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Florida Fishing Bag Limits

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Florida Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Basic recreational saltwater fishing regulations for Florida's Atlantic Ocean

Sunday December 17, 2017

This brief summary of regulations governs the taking of saltwater species in Florida state waters for personal use and not for commercial fishing laws. The absence of complete laws, rules and regulations in this summary does not relieve persons from compliance with those laws, rules or regulations. State waters extend to 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic and 9 nautical miles on the Gulf. Federal rules apply beyond state waters. For species that do not have an established bag limit, more than 100 pounds or two fish per harvester per day (whichever is greater), is considered commercial quantities. A saltwater products license and commercial vessel registration are required to harvest commercial quantities of unregulated species. It is illegal to sell recreationally harvested fish without compliance with commercial license requirements.


In emergencies or if state fisheries, wildlife, or boating laws are being violated--call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or for cellular phone user throughout the state, dial #FWC or *FWC depending on your location, or hailed on VHF Channel 16.

RESOURCE HOTLINES

Marine Fish Kills: 800-636-0511
Enviro-Line: 800-828-9338
To Purchase Fishing Licenses: 888-347-4356
Division of Law Enforcement: 888-404-3922
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 727-896-8626 www.floridamarine.org
Fish Tags: 800-367-4461
TO REPORT WILDLIFE LAW VIOLATIONS, call Wildlife Alert Network, 888-404-FWCC (3922)

FOR CURRENT FEDERAL REGULATUIONS AND INFORMATION

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council www.safmc.net
National Marine Fisheries Service www.nmfs.noaa.gov

Fishing Regulations in Florida

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 19 2015 11:00:36.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Florida Fish Regulations

Redfish, Red Drum, Puppy Drum, Channel Bass

Not less than 18" or more than 27" and only 1 fish per harvester per day.


Common Snook, Black Snook, Fat Snook, Robalo

Not less than 28" or more than 32" Atlantic - Not less than 28" or more than 33" Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park

Season Closed December 15th thru January 31st & June thru August on the Atlantic Coast.
Decemeber thru February & May thru August on the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park


Cobia, Ling, Crab Eater, Lemon Fish

Minimum size 33" to fork 1 per harvester or 6 per vessel per day, whichever is less.


Florida Coastal and Pelagic Sharks

Harvestable Sharks fall into the following two groups of species:
Group One: Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacknose, Blacktip, Bonnethead, Finetooth, All species of dogfish and smoothounds within the Genus Mustelus
Group Two: Bull, Nurse, Spinner, Blue, Oceanic whitetip, Porbeagle, Shortfin mako,Thresher

Non- Harvestable Sharks fall into the following:
Group Three: Atlantic angel, Basking, Bigeye sand tiger, Bigeye sixgill, Bigeye thresher, Bignose, Caribbean reef, Dusky, Galapagos, Great hammerhead, Lemon shark, Longfin mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Sandbar, Sand tiger, Scalloped hammerhead, Sevengill, Silky, Sixgill shark, Smalltail, Smooth hammerhead, Tiger shark, Whale, White


Black Drum, Drum Fish, Drum

Not less than 14" or more than 24". Five per harvester per day. May possess 1 over 24"


Spotted Seatrout, Sea Trout, Speckled Trout, Gator Trout

Not less than 15" or more than 20" (statewide) except one fish over 20" per person. 4 per harvester per day South Region 5 per harvester per day N.E. and N.W. Regions.
Season Closure: Nov. & Dec. S. Region / Feb. N.E. and N.W.


Tarpon, Sabalo, Silver King

Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest and two fish possession limit.


Lady Fish, Poor Man's Tarpon

No limit or size regulation.


Blue Fish, Bluefish

12" minimum size to the fork, limit of 10 per day per angler.


Crevalle Jack, Jack Fish

No limit or size regulation.


Dolphin, Mahi Mahi, Dorado

20" minimum to fork of tail, 10 fish per angler and not to exceed 60 per vessel possession limit.


King Mackerel, King Fish, Kingfish, Mackerel

24" to fork in tail minimum size limit, limit of two per angler per day.


Spanish Mackerel Gamefish

12" minimum to fork in tail, 15 per angler per day.


Tripletail, Triple Tail, Bouy Bass

15" minimum size limit, 2 per angler per day.


Cubera Snapper, Snapper

Not less than 12" or more than 30", Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit if under 30", Allowed 2 Cubera Snapper over 30" per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less. 30" or larger not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.


Mangrove Snapper, Gray Snapper

10" minimum size limit, five per angler per day.


Greater Amberjack, Lesser Amberjack, Almaco Jack

Must be at least 28" fork of the tail in the Atlantic; 30" fork of the tail in the Gulf. One per harvester per day


Gag Grouper, Grey Grouper

There are several types of grouper in Florida with the Grey or Gag being one of the most popular. Please look at the FWC literature for additional information regarding this and other grouper species. 24" minimum in the Atlantic with two fish per angler per day possession limit.

NOAA Fisheries Service has announced that effective January 4, 2010, all recreational and commercial harvest of grouper in Atlantic federal waters is prohibited. This interim rule will be effective until June 2, 2010 and could be extended for another 186-day period.


Red Snapper, American Red Snapper

20" Atlantic Ocean; 16" Gulf of Mexico minimum size, 2 per angler per day.

NOAA Fisheries Service has announced that effective January 4, 2010, all recreational and commercial harvest of red snapper in Atlantic federal waters is prohibited. This interim rule will be effective until June 2, 2010 and could be extended for another 186-day period.


Atlantic Sailfish or Sail Fish, Billfish

63" minimum from tip of bottom jaw to fork of tail. Limit of one per day per angler. Additional permits are required in federal waters.


Goliath Grouper or Jewfish

It is unlawful to harvest, possess, land, purchase, sell, or exchange


Bonito, Little Tuny, False Albacore

Of the thousands of fish species found in Florida waters, the vast majority have no specific regulations at all. These ?unregulated? species include some very popular sport fish that are commonly caught by recreational anglers such as white grunt, gulf kingfish (whiting), gafftopsail catfish, ladyfish, cero mackerel, blackfin tuna, bonito, great barracuda, gulf kingfish, pinfish and jack crevalle. The list also includes thousands of other species that are less frequently targeted but sometimes caught incidentally including spadefish, American eels, silver perch, croakers, hardhead catfish and many others. The term ?unregulated? can be misleading because standard recreational gear requirements still apply, and there is a default bag limit established by Florida Statute for any species harvested by a recreational angler. Harvesting amounts that exceed the default recreational bag limit (which are defined as commercial quantities) and commercial sale of all unregulated species would require a saltwater products license.


Florida Pompano or Trachinotus Carolinus

11 inches to fork of tail, six per harvester.


Barracuda, Cuda, Bacarruda

The FWC approved creating a slot limit of 15 to 36 inches allowing for one fish greater than 36 inches per person or per vessel, whichever is less in some S. Florida counties at the Nov. meeting in St. Petersburg. These changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.


Blackfin Tuna or Thunnus atlanticus

Of the thousands of fish species found in Florida waters, the vast majority have no specific regulations at all. These ?unregulated? species include some very popular sport fish that are commonly caught by recreational anglers such as white grunt, gulf kingfish (whiting), gafftopsail catfish, ladyfish, cero mackerel, blackfin tuna, bonito, great barracuda, gulf kingfish, pinfish and jack crevalle. The list also includes thousands of other species that are less frequently targeted but sometimes caught incidentally including spadefish, American eels, silver perch, croakers, hardhead catfish and many others. The term ?unregulated? can be misleading because standard recreational gear requirements still apply, and there is a default bag limit established by Florida Statute for any species harvested by a recreational angler. Harvesting amounts that exceed the default recreational bag limit (which are defined as commercial quantities) and commercial sale of all unregulated species would require a saltwater products license.

Two fish or 100 pounds per person, per day -whichever is more. For smaller fish like white grunt, the limit is 100 pounds regardless Lionfishof the number of fish it takes to reach that total weight. For larger fish such as the southern stingray, if you harvest two fish that have a combined weight of 150 pounds, that is your limit for that species.


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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

We had a great time with Captian Richard!! 1/2 day trip,good weather and fish in the box:)) We stdpped off cruise ship and onto his boat within 10 minutes. Great trip for novice to experianced angler. Thanks Capt. & will see you again!!!
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