Not knowing the rules also puts people in the position of breaking them, and that can mean incurring a fine or, in extreme cases, imprisonment. All anglers are legally required to be familiar with the rules and regulations governing the type of fishing they are doing.
Saltwater Traps and Debris Removal Every year about this time, people inundate the agency with calls about the use of large, circular nets in Central Florida's lakes and canals.
But fishermen are allowed to use these cast nets in order to catch blue tilapia, catfish and shiners, as long as they have a license, said John Benton, an Eustis commission fisheries biologist. “Our officers get swamped with these calls, so we try to allay people's fears that something nefarious is taking place,” Benton said.
The calls require processing and investigation, preventing commission officers from attending to other, more pressing business. Commercial fishermen use the cast nets to catch large quantities of the blue tilapia, which live in ponds, streams, rivers and canals.
In 1961, the fish were imported to Central Florida from Auburn University for testing to see whether they consumed aquatic plants. Ever since, the blue tilapia have flourished in Florida waters, driving off native fish, such as bass and bream.
Allowing licensed fishermen to use the cast nets helps keep the species' population from growing too large. 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.
So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville. 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. Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order.
Florida ’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic. Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish.
The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce. 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).