Have you ever had a family member or buddy who you wanted to take fishing, but they didn’t want to purchase a fishing license? Have you always wanted to try fishing but didn’t want to fork up the price of a annual license? Are you an avid saltwater angler that doesn’t want to purchase a freshwater license but always wanted to try a popular bass pond? FWC has waved the need for fishing licenses on select weekends to give everyone the opportunity to experience the fun of fishing! This perk is available to both residents and non-residents and other recreational regulations still do apply. These weekends occur every year so if any of them have passed, check back in 2021! Learn more about license free fishing days here and here!
License-free freshwater days
- First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April (This year April 4th-5th 2020)
- Second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June (This year June 13th-14th 2020)
License-free saltwater days
- First consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June (This year June 6th-7th 2020)
- First Saturday in September (This year September 5th 2020)
- Saturday following Thanksgiving (This year November 28th 2020)
When do you normally need a fishing license?
A fishing license is required to ATTEMPT to take a fish. If you cast a line with no intention of keeping the fish, you need a license. If you are netting fish, you need a license. If are trying to catch him by hand, you need a license.
Take is defined as: “taking, attempting to take, pursuing, molesting, capturing, or killing any fish, or their nests or eggs by any means whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such fish or their nests or eggs”
There are both freshwater and saltwater licenses so make sure you have the appropriate one when fishing a body of water. Certain species like lobster and snook need an additional endorsement on your license.
Licenses are also required for anyone ASSISTING on the attempt to catch that fish. Technically if you bait your buddies hook, you need a license.
If you have more questions like fishing brackish water etc check out these FAQs
Where Do I Get a License?
Online: Licenses are available to be purchased online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or on the Fish Hunt FL App. The app is actually really cool because you can sync your licenses and view them on your mobile device if you’re not carrying your wallet around. There are also links to regulations if you’re unfamiliar with current bag, slot limits or seasons (the Fish Rules App is also great for that).
By phone: You can purchase your licenses/permits over the phone by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356)
In Person: Licenses can be purchased at tax collector’s offices or at a licensing agent. These licensing agents are usually larger sporting supply stores or stores that have a large fishing selection (Bass Pro, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Sunshine Ace Hardware etc.)
Wait What? There Are People Exempt From Needing a License?!
There are a good number of situations in which someone may be exempt from needing a fishing license, for a full list check here however some of the more typical exemptions are listed below.
- If you’re a Florida resident 65 years old or over, you do not need a fishing license. All that is required is a form of ID to prove your age.
- If you’re under the age of 16 you do not need a fishing license however you may be asked to prove your age.
- “Those freshwater fishing or hunting in your county of residence on your homestead (or the homestead of your spouse or minor child), or if you are a minor child freshwater fishing or hunting on the homestead of your parent.”
- “Florida residents certified as totally and permanently disabled who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person’s Hunting and Fishing License.”
- “Florida residents who are members of the Armed Forces of the United States, who are not stationed in this state and home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.”
- “Individuals who are observing or filming someone else who is fishing or hunting and who are not assisting (baiting hooks, reeling, setting decoys, calling birds, etc.) in the take in any way.
- “Disabled veterans or active or reserve duty military service members and their immediate family members and assistants, who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event, for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer.”
- “Florida residents saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who have been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCF or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be in possession when fishing. A license is required when fishing from a vessel or when swimming or diving, and this exemption does not apply to freshwater fishing.”
- “Florida residents fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, for noncommercial purposes in their home county (does not include fish management areas within the home county).”
Gulf Reef Fish Survey
If you’re exempt from needing a fishing license (looking at you Seniors), you still may need to sign up for the Gulf Reef survey. All anglers in the Gulf of Mexico who are targeting reef fish are required to sign up for the Gulf Reef Survey. Why? So fishery managers can have a better idea on what the million plus recreational anglers are targeting/catching. The data will be used to make more informed management decisions. This program is FREE and you can sign up online or when renewing your fishing license. What happens after you sign up? “You may be randomly selected to receive a survey by mail about your fishing activity. The information you provide is used to estimate the total number of recreational fishing trips for reef fish on Florida’s West coast during a given month. Even if you did not fish for Gulf reef fish, your feedback allows scientists to more accurately determine fishing effort.” Learn more about it here!
March 30, 2022
Yes, there is. All information can be found here: https://www.collieredo.org/culinary-accelerator
March 11, 2022
Great comment! I have read that sago palm is susceptible to ganoderma sadly...
February 28, 2022
When folks who have lost a palm to ganoderma here, they usually want something that looks like a palm. Here in Indian River County, I suggest 3 plants which sort-of resemble palms: Sago Palm, which is a cycad but really resembles a plam Ponytail palm, which is not a plam nor a cycad and Pandanus, or "Screw Pine", which is neither a palm nor a pine but a very interesting tropical plant with a very large, interesting round cone-type seed pod when mature and spiraling leaf arrangement.
January 23, 2022
I admire your blog , it has of lot of information. You just got one perennial visitor of this blog!
August 11, 2021
Very, very expensive
June 24, 2021
That's a tricky one as slippers/bulldozers are not as targeted by commercial divers and I don't believe many slippers get caught in regular spiny lobster traps. I would reach out to some local seafood houses to see if they get them in occasionally, request them from a distributor or if they get some of their product by divers, ask if you could make a request or be contacted when they come in. I know a few Tampa area commercial divers and I believe they sell their speared fish to Shelly's Seafood and would check with them https://www.shellysseafood.com/. Good luck!
June 24, 2021
I am looking to buy 20 lb of slipper lobster bulldozer lobster spiny lobster and looking for some place in Tampa area to purchase them
June 1, 2021
I want to give thanks to you for sharing such good information
June 1, 2021
pretty good informative
April 20, 2021
Is there a membership for this program?
March 29, 2021
Hi Earl, I would be happy to take a look at a picture, my email address is email@example.com. Cane toads and other invasive species are usually/can be more common in urban and disturbed areas where the native critters are pushed out leaving an open ecological niche. I did a search of the Everglades Conservation Area 2 A and looks like it backs up to some urban areas on the East side. The FWC promotes reporting sightings of invasive species as the best form of management is early detection and rapid response before the species become established. You could report the sighting on the I've Got One app or on this website (url below), you can also see where some invasive critters have been spotted/reported as well https://www.eddmaps.org/distribution/ . For cane toads they may not mobilize a response as they have been established but researchers could find the information useful and interesting if they are moving more towards rural undisturbed areas. -Mike
March 27, 2021
I got this last night in Everglades Conservation Area 2A. miles from anything dry. It looks like a cane toad and is the size of a bullfrog. secretions from the glands behind the head. if it is a cane toad, and they are reproducing, bad news for natvive glades frogs. i cant figure out how to attach photos but glad to email to you.
January 8, 2021
Great video on sheepshead feeding. Thanks for posting this.
October 30, 2020
Our HOA is requiring residents to hire a tree trimming company to remove the royal palm seed pods ($55 per tree). Do you have any written materials to support nature's "self pruning" of royal palms? The royal palms on our property have never been pruned but the new HOA is determined to excessively prune these palms. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
October 1, 2020
I just watched NBC2 news with Twyla Leigh and the Vanilla Bean vine plant. My friend, Dr. Henry Herman, Professor at FSW in Fort Myers, gave me a cutting of his plant and it was amazing how healthy it was and grew to flower. I had moved from that home, but would love to have samples to grow at my home in South Fort Myers. I am a master gardener and would love to help produce more Vanilla Bean Orchid plants. Please contact Twyla Leigh at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 24, 2020
I just watched NBC2 news with Twyla Leigh and the Vanilla Bean vine plant. My friend, Dr. Henry Herman, Professor at FSW in Fort Myers, gave me a cutting of his plant and it was amazing how healthy it was and grew to flower. I had moved from that home, but would love to have samples to grow at my home in South Fort Myers. I am a master gardener and would love to help produce more Vanilla Bean Orchid plants.
September 22, 2020
Hi Albrey, The pictures are great! I believe there is a huge value of having real fish pictures for identification. I'm beginning to stockpile photos of distinguishing characteristics for all the species I now catch/do a segment on. I'm trying to do a species profile/fillet video a week on edible fish found in Florida on our Collier County Sea Grant Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CollierSeaGrant
September 22, 2020
Nice to see you using the helpful species identification clues provided in Fish Rules App. Swipe pics in Fish Rules App to see additional images and identification clues.
June 11, 2020
the internet. You actually know how to bring a problem to light
June 8, 2020
Thank you for your kind words! If there are any invasive species you're interested in particular, I would be happy to answer your questions or put you in contact with an expert within the University of Florida network. Feel free to reach out with any requests or ideas for future programming. Have a good one!
June 5, 2020
This short article was such a good read that will I will definitely recommend it to the friends! The last moment I’ve read some thing as professionally composed was with at https://www.onlinetutorforme.com/portuguese-tutor/. Thank a person for the professionalism and a watch regarding details. Is going to be pleased to read a lot more of your respective writing!
May 11, 2020
Thanks for your info--i didn't realize this was the problem with my porterweed until the plants were quite infected with the caterpillars. I've cut the stems as you suggest...but continually find many I've missed. The infestation is pretty established. What's the best course of action? I've cut back the porterweed substantially, but probably the moths are around and will continue to infect. If I remove the porterweed completely...and start over, must I continually (almost daily) check the plants for infestation? I've had the plants for a few years before the problem occurred.
May 3, 2020
i have a big infestation of this on my native porter weed. Didn't really notice it until it has really devasted my plants an is spreading. It is overwhelming the plants. The caterpiller appears to burrow down inside the stem and then the branch dies. It may be too late for me to control it by just cutting the infected stems out. How do I get these insects under control. Do I need to remove all the porter weed and let the ground remain dormant for a while? I have the infestation in my backyard, but have porterweed in the front also, and I observed early signs of infestation in the front. Would appreciate your advice. So glad you've identified my problem.
January 21, 2020
Thank you so much! Wish so many of my "natives" and Florida friendly, like Wild Coffee, were a bit more cold sensitive. Not sure how I'll have time and ability to protect my 100' hedge row, but we'll give it a valiant try.
January 9, 2020
You're very right about that! We completely agree!
December 27, 2019
I want to give thanks to you for sharing such good information!! North Shore Tree Services
September 23, 2019
Great Share! Hastings Tree Surgeon
August 22, 2019
Cool stuff. Tree Service
December 3, 2018
George, let's set up a time to talk! Give the Extension Office a ring: 239-252-4800 - Jessica
September 21, 2018
Who do I need too talk to the bosses on location??? Am a great talented Chef wanting my own business truck.And knowing dealing Bosses but you. Z And to put healthy great food for the tourists. I leave here for 5years and know know proveries and fisherman.. Gradauted CIAn 2005, like to know permits and costs before I get a food truck please let me know. Best Regards, George Vassilev
September 4, 2018
Hi Seth, the event has already passed. Feel free to call our Collier County Extension Office at 239-252-4800.
August 31, 2018
Hi I want to buy 2 tickets to the Collier county tropical fruit road tour please give me a number to contact someone the link is not working for me. thank you
August 28, 2018
For the royal poinciana caterpillar, carbaryl or a pyrethroid (bifenthrin) should work. Remember just to spray the bole of the tree from the ground up to 3 or 4 feet. No need to spray the canopy as explained in the posted FSHS article.
August 28, 2018
So what do we use to kill them? Seven?
July 18, 2018
Love the pics!!!!
March 15, 2018
Can't seem to be able to sign up for the ag tour. Would like to go, are there any available seats left. Thanks, Joyce Berkoski 239 732 5847
December 8, 2017
I want to compliment Jill for being the Naples face of American Farms. She is innovative knowledgeable and personable. You have a true Gem!
December 6, 2017
We in Iowa followed the hurricane devastation in Naples and its impact on American Farms. Kudos to Alex and the employees for their efforts to rebuild.
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