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Methods of Taking Freshwater Fish

Game and nongame freshwater fish

Game Fish - black bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, mud sunfish, longear sunfish, shadow bass, peacock bass, white bass, striped bass and sunshine bass.

Nongame Fish - all freshwater fish are defined as non-game fish, except grass carp and fish defined as freshwater game fish. Note: Alligator gar require a scientific collector's permit to take.

 

Methods of taking freshwater fish

Game fish may only be taken with pole and line or rod and reel. There is no limit on the number of rods an angler may use.

Freshwater fish may not be taken by use of any free-floating, unattached device, or by taking of fish or wildlife with firearms, explosives, electricity, spear gun, poison or other chemicals. The taking of fish by underwater swimming or diving is prohibited. It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale or transport out of the state any freshwater game fish unless specifically permitted by the FWC, except that licensed anglers may transport two days' bag limit of legally harvested game fish.

It is illegal to possess any freshwater fish along with gear that cannot legally be used to take freshwater fish, including gear types listed above and below for taking nongame fish or bait.* An exception is game fish may be possessed together with cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch; minnow dip nets not more than 4 feet in diameter; minnow seines having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch, a length not more than 20 feet and a depth not more than 4 feet; and minnow traps not more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter, with a funnel entrance not more than 1 inch in spread.

Black bass, striped bass and white bass or their hybrids, peacock bass, or crappie and panfish (for crappie and panfish, only in waters where minimum-length or slot-size limits for these fish apply) may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fin removed, until you are done fishing for the day.

*NOTE: Statutory provisions of (790.025(3)(h), F.S.) state it is lawful for persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes while fishing, camping, or lawfully hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition. Consequently, although firearms may not be used to take fish, they can be in possession of someone with legally taken fish.

Nongame fish may be taken:

Prohibited Gear for Taking Marine Species in Fresh Water

Spearfishing: Use of any hand or mechanically propelled, single or multi-pronged spear or lance, barbed or barbless, to harvest or attempt to harvest any marine species while diving in freshwater is prohibited.

Spearfishing for mullet in fresh water is prohibited; however, gigging from above water is permitted.

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