Non-residents using beach or haul seines for recreational purposes are required to have a commercial saltwater products license. 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.
You are fishing in the St. Mary's River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license. That license is not a disability accommodation but economic accommodation for the segment of Florida's disabled population who may not be able to afford to pay for the license.
Fishing is usually at the top of the to-do list when Rivers visit Florida, but before you drop your line in the water, ask; are you in compliance with Florida ’s fishing regulations? If you are 16 years or older and you intend to hunt or fish, even if you just catch and release.
You fish from a boat, the captain of which has a valid recreational saltwater vessel license issued in their name. You’re fishing in the St. Mary’s River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida) and have a valid Georgia fishing license.
If you cast a line or catch and release, you need a fishing license. Someone who is passively participating (setting decoys, calling birds or baiting hooks), whether actively fishing or hunting or not, must have a license and appropriate permits.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 379.354, the following individuals are EXEMPT from recreational hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing licenses as well as Florida waterfowl, migratory bird, deer, turkey, shook, spiny lobster, archery, crossbow, muzzle loading and management area permit requirements (unless noted, these exemptions do not apply to federal duck stamp requirements): Youth under 16 years of age (also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements).
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.
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). The air temperature typically ranges from a comfortable 60 to 80 degrees, the humidity is low, the beaches are beautiful and, most importantly, the fishing is awesome.
The benefit to hiring a guide is that they are on the water daily and therefore they are able to keep track of where the fish are located on any given day. Exclusive offshore fishing guides will be $800-$1,000 due to the increased gas requirements.
If you plan on coming to the greater Tampa Bay area, please feel free to reach out in the comments section for guide recommendations and I can make some suggestions. If you read through my entire site before coming down to Florida, coupled with a kayak rental, you should be able to get into some nice fish.
No matter where you are in Florida, just ask the local kayak rental place for some fishing tips, and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Paddle out to where the creek meets the bay (around Christmas Pass) and you’ll be in the area of some good fishing.
Tie on a weedless gold spoon, work it slow (just hovering the bottom) and you might be able to tango with some nice redfish and/or shook. Another great option in Florida is to fish from the many piers that line the coastal waters.
The bait shop attendants and the many locals lining the pier can point you in the right direction, however, it is hard to beat deploying live shrimp for some easy action. If you are here in the late February/March timeframe, check out my blog covering Spanish mackerel for some tips leading to some exhilarating action.
Spanish Mackerel you plan on coming down in the January/February timeframe, both inshore and offshore fishing are viable options. Most inshore fishing during this time of year is done around creek mouths and up river, especially for shook and redfish.
The big sea trout (also known as “gator trout”) are available during winter months in shallow waters. If you want to bring some fish home for dinner, I suggest targeting sea trout (redfish and shook are closed through May thanks to the red tide bloom).
For inshore fishing, the big 3 should be all over the flats, joined by many of the pelagic species (Spanish mackerel, cobra, jacks, sharks, etc). In order to maximize your time and efforts, I would avoid inter-coastal waters on Florida ’s west coast, spanning from Fort Myers to St. Petersburg.
I would personally stick to Tampa Bay and inter-coastal waters north of Clearwater on the west coast. I would recommend calling ahead if you are planning on visiting impacted areas.