Knowing your limits is a good rule of thumb in life. Knowing your limits (and seasons) is especially important when fishing in Florida because out of season and bag and size limit violations are a second-degree misdemeanor and can carry a penalty of $500 per violation and 60 days in jail.
More major fishing violations, such as using a gill net, flagrant limit violation (and they consider this anything over three fish over the limit), stealing from crab pots and the illegal sale of fish, are considered first-degree misdemeanors. These violations can carry a $1000 fine, a civil penalty and one year in jail.
Filleting the fish you catch off-shore is a really bad idea too. Fish species CAN be identified by their filets and are considered a second-degree offense.
Additionally, both saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses are required by law. Exceptions include being under the age of 16 or over the age of 65, but you must be able to provide proof of age, and seniors must be able to provide proof of residency. You also do not need a license if you are fishing with a charter boat captain or if you are fishing from a pier.
Most bait shops can provide you with a fishing license. Florida fishing licenses can also be obtained online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, at county tax collectors’ offices, through licensed agents or by calling 888-FISH FLORIDA.
If you want to find out the specific limits and seasons for all species of fish, 2fla.com/fishing-guide-chart will hook you right up. Size and limits for each species that is legal to fish, as well as the seasons for each area are also available through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
So just adhere to Florida’s recreational fishing guidelines and have a “reel” good time out there!