Northwest Florida offers some of the most diverse and unique fishing opportunities for both residents and visitors alike. This year, Gov. Rick Scott, the Cabinet and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission designated two weekends in June as “free saltwater fishing weekends,” where no permits are required to enjoy the sport.
June 4 - 5 and June 18-19 offer the chance for everyone, residents and non-residents alike, to enjoy fishing recreationally without purchasing a fishing license. This will provide residents a chance to sample the experience before they purchase a license.
For the rest of the fishing season, most sportsmen will need a permit in order to fish legally, according to the FWC. Military members with permanent duty station orders within Florida qualify as residents, for licensing purposes.
Florida offers many combinations of licenses to accommodate nearly every need. For residents, an annual freshwater fishing license is available for $17 and the freshwater/saltwater fishing combination permit is $32.50.
Non-residents may purchase freshwater or saltwater licenses at an annual rate of $47 or opt for shorter term permits. Three-day permits for each type of fishing are $17 and seven-day permits are $30.
Where ever you fish, on your boat or off the shore, a license is required. If an angler is caught without a license, the fine could be up to $500 and could include a maximum of 60 days in prison, according to FineFishing.com.
For more on this story, see the May 12 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.