Taco, si mi amigo, a fighting belt. I take it that you dont fish with gimbled stand up tackle too often. I forgive you. Even with schooly dolphin I will throw a belt on to keep things comfortable. A harness on the other hand is a different story. Which you won't see pulled out for a dolphin of any size. Corre a la frontera amigo, pesca duru.
it is "possession" of the fish in state waters and not fishing in the state waters that will get you. You need to read the wording. No different then being in possession of red snapper in federal waters, a violation for sure but not in state waters.
The confusing part for me is that I've been checked by the FWC 20 miles off Panama City and by the Coast Guard in St Andrews bay. Wouldn't it be simpler for them to enforce the law in their own jurisdictions? Now one more thing about possession as its been beat to death in this forum on a regular basis. If you are in federal waters federal limits apply. If you have fish on board that exceed the state limit you cannot fish in state waters on the way back in. That includes trolling or catching bait. For example, the reef fish limit off Panama city in Federal waters is 20 fish. That means I can keep 20 Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners) in federal waters as long as I don't fish in state waters where the limit is 10 Vermillion Snapper. It also works in reverse, if a particular fish is legal in state water but not federal, then you can't cross into federal waters with the fish on board. I've talked with FWC about this and the above interpretation is correct. So if you have a federal limit and you are cruising back in and you spot a Cobia in state waters and you cast at it, all of your fish will be assumed to have been caught in state waters if you get checked. If you are engaged in fishing, all of the fish on board will be assumed to have been caught at the location where you are checked. For all of the naysayers, check with FWC before you dispute/disagree with the above.
On the east coast/atlantic, it is is closed state, or fed, then it is basically closed unless you are fishing in the river/inlets. Not that it's impossible to catch within 3-miles, but more than likely your black grouper came off the 60 or 90 reef... FWC is going to assume that.