Recreational Fish Regulation By Offshore/Inshore Species - use at your own risk

This list is by no means all-inclusive, and should not be the only place you check for state and federal regulations. I do not work for the FWC, or any other entity which monitors or regulates our fisheries and do not claim that this list provides the most up to date information. It is the responsibility of the viewers (members and guests of Florida Sportsman) to research and understand state and federal regulations for all marine species. This summary is for informational purpose only and has no legal force or effect. Regulations below are subject to change.

With that said, this list includes common species that I've seen caught in our waters, and only serves as a quick reference to get a general idea of state and federal regulations.

Offshore:

Amberjack - Greater:
State: 28" fork min 1/person/day
Federal: 28" fork min, 1/person/day

Amberjack - Lesser:
State: 14"-22" fork, 5 agg
Federal: n/a

Cobia:
State: 33" fork min, 1/person/day or 6/vessel/day, whichever is less
Federal: 33" fork min, 2/person/day

Dolphin:
State: 20" fork min, 10/person/day, not to exceed 60/vessel/day
Federal: n/a

Golden Tilefish:
State: no size limit, 1/person/day. Included w/i 3/person/day Grouper agg limit
Federal: fishery closed eff 6/8/12 until 1/1/13

Grouper:
State: Gag & Black (24" TL min), closed 1/1 - 4/30, 1/person/day (Gag) (Black)
Red (20" TL min), closed 1/1 - 4/30, 3/person/day, included w/i 3/person/day agg
Scamp, (20" TL min), closed 1/1 - 4/30, included w/i 3/person/day agg
Snowy, no size limit, 1/vessel/day
Yellowfin, (20" TL min), closed 1/1 - 4/30, included w/i 3/person/day agg
Yellowmouth,(20" TL min), closed 1/1 - 4/30, included w/i 3/person/day agg
Warsaw & Speckled (Strawberry) Hind, no size limit, 1/vessel/day of each species (Warsaw)
Goliath, closed to harvest
All Other Groupers, closed 1/1 - 4/30 for
Tiger
Rock Hind
Coney
Graysby
Federal: Goliath, closed to harvest
Nassau: closed to harvest
Speckled Hind, closed to harvest
Yellowedge, included in 3/person/day
Warsaw, closed to harvest
All Else same as State Waters

Kingfish:
State: 24" fork min, 2/person/day
Federal: n/a

Permit:
State: 11"-22" fork, 2/person/day, may possess 1 over 22" fork, not to exceed 2 over 22"/vessel
Federal: n/a

Pompano (African):
State: 24" fork min, 2/person/day not to exceed 2/vessel/day
Federal: n/a

Porgy (Red):
State: 14" TL min, 3/person/day
Federal: 14" TL min, 3/person/day or 3/person/trip, whichever is more restrictive
Knobbed, not regulated
Jolthead, not regulated

Sailfish:
State: 63" tip of lower jaw to fork, 1/person/day agg
Federal: same as state, report to NOAA w/i 24hrs: 800-894-5528, HMS permit required

Seabass (black):
State: 13" TL min, 5/person/day
Federal: 13" TL min, 5/person/day, closed 9/4/12 until 6/1/13

Snappers:
State:
Cubera, 12" TL min, 10/person/day agg if <30", no more than 2 Cubera over 30"/person or vessel
Gray (Mangrove), 10" TL min, 5/person/day, included w/i 10/person/day agg
Hogfish, 12" fork, 5/person/day
Lane, 8" TL min, included w/i 10/person/day agg
Mutton, 16" TL min, included w/i 10/person/day agg
Red, closed season until further notice
Schoolmaster, 10" TL min, included w/i 10/person/day agg
Vermillion, 12" TL min, closed 11/1 - 3/31, 5/person/day, not included w/i snapper agg bag limit
All Other Snapper, 12" TL min, included w/i 10/person/day agg (BF, Dog, Queen, Silk, Yellowtail)
Blackfin:
Dog:
Queen:
Silk:
Yellowtail:
Federal:
All of State rules apply

Spanish Mackeral:
State: 12" fork min, 15/person/day
Federal: n/a

Swordfish:
State: 47" lower jaw fork min (w/head attached) or 29" cleithrum to keel length (w/o head), 1/person/day not to exceed max of 4/vessel.
Federal: same as state, report to NOAA w/i 24hrs: 800-894-5528. HMS permit required

Triggerfish (gray):
State: 12" TL min
Federal: n/a

Tripletail:
State: 15" TL min, 2/person/day
Federal: n/a

Tuna:
State: n/a
Federal: Blackfin Tuna: no size or bag limit
Skipjack Tuna: no size or bag limit. HMS permit required

Wahoo:
State: no size limit, 2/person/day
Federal: n/a



Inshore:

Bluefish:
12" fork min, 10/person/day

Drum:
Black, 14"-24" TL, 5/person/day, may possess 1 over 24"
Red/Redfish, 18"-27" TL, 1/person/day

Flounder:
12" TL min, 10/person/day

Pompano (Florida):
11" fork min, 6/person/day

Seatrout (spotted):
15"-20" TL except 1 over 20"/person, 4/person/day, may posses no more than 1 >20", included in bag limit

Snook (all species):
28"-32" TL, closed 12/15-1/31 & 6/1-8/31, 1/person/day, permit required
Common:
Swordspine:
Tarpon:
Fat:

Tarpon:
no size limit, 2 fish possession limit, tag required

If there are corrections needed, or species you would like to see added, let me know and I will update. Also, as you see updates being needed at a future date, let me know and I will update. The intent of this is to have everything on one page and with your feedback, it can only get better.

Here are a few sources I pulled info from:

FWC: http://myfwc.com/media/2075522/saltwater_regulations_chart.pdf
SAFMC: http://www.safmc.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=8YGt8yQfrd4%3d&tabid=248
NMFS (HMS permit): http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/operations_management_information_services/constituency_services_branch/permits/permit_apps/index.html

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/Baglimit2001.htm

https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/initialapp.asp

It is the responsibility of the viewers (members and guests of Florida Sportsman) to research and understand state and federal regulations for all marine species. This summary is for informational purpose only and has no legal force or effect. Regulations below are subject to change.
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Replies

  • flatsfisherflatsfisher Posts: 1,381 Officer
    this is nice, thanks for posting it! will be helpful to many
  • WIXWIX Posts: 327 Officer
    I called FWC about the Cobia. They said you can keep two per person in Federal waters as long as your gear is stored on your way in and you don't stop to fish in State waters. Anglers beware the sand pile is in state waters and I have been told FWC has in the past had unmarked officers watching how many cobes you catch during the cobia run.
  • Bigmak561Bigmak561 Posts: 181 Deckhand
    Great thread. Real helpful. Thank u
    Good job so far se moderator
  • WIXWIX Posts: 327 Officer
    HMS required for Skipjack Tuna also
  • New Swordfish rules allow you to keep a sword with a Cleithrum to Keel measurement of 25". Sad but true, meaning if you catch a sword slightly under the 47" LJFL, you can keep it if the CK measurement is more than 25", but you have to cut the head off to be legal with this measurement.

    Isn't that a ridiculous rule?
  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Officer
    Just download the fish rules app and it updates all the time and tell you,by your current location, the limits and season.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Thanks guys. Please post links to where we can trace the info.
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Officer
    WIX wrote: »
    I called FWC about the Cobia. They said you can keep two per person in Federal waters as long as your gear is stored on your way in and you don't stop to fish in State waters. Anglers beware the sand pile is in state waters and I have been told FWC has in the past had unmarked officers watching how many cobes you catch during the cobia run.
    I don't mean to argue you but if my chartplotter says I'm around 3nm and a officer says otherwise then ill fight it in court. I believe the law states that state waters are a straight line measured from the furthest most point of hard land out to 3nm(not regular miles). The Keys is a great example of how sketchy the boundaries can be.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • WIXWIX Posts: 327 Officer
    https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/other/2012%20tunas%20regs%20brochure.pdf
    Here is the link that states Skipjacks require HMS
  • WIXWIX Posts: 327 Officer
    snook87 check the link I just posted. It says three miles not nm's. And a nm is 6076.11549 feet (1 minute of latitude) vs 5280' on land so 3 nm is good.
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    WIX wrote: »
    https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/other/2012%20tunas%20regs%20brochure.pdf
    Here is the link that states Skipjacks require HMS

    Doh! I knew this, this was the reason I had to buy the permit, to keep the skipjacks.

    I've updated the cobia info.

    Thanks for providing the links and valuable info!
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • WIXWIX Posts: 327 Officer
    After further review snook87 is correct the fed waters do start at 3 nm's. That tells me that the sand pile is totally in state waters . I still would not risk my boat, trailer and truck exceding the state limits at the sand pile
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    New Swordfish rules allow you to keep a sword with a Cleithrum to Keel measurement of 25". Sad but true, meaning if you catch a sword slightly under the 47" LJFL, you can keep it if the CK measurement is more than 25", but you have to cut the head off to be legal with this measurement.

    Isn't that a ridiculous rule?

    I've never caught a sword, but that does sound a little ridiculous. Can you share the link to this when you get a chance?
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • Aquaholic IVAquaholic IV Posts: 769 Officer
    I think you have a typo on the permit. 22" fork SPZ; Not less than Permit  T ■ 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. See page 11 for gear restrictions. For map
    of SPZ, please see: MyFWC.com/Fishing/Saltwater/Regulations/Permit.
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    I think you have a typo on the permit.

    Thanks, updated.
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  • AlwaysforwardAlwaysforward Posts: 1,512 Captain
    Thank You Long for doing this. It will be very helpful for us.
    ALWAYSFORWARD, NEVER STRAIGHT...

    Truckdecal-signature.jpg
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Thank You Long for doing this. It will be very helpful for us.

    Believe it or not it took 5hrs for me to compile this... Could look a lot better but I can organize another day. It's meant for those without smart phones or those of us too far out to have reception, etc. If it helps one person, it was worth it.

    See you out there tomorrow?
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • choppychoppy Posts: 282 Officer
    Might want to double check snowy's. I think they changed it to 1 per vessel!
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  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    choppy wrote: »
    Might want to double check snowy's. I think they changed it to 1 per vessel!

    You're right: http://www.safmc.net/FishIDandRegs/FishGallery/SnowyGrouper/tabid/328/Default.aspx

    Thanks, updated.

    Keep the feedback and changes coming guys.
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • St. Lucie TomSt. Lucie Tom Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the work you put into that Doc.

    Tom
  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    There is a great phone app called Fish Rules.... Has pretty much all the species, geolocation, tells you the current rules for that day and location, etc...
    attachment.php?attachmentid=131572&d=1399127702
  • FishinNoleFishinNole Posts: 407 Officer
    Thanks for the info...
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Black sea bass info updated.

    State:

    http://m.myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2012/december/05/sea-bass/

    For federal waters, black sea bass is closed through 5/31/13, reopening 6/1/13.

    http://www.safmc.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=yrX3BW6UfqY%3d&tabid=248
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • BrassyHookerBrassyHooker Posts: 291 Officer
    Mangroves in Federal are 12" minimum and it states "Included in the 10 per person bag" so is it 10 or 5, I talked to an FWC officer and he looked it up in his truck and he couldn't find where I couldn't kill 10 per person in federal.

    Thoughts?
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Mangroves in Federal are 12" minimum and it states "Included in the 10 per person bag" so is it 10 or 5, I talked to an FWC officer and he looked it up in his truck and he couldn't find where I couldn't kill 10 per person in federal.

    Thoughts?

    You can keep 10 mangroves per person in federal waters if that's the only type of snapper there is. The 10 is the snapper daily bag limit.

    http://www.safmc.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=XuRO18UWw6s%3d&tabid=248
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    Keeping busy while away from Florida

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  • bandit100377bandit100377 Posts: 460 Deckhand
    It should also be pointed out that red snapper are closed totally on the Atlantic side. There is a season and bag in the gulf that is fluid.
  • BacDocBacDoc Posts: 687 Officer
    It should also be pointed out that red snapper are closed totally on the Atlantic side. There is a season and bag in the gulf that is fluid.

    According to myfwc.com red snapper in Atlantic state waters - 2 per person 20" minimum length :)

    Most responses to this thread are responsible seasoned anglers that get out frequently and post/read reports like Long, Brassy and Last Mango and we still have questions.

    What about the typical guy who has a boat and loves to fish legally but with job, family and time constraints might go 2-3 months before an opportunity to fish becomes reality. He checks his regs (from tackle shop but might be a year or two old) or goes to the website. State, Federal waters, slot, bag, total length, fork length, pinch the tail, dehookers, venting tools, Magnuson Stevenson act, South Atlantic fisheries etc. **** just want to fish and bring home a few groceries! These regs are becoming more complicated than the tax code! Sorry for the rant but I am getting frustrated. Heard about red snapper opening in Fed waters off the Atlantic but website says "to be determined". :(
  • skinneejskinneej Posts: 358 Officer
    BacDoc wrote: »
    According to myfwc.com red snapper in Atlantic state waters - 2 per person 20" minimum length :)

    Most responses to this thread are responsible seasoned anglers that get out frequently and post/read reports like Long, Brassy and Last Mango and we still have questions.

    What about the typical guy who has a boat and loves to fish legally but with job, family and time constraints might go 2-3 months before an opportunity to fish becomes reality. He checks his regs (from tackle shop but might be a year or two old) or goes to the website. State, Federal waters, slot, bag, total length, fork length, pinch the tail, dehookers, venting tools, Magnuson Stevenson act, South Atlantic fisheries etc. **** just want to fish and bring home a few groceries! These regs are becoming more complicated than the tax code! Sorry for the rant but I am getting frustrated. Heard about red snapper opening in Fed waters off the Atlantic but website says "to be determined". :(

    That is the SAFMC's grand plan. They want us to beg them for MPA's in exchange for looser regulations outside of those areas. Their dream since the 1980's has been to make one tremendously large MPA and close off about 60-80% of the ledge from Florida to the Carolinas. They figure that if they can close off 80% of the prime habitat, then it doesn't matter what goes on outside of those areas, thus the appeal to move towards a general bag limit like they have in the Bahamas. So, your frustration is "by design". It's the old "good cop" (MPA) "bad cop" (encyclopedia of regulations) sales pitch. Don't fall for it. The regulations really aren't that complicated if you print them out before you go...

    Also, I know this for certainty from reading their old minutes and meeting with several of them. Also, many of you may not remember, but when the red snapper debacle first came up, they tried to close ALL BOTTOMFISHING from 98' and seaward from NC to North Florida. Do you remember that? Essentially they tried to use red snapper as the "disaster" to "force their hand". The reality is that they could never sell such a radical "ecosystem based management" plan to fishermen, so they needed to set up the Magnusson Stevens act (now the law) to "force" them to do something unpopular to the masses... Smart people when it comes to screwing over fishermen.
    skinnej.jpg
  • e-moneye-money Posts: 4,258 Captain
    Head's up on rule concerning sailfish

    Captain Pat Price (Daymaker) forwarded a Billfish Foundation press release today.
    Sharing to give everybody a heads up about a sailfish regulation as these regs can be confusing and change often!

    For sails and billfish we have always advocated a "leave em in the water for photo or video" policy.
    I did not know until recently it was illegal to remove any billfish from water !
    (according to Nmfs and Billfish foundation...)

    One thing I don't like w new law is they require you to HARVEST / KILL any Billfish removed from the water for photo. I suppose they think requiring people to kill legal sails or marlin makes them think about removing them from water??

    http://www.billfish.org/news/keep-em-water-safe-handling-tips/







    Did you know that removing a billfish from the water not only causes unnecessary harm to the fish, but in the Atlantic it is illegal to remove any highly migratory fish from the water that is not harvested. Learn how to ensure safe, healthy billfish release and still get great pictures of your catch without harming the fish.

    Keep Them in the Water and Keep Them Alive

    Can you remember the first billfish you caught? For those lucky enough to have caught a marlin, sailfish, or swordfish, the memory of the first billfish is perhaps one of the most coveted experiences for any angler. For most, it’s a memory full of the smell of diesel, spray of the water, and sore arms pumping as the captain backs down on a lit up fish, greyhounding and fighting with all its might. Although a memory that will last forever, many anglers want a photo with their first billfish. Pulling billfish out of the water is illegal in U.S. Atlantic waters unless the fish is going to be harvested. Unfortunately, more and more photos of people holding up sailfish or small marlin or stretching them across the covering boards are posted on websites, sent via social media and published in fishing magazines.



    Removing billfish from the water puts additional stress on their body after the initial stress caused by the fight. Contact with the fish removes the slime that protects it from parasites and infections. Just like a person whose immune system is weakened after a hectic or traumatic experience, billfish are more susceptible to infections or diseases when stressed. A billfish’s skeleton is designed for buoyant conditions of the ocean, so when removed from the water the skeleton and internal organs come under the strain of gravity, which can cause serious harm to the fish. While some research is complete on the effects non-offset circle hooks have in reducing billfish post release mortality, less research is complete on assessing effects of fight times and other fishing stressors. In studies by students at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) 22 pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) were deployed on white marlin caught using circle hooks. As part of the study, blood samples were taken from the fish requiring removal of the marlin from the water. Data from the PSATs indicated that 21% of those white marlin died immediately after release. In a separate, similar study also conducted by VIMS, 30 white marlin were tagged withoutbeing removed from the water and resulted in only 2% post release mortality. It was hypothesized that the significantly different mortality rates could be due to the additional stress put on the white marlin when removed from the water. It’s also interesting to note that the white marlin that did not survive, did not experience the longest fight times. Researchers hypothesize that a short fight time before being removed from the water for blood samples may be equivalent to a human sprinting for as long and hard as possible, then being forced to hold their breath! Results from PSATs studies also show that it can take billfish as long as 14 days to recover and resume normal behavior.
    It is well known that stress caused by fight time makes a fish more vulnerable to predation and commercial fishing pressure. Anglers should strive to keep the billfish from getting injured, especially when deploying a $4,000 PSAT, to gather valuable data. The scientists took every precaution during the research to ensure the survival of the fish, but even so some died, perhaps due to the additional stress from being hauled aboard a boat, being deprived of oxygen and having blood taken.

    For anglers, the condition of the hooked billfish should be a priority. Injury can be mitigated by using non-offset, circle hooks with all natural baits, proper hook removal, and using tackle to match the size of your query. Taking the time to rig baits, spectacular boat handling, and world-class angling is all null if the fish is pulled from the water and injured.


    Photo Courtesy of Brittney Novalsky

    If an angler wants a photo with his or her fish, TBF recommends safe handling practices be followed. Once the fish is alongside the boat, keep it in gear with the fish’s lower jaw in the water to ensure oxygenated water passes over the gills. Then the angler can lean over the gunnel while someone snaps photos. Taking the time to ensure a safe release is the mark of a real sportsman, not just the number of flags flying from outriggers, or pictures on a wall. The next time someone wants to pull a billfish out of the water for a photo, ask that person if the photo is worth the life of the fish. A photo may be worth a thousand words, but it is not worth killing a billfish.
    USCG Freelance Licensed Captain
    20 years experience Offshore & Bahamas ( Sailfish, Dolphin, Wahoo, Swordfish & Bottom Fish.)
    [url]Http://www.e-moneyfishing.com[/url]
    (I teach people how to be more effective AND catch MORE and BIGGER fish on their own boats!)
    [email protected]
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