Basic Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations for State Waters of Florida


I decided to put this together. I know a lot of divers like to spearfish, but make sure you play by the rules!

PROHIBITED SPECIES:
It is unlawful to harvest, possess, land, purchase, sell, or exchange the following species:
Goliath Grouper (Jewfish), Nassau Grouper, Sawfish, Atlantic Angel Shark, Basking Shark, Bigeye
Sand Tiger Shark, Bigeye Sixgill Shark, Bigeye Thresher Shark, Bignose Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark, Caribbean Sharpnose Shark, Dusky Shark, Galapagos Shark, Lemon Shark, Longfin Mako Shark,
Narrowtooth Shark, Night Shark, Silky Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Sandbar Shark, Sevengill Shark, Sixgill Shark, Smalltail Shark, Spiny Dogfish, Whale Shark, White Shark, Tiger Shark, Great Hammerhead Shark, Scalloped and Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Manta Ray, Spotted Eagle Ray, Longbill Spearfish, Mediterranean Spearfish, Sturgeon,

Florida Queen Conch, Stony, Hard and Fire Corals, Sea Fans, Bahama Starfish, and Longspine Urchin are also off limits.
Harvest of live rock in state waters is prohibited.
Puffer fish harvest is prohibited in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.

Species Minimum Size Limits Closed Season Daily Rec. Bag Limit Remarks
Amberjack, Greater  ● 28″ fork Atlantic;
30″ fork Gulf
June 1–July 31
Gulf of Mexico
1 per harvester per day
Amberjack, Lesser & Banded Rudderfish  ● Not less than 14″ or more than 22″ fork 5 aggregate of lesser amberjack
and banded rudderfish
Billfish  Sailfish 63″;
Blue Marlin 99″;
White Marlin 66″
Roundscale Spearfish 66″
1 per harvester per day
aggregate bag limit
Measured tip of lower jaw to fork. All landed fish must be reported to NOAA within 24 hours 800-894-5528 or hmspermits.noaa.gov.HMS permit required in federal waters.
Black Drum   T ■ Not less than 14″ or more than 24″ 5 per harvester per day May possess one over 24″. Snatching prohibited.
Bluefish  12″ fork 10 per harvester per day
Bonefish ■ 0 per harvester per day Catch and release only. Hook and line gear only.
Clams (Hard) 1″ thick across hinge May not harvest half hour after official sunset
until half hour before
official sunrise
One 5 gal. bucket per harvester
or 2 per vessel, whichever is less
per day (whole in shell)
Illegal to harvest from closed areas.Go to www.floridaaquaculture.com for allowable harvesting areas.
Cobia (Ling)  33″ fork 1 per harvester or 6 per vessel
per day, whichever is less
Crab, Blue Sept. 20–Oct. 4
Gulf state waters beyond 3 miles closed to traps; federal waters closed to traps; Regional trap closures apply.
10 gallons whole
per harvester per day
5 traps maximum. Trap requirements apply. Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited.
Crab, Blue Land July 1–Oct. 31 20 per harvester per day Trapping prohibited, harvest of egg-bearing females prohibited, harvest prohibited in state parks and from the right-of-way of federal, state or county maintained roads.
Crab, Stone ■ 2 ¾” claw May 16–Oct. 14 1 gal. Stone Crab claws per harvester or 2 gal. per vessel, whichever is less 5 traps maximum. Trap requirements apply. Illegal to possess whole crab. Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited.
Dolphin  20″ fork Atlantic 10 per harvester per day, not to exceed 60 per vessel per day
Flounder   T 12″ 10 per harvester per day May be harvested by spearing. Snatching prohibited.
Gag   ● 24″ Atlantic & Monroe County22″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County) State waters of Gulf (except Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson & Taylor)
OPEN July 1, 2012 and CLOSE on Nov. 1, 2012.State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor are CLOSED July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013.Atlantic & Monroe County CLOSED Jan. 1–April 30.
1 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;
2 per harvester per day Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)
No more than 1 fish may be Gag or Black Grouper, either individually or in combination in Atlantic & Monroe County.Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.

Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain & crew on for-hire vessels.

Please check back with MyFWC.com for the latest updates.

Grouper, Black   ● 24″ Atlantic & Monroe County22″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County) Closed in Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Feb. 1–March 31Closed Atlantic &
Monroe County
Jan. 1–April 30
1 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;
4 per harvester per day Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)
Grouper, Red   ● 20″ 3 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;
4 per harvester per day Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)
Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain & crew on for-hire vessels.
Grouper, Snowy  ● 1 per harvester per day Atlantic Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.Atlantic & Monroe County: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
Grouper, Yellowfin
& Yellowmouth   ●
20″ Closed in Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Feb. 1–March 31Closed Atlantic &
Monroe County
Jan. 1–April 30
Grouper, Scamp   ● 20″ Atlantic & Monroe County; 16″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Grouper, Warsaw & Speckled Hind  ● 1 per vessel per day of each species
Grouper, all others  ● Closed in Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Feb. 1–March 31 for
Rock Hind and Red HindClosed Atlantic &
Monroe County
Jan. 1–April 30 for
Tiger, Rock Hind, Red Hind, Coney, Graysby
Hogfish  ● 12″ fork 5 per harvester per day
Mackerel, King  24″ fork 2 per harvester per day Bag limit reduced to 1 in some state waters when federal waters are closed to all harvest.
Mackerel, Spanish  12″ fork 15 per harvester per day Transfer of Spanish Mackerel to other vessels at sea is prohibited.
Mullet, Striped (Black) & Silver 50 aggregate per harvester per day;Aggregate vessel limits
Feb. 1–Aug. 31: 100 per vessel;
Sept. 1–Jan. 31: 50 per vessel
Mullet aggregate bag limit includes Striped and Silver. Call DMFM for additional restrictions in Pinellas and Charlotte counties.
Oysters 3″ June, July, Aug. in Dixie, Wakulla, Levy counties.July, Aug., Sept. in
all other areas.
2 bags per harvester or vessel,
whichever is less per day.
1 Bag = 60 lbs.
or two 5 gal. buckets (whole in shell)
Apalachicola Bay has summer & winter seasons/areas.
Harvest from approved shellfish areas only.Go to Floridaaquaculture.com for allowable harvesting areas.
Permit  T ■ 22” fork SPZ; Not less than
11” or more than 22” fork
all other areas
May 1–July 31SPZ Only 1 per harvester per day, not to exceed 2 per vessel per day SPZ;
2 per harvester per day
all other state waters
May possess 1 over 22“ fork length in all other areas, not to exceed 2 over 22“ fork per vessel per day. See gear restrictions. Map of SPZ.
Pompano, Florida  T ■ 11″ fork 6 per harvester per day Hook and line, cast net, and beach or haul seine ONLY.
Pompano, African  T ■ 24″ fork 2 per harvester per day, not to exceed 2 per vessel per day.
Red Drum
(Redfish)   T
Not less than 18″ or more than 27″ 2 per harvester per day N.E./N.W. Region
1 per harvester per day South Region
Gigging, spearing, snatching prohibited. Harvest in Federal waters prohibited.
Red Porgy   ● 14″ Atlantic 3 per harvester per day Atlantic
Scallops, Bay Sept. 26–June 30 2 gallons whole or 1 pint meat
per harvester per day; no more than 10 gallons whole, or ½ gallon meat per vessel anytime
Harvest allowed only in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the Pasco-Hernando county line, to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.
Sea Bass, Black   ● 12″ Atlantic; 10″ Gulf 15 per harvester per day Atlantic
Shad 10 aggregate per harvester per day American, Alabama & Hickory are part of aggregate limit.Hook & line gear only.
Shark  T No minimum size limit for Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, finetooth and smooth dogfish. 54″ fork for all other non-prohibited sharks. 1 per harvester or 2 per vessel
per day, whichever is less
Hook and line gear only.See list below for prohibited species.
Sheepshead   T 12″ 15 per harvester per day Snatching prohibited.
Shrimp  April & May closed to Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler & Clay counties 5 gallons heads on per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less Contact FWC Regional Office for closed areas.
Snapper, Black & Wenchman  ● Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit
Snapper, Cubera   ● 12″ (see remarks) Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate
bag limit if under 30″
May possess no more than 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.
Snapper, Gray
(Mangrove)   ●
10″ 5 per harvester per day Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit.
Snapper, Lane   ● 8″ Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate
bag limit Atlantic
Gulf not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.
Snapper, Mutton   ● 16″ Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit
Snapper, Red   ● 20″ Atlantic; 16″ Gulf Closed
July 11–May 31 Gulf
2 per harvester per day Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit. Note: Check MyFWC.com/Fishingfor most current regulations prior to fishing.Gulf: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
Snapper,
Schoolmaster   ●
10″ Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit
Snapper, Vermilion   ● 12″ Atlantic; 10″ Gulf Nov. 1–March 31 Atlantic 5 per harvester per day Atlantic;
10 per harvester per day Gulf
Vermilion Snapper not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.
Snapper, all other   ● 12″ Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit
Includes: Blackfin, Dog, Mahogany, Queen, Silk & Yellowtail.
Snook
(all species)   T ■
Not less than 28″ or more than 32″ AtlanticNot less than 28″ or more than 33″ Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park Dec. 15–Jan. 31;
June 1–Aug. 31 Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park. Closed until 9/1/2013.
1 per harvester per day Gulf Snook season determined after development of this printed guide. See website for current information.Snook permit required for harvest when saltwater license required. Illegal to buy or sell snook. Snatch hooks and spearing prohibited.
Spiny Lobster  Carapace must be greater than 3″ measured in the water April 1–Aug. 5
Exception: Sport Season (last consecutive Wed & Thurs of July each year)
Regular season:
6 per harvester per day
Recreational trapping prohibited. Spiny Lobster permit required when license required. Harvest of egg-bearing females prohibited. Special
bag limit for 2-day Sport Season. Contact FWC regional office for
current information on Sport Season.
Sponge, Commercial ■ Greater than 5″ in greatest dimension measured across the top of the sponge 10 per harvester per day Includes: Sheepswool, Yellow, Grass, Glove, Finger, Wire, Reef & Velvet sponge.
Spotted Seatrout   T ■ Not less than 15″ or
more than 20″ (statewide) except one fish over 20″
per person
5 per harvester per day N.W. Region
4 per harvester per day S.W. Region
4 per harvester per day S.E. Region
6 per harvester per day N.E. Region
May possess no more than 1 over 20“; included in the regional bag limit.
Swordfish 47″ lower jaw fork length with head attached or
29″ cleithrum to keel length if head removed.
1 per harvester per day,
not to exceed a maximum of
4 per recreational (not for-hire) vessel or 15 per for-hire vessel per day
All landed fish must be reported to NOAA within 24 hours 800-894-5528. HMS permit required in federal waters. Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew of for-hire vessels.
Tarpon 2 fish possession limit Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest. Snatching and spearing prohibited. Boca Grande Pass has seasonal regulations. Contact DMFM for current information.
Tilefish­, Golden  ● 1 per harvester per day Atlantic Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels
Triggerfish (Gray)  ● 12″ fork Atlantic;
14″ fork Gulf
See additional information.
Tripletail   T 15″ 2 per harvester per day Hook & line gear only. No snatch hooks.
Wahoo  2 per harvester per day To sell or exceed the daily bag limit, follow commercial regulations.
Weakfish   12″ 1 per harvester per day Regulations apply in parts of Nassau County only. See MyFWC.com for map.
 Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (heads, fins & tails intact). Measured as total length. Total length is the straight line distance from the most forward part of the head with the
mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed together while the fish is lying on its side.

■ State regulations apply in federal waters.

● Additional gear rules apply. See Reef Fish Gear Rules.

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait

Harvester: Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed
individuals and those people exempt from licensing requirements who are actively harvesting. People harvesting may not exceed the individual bag limit and take someone else’s bag limit.
That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not properly licensed
(if license is required) may NOT be counted for the purpose of bag limits.
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About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
This entry was posted in Technical tips, info, or other useful thoughts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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