Florida Fishing On Private Property

Bob Roberts
• Monday, 07 December, 2020
• 4 min read

If fishing outside the “mean high water line,” chances are the homeowner is in the wrong. Florida ’s fishermen have a right to fish the docks and shorelines along private waterfront property.

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What’s tricky is delineating where private property ends and the public waterway begins. In general, waterfront homeowners (riparian owners) own to the line of the ordinary high watermark on navigable waters such as lakes, rivers, bays, creeks, beaches and streams.

One good source is a law firm that deals with these specific issues (prime example). Also, read about Florida Sportsman member Ryan’s recent experience with a waterfront owner.

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. 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.

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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).

The majority of small lakes in our area are spring-fed with good water clarity. Most are private, but some have public boat ramps that were grandfathered in before the county was developed.

Public Access to Lake Gertrude is limited except for a small canoe launch area on the west side. Swimming, fishing and water skiing are popular with lakefront property owners.

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East and West Crooked Lakes are located in Eustis Florida. East Crooked Lake is especially beautiful and as it winds its way through the hills with luxury homes build into the surrounding hillsides.

The east side of Lake Lock Even is in the Mount Dora Country Club Golf Community, which has a few lakefront homes. All residents of Park Place have deeded access to Lake Joanna and use of the communities private boat ramp.

Lake Door is located in the Ocala National Forest about 5 minutes north of the City of Matilda. This lake is surrounded by pristine forest and looks like a Canadian wilderness travel log.

Homes on this pristine lake are few, highly desirable and expensive. Dear, black bears, water birds, large woodpeckers and all manner of wildlife are a frequent site.

Lake Jalousie is located in a quiet countryside area east of Matilda. This 248 acre clear water lake is surrounded by huge lakefront estate homes.

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There is a small dirt public boat ramp located on the southeastern shore. The small City of Matilda Florida is 6 miles north of Eustis near the southern border of the Ocala National Forest.

Lake Matilda and the tiny Holly Chain have small public boat ramps. Some lakes have luxury homes built on their shores, but most have modest cottages.

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1 coastalanglermag.com - https://coastalanglermag.com/fishing-state-florida-june/
2 www.tripstodiscover.com - https://www.tripstodiscover.com/fishing-vacations-in-florida/
3 fishingbooker.com - https://fishingbooker.com/blog/florida-fishing-spots/
4 offshorehustler.com - https://offshorehustler.com/fish-calendar.php