Spearing (bow fishing) question

cubcub Posts: 99 Deckhand
Is bow fishing/spearing covered under salt water fishing license? I will be fishing on St. George Island if that matters. I found spearing regulations on my FWC but not license requirements.


  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,844 Captain
    That is a good question. We have giant tilapia in my lake and I believe that I am covered for bowfishing for Tilapia with my freshwater license. I am not sure about salt water bowfishing.
  • cubcub Posts: 99 Deckhand
    I found this on FWC. The way I read, if you have a saltwater fishing license you are good to bow fish as long as you follow the spearfish regulations. Please feel free to chime in and/or correct me if I am wrong.


    Where can I spearfish? What are the regulations for spearfishing and gigging fish?

    Depending on the location and the targeted species, spearfishing is allowed in Florida's saltwaters. Read the spearing regulations before gigging, bowhunting and spearfishing.

    State law prohibits spearfishing within 100 yards of fishing piers, marinas, jetties, and public swimming beaches.

    In Monroe County, spearfishing is permitted in state waters of the Lower Keys but prohibited from Long Key to the Dade County Line. Spearfishing is also prohibited within state parks and within any of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA's) marked with yellow, 3-foot buoys or other zones such as special use areas, ecological reserves or research areas. Consult a NOAA chart for specific locations. For more information about spearfishing in the Florida Keys, read "What to know before you go..." and the Florida Keys national Marine Sanctuary regulations web pages.

    License requirements for spearfishing, bowfishing and gigging fish are the same as those for other methods of saltwater fishing.

    Spearfishing is illegal in Florida's fresh waters
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,349 Admiral
    Yes, you need a fishing license to use a spear or bow or hook and line, some fish you cannot spear/bow fish for. Some areas you cannot spear/bow fish, Go to myfwc.com and all the rules should be there under saltwater/freshwater regulations.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • GreyRiderGreyRider Posts: 61 Deckhand
    The saltwater license response is correct. One is needed. Bowfishing is defined differently from spearfishing since you are above the surface of the water. Bowfishing is grouped in with spearing devices since the arrow pearces the fish so fish you can't spear you cant bowfish either. The link listed below is the current law:

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