|You Are Here > Home > Florida Fishing > Saltwater Fishing|
It doesn’t get much better than saltwater fishing in Florida! Here you’ll find the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Stream, reefs, wrecks and inlets.
Bay fishing can be quite diverse - you can use light, medium and/or heavy tackle and you can expect to bag a wide variety of fish. Some of Florida's hottest bay fishing spots include Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, Whitewater Bay, Chokoloskee Bay, Ponce de Leon Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay, Homosassa Bay, Waccosassa Bay, Apalachee Bay, West and East bays (Panama City) and Pensacola Bay.
The best jetties are those lined with concrete or those that line both sides of an inlet. Many of Florida's inlets offer fishermen easy access including bait shops and facilities. Here you'll fish for tarpon, snook, redfish, jacks and mackerel.
Snook and tarpon are popular catches from bridges and night fishing is usually best, especially during a full-moon. Shrimp tossed up current work well. As far as location goes, the bridges in the Keys and the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa rate at the top.
There are dozens of saltwater piers and parks for fishing without a boat in Florida. Click here to see our extensive list.
Mangroves give fish a place to take a break from the sun, so if you can cast along the edges of the shoreline you're bound to get lucky, especially along dead tree limbs and other hiding spots. Click here to learn more about Florida's mangroves.
Remember to keep only the fish you're going to eat to ensure a healthy fish supply for future anglers!
Fishing is the most popular activity of many boaters. Anglers using boats can be at risk when it come to boating and boat safety. Unfortunately, anglers capsizing or falling overboard is a common fatal boating accident. Anglers who use boats to fish need to think of themselves first as boat operators. If you fish and boat, you should:
Boat operators who are boating in the vicinity of fishing boats should:
Recreational Saltwater Fishing License
Get A License
To provide funds for marine enhancement, enforcement and research, the 1989 Florida Legislature enacted a law requiring saltwater anglers to have a valid fishing license. This went into effect January 1, 1990.
A few years ago, not one southern state required a saltwater fishing license. Today, six of the nine coastal states in the southern United States require these permits.
Whether you are a proponent of these licensing requirements or not, the fact is that the revenues provided for fiscal year 1991 exceeded $11,000,000.
Florida's license income is spent according to legislative mandate. Our laws specify that not more than 2.5 percent of the total fees collected are deposited into the Marine Fisheries Commission Trust Fund. This money is used to fund the Marine Fisheries Commission, which establishes fishing regulation, and to finance marine research projects. At least 2.5 percent of the total funds generated from your saltwater license fee are deposited in the Save Our State Environmental Education Trust Fund, which is used for aquatic education purposes. Five percent is set aside for administration of the law, including printing of the license.
The law requires that the remaining 90 percent of the allocated funds be distributed among marine research; fisheries enhancement such as hatcheries and statistics, habitat restoration, and building artificial reefs; and law enforcement.
Fishing in the Florida Keys
From game fishing to sport fishing to flats fishing, there is nothing quite like the waters surrounding the Florida Keys. Your best bet is to contact one of the countless charters or fishing guides in the region.
Florida Shark Fishing Regulations
When fishing for shark within 3 nautical miles off shore on the Atlantic Coast of Florida or 9 miles off the Gulf Coast the bag limit is 1 shark per person or 2 per boat, whichever is less. There is no minimum size. The following shark species are prohibited: Sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky, Galpagoes shark, longfin mako shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, sevengill shark, sixgill shark, smalltail shark, basking shark, whale shark, white shark, sand tiger shark and bigeye sand tiger shark.
Some text on this page provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.