Florida Saltwater Fishing
New options for anglers fishing in the Bahamas
Bringing fish caught in the Bahamas back to Florida by water is now easier than ever. Anglers may now transport and land filleted dolphin, wahoo and reef fish that were caught in Bahamian waters. These regulations apply to fish being transported to Florida by water only and do not apply to fish being transported or shipped by air.
Some things to keep in mind when bringing recreationally-caught dolphin, wahoo and reef fish managed as snapper-grouper back from the Bahamas by sea:
- Skin must remain on the fillet (to aid in identification by law enforcement)
- Anglers must comply with Atlantic federal bag and vessel limits, as well as seasons
- Two fillets count as one fish toward the bag limit
- Vessels must have valid Bahamian cruising and sportfishing permits
- Passengers must possess a valid government passport with current Bahamian stamps and travel dates
- Travel through state and federal waters must be continuous and gear must remain stowed. Fishing gear that is appropriately stowed means terminal tackle such as hooks, leaders, sinkers, etc. must be disconnected and stowed separately from the rod and reel.
- Fish landed under these exceptions cannot be sold.
- Bahamian regulations may be different than in U.S. state and federal waters. Before you return with your catch, make sure you comply with the more restrictive U.S. or Bahamian recreational bag and possession limits.
- Species that are prohibited from harvest in the U.S. such as queen conch, goliath and Nassau grouper, cannot be transported back into U.S. waters by boat.
- Spiny lobster must be in whole condition and can only be transported into U.S. waters during the recreational season (Aug. 6 through March 31).
To learn more about bringing your Bahamian catch back to Florida, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bahamas.” Federal fishing regulations are available from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council at www.SAFMC.net. For more information on Bahamian regulations, visit Bahamas.gov.bs.