Stay up to date with news about freshwater fishing and the TrophyCatch program by subscribing to the FloridaFreshwater Angler! The FCC strives to increase and diversify participation in fishing throughout Florida via an effort known as R3, which stands for Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation.
The R3 initiative helps create the next generation of anglers who have a vested interest in conserving and managing Florida ’s natural resources. Along the highways and byways of Florida lie canals, lakes, ponds and rivers teeming with a huge variety of freshwater bait-busters.
The canals built for hurricane control in Miami hold good quantities of bass, as do many residential ponds. Try “flipping,” which involves dropping your bait within the length of your rod where you see the water or foliage moving in hopes it's a bass lying there waiting to slurp up your plastic worm.
It's not far from Auburn dale and close to I-4, but of late it's produced some of the biggest bass in the state, with many 10-pound-plus bunkers reaching boat side. Disney's two big lakes contain a huge population of bass that have learned to live with boat noise and crowds.
However, when you get into estuaries areas where salt and fresh water mix and fish of both types can be found, the issue becomes less clear. For example, if you only have a freshwater license and are primarily fishing for large mouth bass or bream (freshwater species) in a river, but happen to catch a red drum (a saltwater species), you must immediately release the red drum.
An exception is you may take mullet from fresh water with only a freshwater fishing license, even though they are normally considered a saltwater species. For all other frogs and toads, there are no seasons, bag or size limits and a recreational license is not needed.
Licenses and permits are not required to take a recreational bag limit of turtles in accordance with rules provided below. Freshwater turtles can only be taken by hand, dip net, minnow seine or baited hook.
Freshwater turtles can only be taken by hand, dip net, minnow seine or baited hook. In addition, collection and possession of freshwater turtle eggs is prohibited without a permit.
Regulations governing taking and possession of freshwater mussels are covered by 68A-23.015 FAC. In summary, “Taking” live or dead freshwater mussels for the purpose of sale, as well as “selling,” is prohibited.
Bag Limit: No person shall take more than 10 freshwater mussels, or 20 half-shells of the families Unionize and Margaritiferidae per day. Additionally, no person may possess more than two days’ bag limit (20 individuals, 40 half-shells) of any mussels of these families.
Any deviation requires a permit from the Executive Director, in accordance with 68A-9.002 FAC (see illustrations on Methods of Taking Fish). Freshwater mussels from families other than the two mentioned above, such as Asian clams, may be taken for bait or personal use.
When you don’t have a scale, you can use total length and girth to get a rough estimate of a bass’ weight. 1 Around Lakeland, at Tenor, bass fishing was best on lakes Horseshoe, Drill, Half Moon, 3, C, F, Picnic, Shop and Tern.
Around town, the speck bite has been best at lakes Bonny and Hollingsworth in water 6-8 feet deep and in the deeper holes, reports Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248). 2 At Auburn dale, Lake Juliana has produced good size specks day and night while drifting minnows.
The canals and their mouths have produced specks, and the bite will improve with cooler weather, reports Shelf. Lake Jessie is really hot for specks while drifting deeper water, reports Caribbean Bay Bait & Tackle (863-292-9755).
Cooler temps, should have them “pushing more shallow.” The speck bite is good while trolling minnows in open water. Some bluegills is biting grass shrimp on the big lake, reports Matt Ingram at Happy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, the best bass action is around the scattered drill if you can find it. Good size specks are biting on minnows during the day at the southwest corner of the lake.
Smaller specks are biting at night around the docks on grass shrimp, reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon's Fish Camp (863-422-1223). 7 At Lake Hatching, specks are being caught at the Hourglass while drifting minnows in the morning.
Later in the day, swim jigs are producing in the reeds and pepper grass, reports Charlie Wycherley at Bridge master Fishing Products (863-676-1009). Good size bass are biting at the south end around Brown’s Point.
Bluegill and shell cracker are biting around mouth of Goblins Cove on live worms, reports Capt. Later on, switch to a black and blue Seiko as the rises higher, reports Wycherley.
11 At Crooked Lake at Baboon Park, the area around Wire’s Point has produced specks on minnows in water 25 feet deep. The south end of the lake has been producing good bass, including an 11-pounder that was caught this past weekend.
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry, the speck bite is improving with good catches coming in on minnows under corks in water 6 to 8 feet deep. Ten-inch plastic worms in black and Juneau color are also producing while fished slowly off heavy matted grass and cattails in water around 8 feet deep.
Free-floating, unattached device Explosives Spear gun Poison or other chemicals Underwater swimming or diving Specifically, for these species, anglers can use a pole and line or rode and reel as well as by bush hook, set line or trot line.
And absolutely no species of sturgeon found in Florida can be taken except as allows by specific federal or state permit or authorization. By paying attention to these rules, you’ll not only be in compliance but help ensure safe and sustainable recreational fishing for all.
The popular Fish Rules App has been updated to include freshwater regulations! Look for it in the App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android.
The 2020-2021 summary of Florida's freshwater fishing rules and regulations is available: Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula.
Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwanee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwanee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico. Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destiny, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee ’s Lake Alcuin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself.
Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish. If you cast a line or catch and release, you need a fishing license.
Youth under 16 years of age (also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements). Florida's residents certified as totally and permanently disabled who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person's Hunting and Fishing License.
Individuals who are observing or filming someone else who is fishing or hunting and who are not assisting (baiting hooks, reeling, setting decoys, calling birds, etc.) Disabled veterans or active or reserve duty military service members and their immediate family members and assistants, who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event, for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer.
A fishpond is a man-made pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the property lines of the owner and with no surface water connection to public waters. Individuals who possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License.
Florida's residents who are fishing for mullet in fresh water who hold valid Florida resident freshwater fishing license. Florida's residents saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who have been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCF or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be in possession when fishing. Florida's residents saltwater fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing -line-retrieval mechanism, for noncommercial purposes in their home county (does not include fish management areas within the home county).