed season. One fish per day.

Billfish--sailfish 63 inches, blue marlin 99 inches, white marlin 66 inches, no closed season. One fish per day.

Bonefish--18 inches, no closed season. One fish per day.

Cobia--33-inch fork length, no closed season, one per angler or six per vessel, whichever is less.

Dolphin--18-inch fork length, no closed season, ten per angler or sixty per vessel, whichever is less.

Redfish--Not less than 18 or greater than 27 inches, no closed season. One per day.

Snook Atlantic--Not less than 28 or more than 32 inches, closed Dec. 15 through Jan. 31; June through Aug. One per day.

Snook Gulf--Not less than 28 or more than 33 inches, closed Dec. through Feb, May through Aug. One per day.

Spotted Sea Trout--Not less than 15 or more than 20 inches, closed Nov. through Dec. in South Region; closed Feb. in NE and NW Regions. Four fish per day in the South Region; five fish per day in the NE and NW Regions.

Tarpon--Two fish possession limit.

Article Written By Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.

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