The possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook when targeting sharks is required (when fishing from shore or a vessel). All sharks that are retained for use must remain in whole condition with heads, tails and fins attached until landed.
In federal waters, fishermen that hold an HMS Angling or Charter/Head boat permit and fishermen that hold an Atlantic Tunas General category and Swordfish General Commercial permits when participating in a registered HMS tournament may only land a short fin make if the shark meets the minimum size of 71 inches fork length for males and 83 inches fork length for females. Once completed, you will be prompted to go to FCC’s online licensing system, where you will need to get the no-cost, Shore-based Spearfishing permit (must be renewed annually).
Fishing with a metal leader more than 4 feet long, Using a fighting belt/harness, or Deploying bait by any means other than casting (kayaking for example) while using a hook that is 1 ½ inches or larger at the widest inside distance. Recreational anglers fishing for or harvesting sharks in state waters are not required to hold the federal HMS vessel permit.
Expand All | Collapse All Sharks are apex predators that play an important role in marine ecosystems. Many species of sharks are prohibited from harvest, possession, or landing in Florida waters.
Prohibited shark species remain in the water with the gills submerged when fishing from shore or from a vessel Prohibited shark species must be released without delay when fishing from the shore. A device capable of cutting the hook or leader such as bolt or cable cutters is required gear when fishing for sharks from shore.
Sharks have been known to take fish off the line and even bite boat motors. The possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook when targeting sharks is required (when fishing from shore or a vessel).
Do not specifically target sharks if the surf is too rough to release appropriately and safely. NEVER bring a large shark onto a fishing vessel, a pier or bridge or onto dry land beyond the surf zone unless you plan to harvest it.
Use a long-handled hooking device to help with hook removal if it does not delay release. Sharks that swim off with a long length of line trailing behind them may be less likely to survive.
Ensure everyone knows their role in the release procedure prior to the fishing trip. Release activities such as taking photos and removing the hook should be done while the shark is in the water.
Sea turtle nesting season is from March through October each year. Most piers and bridges are high above the water, making handling and release difficult.
Instead, walk the shark to the base of the bridge/pier before removing the hook or cutting the line. Small sharks can be brought up from the water for hook removal by using a bridge/pier net.
When releasing, use the pier net to lower the fish back down to the water. If it is safe to do so, record the information on the tag and leave it intact and attached to the shark.
Options for larger sharks include chunks of bonito, mackerel, mullet, barracuda or large menhaden (aka shad). Tossing freshly cut pilchards or thread fins down current and hanging sliced bonito or barracuda carcasses from the transom bolsters the chum effort.
Sharks that are actively feeding, or those stimulated by your chum line, will often snap at shallow running lures, soft plastic jerk baits and baitfish-pattern flies. The challenging part is getting them to notice the imposter, so lead your target a good 3 feet, cast to the shark ’s side and then quickly bring the lure right past his face for a reaction bite.
From juvenile sharks to the bruisers of 8-plus feet; if you fish for these toothy critters without some form of metal leader you will donate your tackle. 3-5 single-strand wire will handle small sharks, while anglers seeking the big ones used specialized braided steel leaders.
Daily Recreational Bag Limit: 1 per harvester or 2 per vessel per day, whichever is less. Remarks The retainable sharks are managed as a group for bag limit purposes.
It is unlawful to harvest, possess, land, purchase, sell or exchange the following species: Puffer fish harvest is prohibited in Völuspá, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.
Deploying bait by any means other than casting (kayaking for example) while using a hook that is 1.5 inches or larger at its widest inside distance. Requiring immediate release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore and requiring anglers to cut the leader or hook to prevent delaying release of prohibited species.
Requiring that prohibited shark species remain in the water (when fishing from shore or from a vessel). Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless-steel circle hooks to target or harvest sharks when using live or dead natural bait (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
Requiring the possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook when targeting sharks (when fishing from shore or a vessel). These rules are intended to increase survival of released sharks, improve information-gathering from the fishery and address public safety concerns.
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