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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Brought to you by:

Basic recreational saltwater fishing regulations for state waters of Florida

This brief summary of regulations governs the taking of saltwater species in Florida state waters for personal use. It is not applicable to the commercial harvesting of these species. The absence of complete laws, rules and regulations in this summary does not relieve persons from compliance with those laws, rules or regulations. State waters extend to 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic and 9 nautical miles on the Gulf. Federal rules apply beyond state waters unless expressly stated otherwise. For species that do not have an established bag limit, more than 100 pounds or two fish per harvester per day (whichever is greater), is considered commercial quantities. A saltwater products license and commercial vessel registration are required to harvest commercial quantities of unregulated species. It is illegal to sell recreationally harvested fish without compliance with commercial license requirements. Issue Forty Three, July, 2013. Highlights indicate recent regulation changes.

Species

Minimum Size Limits

Closed Season

Daily Rec. Bag Limit

Remarks

Amberjack, Greater

28″ fork Atlantic;
30″ fork
Gulf

June 1July 31
Gulf

1 per harvester per day

Amberjack, Lesser & Banded Rudderfish

Not less than 14″ or more than 22″ fork

5 aggregate of lesser amberjack
and banded rudderfish

Billfish

Sailfish 63″;
Blue Marlin 99″;
White Marlin 66″
Roundscale Spearfish 66″

1 per harvester per day
aggregate bag limit

Measured tip of lower jaw to fork. All landed fish must be reported to NOAA within 24 hours 800-894-5528 or hmspermits.noaa.gov.

HMS permit required in federal waters.

Black DrumT

Not less than 14″ or more than 24″

5 per harvester per day

May possess one over 24″. Snatching prohibited.

Black Sea Bass

13″ Atlantic; 10″ Gulf

5 per harvester per day Atlantic

Bluefish

12″ fork

10 per harvester per day

Bonefish

0 per harvester per day

Catch and release only. Hook and line gear only.

Clams (Hard)

1″ thick across hinge

May not harvest half hour after official sunset
until half hour before
official sunrise

One 5 gal. bucket per harvester
or 2 per vessel, whichever is less
per day (whole in shell)

Illegal to harvest from closed areas.

Go to www.floridaaquaculture.com for allowable harvesting areas.

Cobia (Ling)

33″ fork

1 per harvester or 6 per vessel
per day, whichever is less

Crab, Blue

Regional trap closures apply. See  for 2013 trap closure dates and locations.

10 gallons whole
per harvester per day

5 traps maximum. Trap requirements apply. Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited.

Crab, Blue Land

July 1Oct. 31

20 per harvester per day

Trapping prohibited, harvest of egg-bearing females prohibited, harvest prohibited in state parks and from the right-of-way of federal, state or county maintained roads.

Crab, Stone

2 ¾” claw

May 16Oct. 14

1 gal. Stone Crab claws per harvester or 2 gal. per vessel, whichever is less

5 traps maximum. Trap requirements apply. Illegal to possess whole crab. Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited.

Dolphin

20″ fork Atlantic

10 per harvester per day, not to exceed 60 per vessel per day

FlounderT

12″

10 per harvester per day

May be harvested by spearing. Snatching prohibited.

Gag

24″ Atlantic & Monroe County

22″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County)

Gulf state waters
(excluding Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor and Monroe) OPEN July 1, 201
3–Dec. 3, 2013, and will CLOSE on Dec.4, 2013.

Atlantic & Monroe County Closed Jan.1April 30.

1 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;

2 per harvester per day Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)

No more than 1 fish may be Gag or Black Grouper, either individually or in combination in Atlantic & Monroe County.

Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.

All grouper species in Atlantic and Monroe Counties — zero bag and
possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.

Red, Black and Gag Grouper Gulf (excluding Monroe County) zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.

Grouper, Black

24″ Atlantic & Monroe County

22″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County)

Closed Atlantic &
Monroe County

Jan.
1–April 30

1 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;
4 per harvester per day
Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)

Grouper, Red

20″

3 per harvester per day
Atlantic & Monroe County;
4 per harvester per day
Gulf
(excluding Monroe County)

Grouper, Snowy

1 per harvester per day Atlantic

Grouper, Yellowfin
& Yellowmouth

20″

Closed in Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Feb.
1March 31

Closed Atlantic &
Monroe County

Jan.
1–April 30

Grouper, Scamp

20″ Atlantic & Monroe County; 16″ Gulf (excluding Monroe County)

Grouper, Warsaw& Speckled Hind

1 per vessel per day of each species

Grouper, all others

Closed in Gulf (excluding Monroe County)
Feb.
1–March 31 for
Rock Hind and Red Hind

Closed Atlantic &
Monroe County

Jan.
1–April 30 for
Tiger, Rock Hind, Red Hind, Coney, Graysby

Hogfish

12″ fork

5 per harvester per day

Lionfish

Unlimited

No license required to harvest by dip net, pole spear, Hawaiian sling.

Mackerel, King

24″ fork

2 per harvester per day

Bag limit reduced to 1 in some state waters when federal waters are closed to all harvest.

Mackerel, Spanish

12″ fork

15 per harvester per day

Transfer of Spanish Mackerel to other vessels at sea is prohibited.

Mullet, Striped (Black) & Silver

50 aggregate per harvester per day;

Aggregate vessel limits
Feb. 1Aug. 31: 100 per vessel;
Sept.
1Jan. 31: 50 per vessel

Oysters

3″

June, July, Aug. in Dixie, Wakulla, Levy counties.

July, Aug., Sept. in
all other areas.

2 bags per harvester or vessel,
whichever is less per day.
1 Bag = 60 lbs.
or two 5 gal. buckets (whole in shell)

Apalachicola Bay has summer & winter seasons/areas.
Harvest from approved shellfish areas only.

Go to Floridaaquaculture.com for allowable harvesting areas.

PermitT

22” forkSpecial Permit Zone (SPZ); Not less than
11
or more than 22” fork
all other areas

May 1–July 31

SPZ Only

1 per harvester per day, not to exceed 2 per vessel per day SPZ;
2 per harvester per day
all other state waters

May possess 1 over 22 fork length in all other areas, not to exceed 2 over 22 fork per vessel per day. For map of SPZ, please see: MyFWC.com.

Pompano, FloridaT

11″ fork

6 per harvester per day

Hook and line, cast net, and beach or haul seine ONLY.

Pompano, AfricanT

24″ fork

2 per harvester per day, not to exceed 2 per vessel per day.

Red Drum
(Redfish)
T

Not less than 18″ or more than 27″

2 per harvester per day N.E./N.W. Zone
1 per harvester per day South Zone with a vessel possession limit of 8 fish

Gigging, spearing, snatching prohibited. Harvest in Federal waters
prohibited. On-shore possession limit during transportation of 6 fish.
See map
.

Red Porgy

14″ Atlantic

3 per harvester per day Atlantic

Scallops, Bay

Sept. 25June 30

2 gallons whole or 1 pint meat
per harvester per day; no more than
10 gallons whole, or ½ gallon meat per vessel anytime

Harvest allowed only in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the Pasco-Hernando county line, to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. It is illegal to harvest, possess and land bay scallops on waters outside open harvest area.

Shad

10 aggregate per harvester per day

American, Alabama & Hickory are part of aggregate limit. Hook & line gear only.

Shark T

No minimum size limit for Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, finetooth and smooth dogfish. 54″ fork for all other non-prohibited sharks.

1 per harvester or 2 per vessel
per day, whichever is less

Hook and line gear only.

See list below for prohibited species.

SheepsheadT

12″

15 per harvester per day

Snatching prohibited.

Shrimp

April & May closed to Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler & Clay counties

5 gallons heads on per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less

Snapper, Black & Wenchman

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

Snapper, Cubera

12″ (see remarks)

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate
bag limit if under 30″

May possess no more than 2 Cubera Snapper over 30″ per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less. 30″ or larger not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.

Snapper, Gray
(Mangrove)

10″

5 per harvester per day

Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit.

Snapper, Lane

8″

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate
bag limit
Atlantic

Gulf not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.

Snapper, Mutton

16″

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

Snapper, Red

20″ Atlantic; 16″ Gulf

Gulf state waters OPENS
Oct. 1–21, 2013, CLOSES 12:01 AM on Oct. 22.

Atlantic OPEN year-round

2 per harvester per day

Included within 10 per harvester per day Snapper aggregate bag limit. Note: Check MyFWC.com/Fishing for most current regulations prior to fishing.

Gulf: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.

Snapper,
Schoolmaster

10″

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

Snapper, Vermilion

12″ Atlantic; 10″ Gulf

Nov. 1–March 31 Atlantic

5 per harvester per day Atlantic;
10 per harvester per day
Gulf

Vermilion Snapper not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit.

Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels.

Snapper, all other

12″

Included within 10 per harvester
per day Snapper aggregate bag limit

Includes: Blackfin, Dog, Mahogany, Queen, Silk & Yellowtail.

Snook
(all species)
T

Not less than 28″ or more than 32″ Atlantic

Not less than 28″ or more than 33″ Gulf and Monroe County

Atlantic (excluding Monroe) closed Dec.15–Jan. 31 and June 1–Aug. 31.
Gulf and Monroe County OPEN Sept.1Nov.30,2013

1 per harvester per day

Snook permit required for harvest when saltwater license required. See snook permit details. Snatch hooks and spearing prohibited.

Spiny Lobster

Carapace must be greater than 3″ measured in the water

April 1Aug. 5
Exception: Sport Season July 2425, 2013

Sport season: 6 per harvester per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, 12 per day in all other harvest areas.

Recreational trapping prohibited. Spiny Lobster permit required when license required. Harvest of egg-bearing females prohibited. Special
bag limit for 2-day Sport Season.

Spotted SeatroutT

Not less than 15″ or
more than 20″ (statewide) except one fish over 20″
per person

5 per harvester per day N.W. Zone
4 per harvester per day S.W. Zone
4 per harvester per day S.E. Zone
6 per harvester per day N.E. Zone

May possess no more than 1 over 20; included in the regional bag limit. See management zone map.

Swordfish

47″ lower jaw fork length with head attached or
29″ cleithrum to keel length if head removed.

1 per harvester per day,
not to exceed a maximum of
4 per recreational (not for-hire) vessel or 15 per for-hire vessel per day

All landed fish must be reported to NOAA within 24 hours 800-894-5528. HMS permit required in federal waters. Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew of for-hire vessels.

Tarpon

2 fish possession limit. Changes proposed, check MyFWC.com for updates.

Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest. Snatching and spearing prohibited. Boca Grande Pass has seasonal regulations.

Tilefish­, Golden

1 per harvester per day Atlantic

Included within the 3 per harvester per day (Atlantic & Monroe County) and 4 per harvester per day (Gulf excluding Monroe County) Grouper aggregate bag limit.

Atlantic: Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for-hire vessels

Triggerfish (Gray)

12″ fork Atlantic;
14″ fork
Gulf

Gulf state waters CLOSED June 1–July 31

Gulf: 2 fish per person

TripletailT

15″

2 per harvester per day

Hook & line gear only. No snatch hooks.

Wahoo

2 per harvester per day

Weakfish

12″

1 per harvester per day

Regulations apply in parts of Nassau County only.

Must remain in whole condition (removal of gills and guts allowed).

Measured as total length.Total length is the straight line distance from the most forward part of the head with the
mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed together while the fish is lying on its side.

State regulations apply in federal waters.

Additional gear rules apply. See Reef Fish Gear Rules.

THarvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait.

PROHIBITED SPECIES

It is unlawful to harvest, possess, land, purchase, sell or exchange the following species:
Goliath Grouper (Jewfish), Nassau Grouper, Sawfish, Atlantic Angel Shark, Basking Shark, Bigeye
Sand Tiger Shark, Bigeye Sixgill Shark, Bigeye Thresher Shark, Bignose Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark, Caribbean Sharpnose Shark, Dusky Shark, Galapagos Shark,
Lemon Shark, Longfin Mako Shark,
Narrowtooth Shark, Night Shark, Silky Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Sandbar Shark, Sevengill Shark, Sixgill Shark, Smalltail Shark, Spiny Dogfish, Whale Shark, White Shark, Tiger Shark, Great Hammerhead Shark, Scalloped and Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Manta Ray, Spotted Eagle Ray, Longbill Spearfish, Mediterranean Spearfish, Sturgeon, Florida Queen Conch, Stony, Hard and Fire Corals, Sea Fans, Bahama Starfish, and Longspine Urchin. Harvest of live rock in state waters is prohibited. Puffer fish harvest is prohibited in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.

Harvester: Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from licensing requirements who are actively harvesting. People harvesting may not exceed the individual bag limit and take someone else’s bag limit.That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not properly licensed (if license is required) may NOT be counted for the purpose of bag limits.

For information on bag limits during multi-day trips, returning with fish from the Bahamas and spearing, please see “Other Information” at: MyFWC.com/Fishing/Saltwater/Recreational

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The The Official Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with The Official Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The The Official Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com