Spearing is defined as “the catching or taking of a fish by bowhunting, gigging, spearfishing, or any device used to capture a fish by piercing its body.” Spearing does not include the catching or taking of a fish by a hook with hook-and-line gear or by snagging (snatch hooking). Spearfishing is defined as “the catching or taking of a fish through the instrumentality of a hand or mechanically propelled, single or multi-pronged spear or lance, barbed or barbless, operated by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water.” The use of powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers remains prohibited. The following is a list of species which are prohibited for harvest by spearing. Any other species not listed which are managed by the Commission, and those not managed by the Commission are allowed to be harvested by spearing.
- Billfish (all species)
- Spotted eagle ray
- Manta ray
- Goliath grouper
- Blue crab
- Nassau grouper
- Spotted seatrout
- Red drum
- Stone crab
- Florida Pompano
- African pompano
- Families of ornamental reef fish (surgeonfish, trumpetfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, porcupinefish, cornetfish, squirrelfish, trunkfish, damselfish, parrotfish, pipefish, seahorse, puffers, triggerfish except gray and ocean)
You may NOT spearfish
(excluding bowfishing and gigging):
- Spearfishing of marine and freshwater species in freshwater is prohibited. Possession of a spear gun in or on freshwater is also prohibited.
- Within 100 yards of a public swimming beach, any commercial or public fishing pier, or any part of a bridge from which public fishing is allowed.
- Within 100 feet of any part of a jetty that is above the surface of the sea—except for the last 500 yards of a jetty that extends more than 1,500 yards from the shoreline.
- In Collier County and in Monroe County from Long Key north to the Dade County line.
- For any fish for which spearing is expressly prohibited by law.
- In any body of water under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. (Possession of spearfishing equipment is prohibited in these areas, unless it is unloaded and properly stored.) Fishermen who catch and/or sell fish harvested by spearing are subject to the same rules and limitations that other anglers in the state are required to follow.
- In Monroe County there are additional regulations for spearfishing. For more information call 305-289-2320 or visit www.floridakeys.noaa.gov.
You may NOT spear, bowfish or gig:
- In Volusia County inland waters with the exception of flounder and sheepshead using a spear with three or fewer prongs.
Permit, Florida Pompano and African Pompano
- Permit and African Pompano: Hook and line only in state waters; hook and line or spearing only in federal waters.
- Florida Pompano: Hook and line, cast net and beach or haul seine only in state and federal waters
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.