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). Avoid negative criticism, don't raise your voice and concentrate on covering a few basics while having a good time (and hopefully even landing some fish).
Even if your kid’s line is a bit too slack or his or her rod tip held a bit too low, avoid turning the first fishing trip into a two-hour list of “Dos” and “DON’tTs.” Once you have covered the basics, a good rule of thumb is this: Unless it's something that will really prevent them from being able to catch a fish that day, don't mention it. Some concepts can even be learned before the actual first trip, such as knot tying and casting techniques.
While any outdoor sport often involves some minor hardships, do as much as you can to make your kid comfortable on that first trip. Remember the raincoats in case it sprinkles, bring a mid-morning snack or a picnic lunch as well as a comfortable lawn chair and a jug of iced tea or water.
The king of live baits is the lowly worm, and it will catch not only the easier-to-find sunfish and catfish, but will attract any bass that happen to be nearby as well. That first fishing trip, however, is not too early to begin making your student aware of the other (and more important) pleasures to be had from this sport: the fresh air, the great outdoors, interesting wildlife, and good company.
While any competent angler will eventually need to learn how to bait hooks and handle fish, these experiences can wait until later outings. While live worms are hard to beat, cut hot dogs will work well on pan fish and catfish and may be better starting bait for some individuals.
Younger beginners in particular are very impressionable, and fishing provides an ideal opportunity to teach responsibility and to reinforce the importance of good choices. Don't introduce too many rules at once, but do take time to properly identify and measure fish and to address size and bag limits (and discuss the reasons behind them).
Time of Day: For freshwater fishing especially, dawn and dusk tend to be more active feeding periods and also allow some escape from the heat. If the front lasts for a prolonged period, after it passes can again bring enhanced fishing conditions.
Part of this is programmed into their genes, but much of it is triggered by water temperature, lunar phase and their nutrition as well. Events: Youth programs: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) is working to create The Next Generation that Cares about conservation by getting kids and young adults outdoors and connected to nature through active, nature-based recreation, which studies show enhances children’s quality of life.
Fishing can be extremely simple and inexpensive and still provide great recreation and opportunities to have fun and spend quality time together. The line can simply be wrapped around a can, but a basic cane pole with no reel is easier to handle and normally a better choice.
For bank fishing with a cane pole and live bait (for example, crickets or worms), simple sinkers and a bomber are useful. In freshwater, a utilitarian rod is medium-weight, 6 to 6.5 feet long and designed to match the type of reel you want to use.
For spin casting reels, a pistol grip with relatively evenly sized line guides on top. For bait casting, the reel will go on top, the handle may be straight and the guides are pretty even.
An inexpensive spin casting rod and reel combo can be purchased for about $20 that will last, or less expensive youth models can be bought for less than $10. The enclosed fishing line is less likely to get tangled, making them an excellent choice for a kid's first reel.
A fly- fishing reel simply holds the line, which is manually stripped off by the angler and the whipping motion of the fly rod is used to cast the lure. Fishing line: Various types exist, from basic monofilament to braided to new super polymers.
Sizes are a bit confusing they run from about 30 (the tiniest) to 1 and then start climbing from 1/0 to 12/0 (a big shark hook). For freshwater bass, larger hooks (3/0 or 4/0) are very popular and typically have a slightly shorter shank.
For catfish, it might be chicken liver or a smelly ball of cheese or bread impregnated with scents. Please don't release any live bait alive when you are finished, since they can contribute to the spread of diseases.
Bass anglers often use soft plastic baits, such as worms, crawfish or jerk baits, and rig them to an offset hook with a sliding weight. Plugs are typically wood or plastic with a cupped front face and lip that makes them dive to different depths.
Spinners have a metal blade that twists as it goes through the water creating flash and noise. Poppers and flies are typically smaller and often used with fly- fishing or ultra light tackle.
Some rules of thumb are bigger baits for darker waters or in heavier cover with gold or silver colors and smaller baits with dark colors such as grape in clearer waters. A bullet or cone-shaped weight is typically threaded over the line in front of soft plastic lures.
A split shot is often placed above crickets or worms and below a float when fishing for bream or catfish. Polarized lenses will significantly increase your ability to see fish and your bait through the glare on the surface of the water.
Insect repellent: You don't want to ruin a great family outing because you need to leave early to avoid the bugs. The FCC tries to keep the rules simple, but you should always check for the current management efforts and bring a copy of our regulations guides with you when possible.
Licenses can be purchased online at MyFWC.com/License, at retail agents such as sporting goods stores or other retailers that sell hunting or fishing equipment, by telephone at 888-FISH- Florida (347-4356) and at local Florida tax collector offices. The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is spearheading the fundraising effort to make it possible for the FCC to continue to create youth programs that reconnect our kids with nature and traditional outdoor activities.
Our mission is to change the lives of our youth through environmental stewardship by providing inspiration and education through recreation. As part of our mission, we aspire to instill positive values in the young people we educate and mentor.