Fishing, Florida Keys

3 Reviews

middle keys

Been here? Rate It!

  • Fishing
    by Madasabull
  • Fishing
    by Madasabull
  • Fishing
    by Madasabull
  • Madasabull's Profile Photo

    Fishing, and fishing permits?????

    by Madasabull Written Dec 9, 2013

    You can imagine, the sea here is teaming with huge fish. You can see them clearly in the water, everywhere. You can eve feed them. We went out on a fishing trip for half a day, and it all looked calm until we go out there, and oops, chunder is an understatement, we were so sick, it was so rough.

    So we decided that we wouldn't take the chance going out on a trip, but try fishing of the shore. Problem was, we struggled to find any beach or jetty that wasn't on private property or owned by the parks or someone wanting money to gain access.

    I have never been to a place before where so much of the coastline is privately or state owned and you could get free access to fish. And there was another problem too. Fishing in the sea isnt free, you need a fishing license. Yep that's right.

    Fishing License Information

    Key West fishing charter boats: flats fishing, back country fishing, offshore fishing, deep sea fishing: sport fishing, fishing tournaments, fish for your dinner! In most of the Florida Keys marinas, you'll find charter fishing boats for hire for flats fishing, back country fishing, off shore fishing or deep sea fishing.
    Saltwater fishing licenses are sold at all county tax collectors' offices and at many bait-and-tackle shops. Licenses may also be obtained over the telephone 1-888-347-4356 and also over the Internet at An additional fee is charged for these services.

    But, there was no way we were paying to fish, we aren't even very good at it, so, rods in hand that picked up from another state on our road trip, we found a gap in a fence near a bridge, and shuffled down to the waters edge and fished. It was lovely, and we even caught fish, that we put back.

    Still, if your prepared to pay, then first find out where you can fish, because we struggled to find access to anywhere. Maybe we should have researched the free access fishing spots first, but to be honest, I would be surprised if there was any.

    Freshwater License Fees

    Out-of-state fishermen can purchase an annual freshwater fishing pass -- valid for one year -- for $47. A three-day fishing pass cost $17, and a seven-day fishing pass cost $30, as of the date of publication. Freshwater fishing licenses are required for fishing in most inland lakes and rivers.
    Saltwater License Fees

    If you're fishing in saltwater, you'll need a saltwater fishing permit. Prices for saltwater permits are the same as prices for freshwater permits: As of the date of publication, an annual saltwater fishing permit cost $47, a seven-day permit, $30, and a three-day permit, $17. If you're planning to catch and keep certain fish, you'll need an additional permit, good for one year, to go with your license. A snook permit cost $10, a lobster permit, $5, and a tarpon tag, $51.50.

    Lost License Fees

    Whether you're a resident of Florida or a visitor, you'll have to pay for a replacement if you lose your fishing license. As of the date of publication, replacing a lost fishing license cost $2. If you buy a replacement license over the phone or online, you'll get an authorization number you can use as proof of your license until your new paper copy arrives.

    Fee Exceptions

    You'll usually need to purchase a license to fish in Florida, but a few circumstances could exempt you from that requirement. If your spouse has a Florida homestead where you fish, you don't need a permit as long as you stay on that property. If you're fishing on private property with the owner's permission in a pond that is 20 acres or smaller, you don't need a license. In north Florida, you can fish on the St. Mary's River or Lake Seminole with a Georgia fishing license. Florida celebrates Free Fishing Weekend during the first weekend in April, and you don't need a license to fish during that time.

    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • GUYON's Profile Photo

    Feed the tarpons (1)

    by GUYON Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For American tourists, the tarpons jump.
    With French people, they say "if you think we jump for foreigners. Never even by dream !".

    Other explanation : they are so well fed, they cannot jump.

    An other one : they are intelligent and they observe : if they do not jump, the tourist cannot eat himself the 2$ bucket of fish. So he put the fisk in the water. Why do they make them tired ?

    See the prove on the follwing picture.

    Feed the tarpons
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • steelstud's Profile Photo

    Fishing the flats

    by steelstud Updated Mar 20, 2004

    The wind blew so hard we couldn"t go offshore but we got in some back country fishing anyway.The guides in the keys are very accomadating and as professional as any that I've seen on the east coast.

    Eddie with a nice Mangrove snapper
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Florida Keys

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

18 travelers online now


View all Florida Keys hotels

Other Things to Do in Florida Keys