TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Governor Rick Scott and the FWC have announced two additional license-free fishing days -- one for freshwater and one for saltwater fishing.
The license-free freshwater fishing day will be on Friday, Nov. 29 and the saltwater license-free fishing day will be on Saturday, Nov. 30.
There are eight license-free fishing days per year, where the requirement to have a recreational fishing license is waived for residents and visitors. All other fishing and boating rules and regulations still apply (see MyFWC.com/Fishing for details).
Dec. 28 will be the last freshwater license-free fishing day for 2013.
Beginning in 2014, all eight license-free fishing days will fall on the same weekend days from year to year, allowing potential anglers to plan fishing trips in advance and businesses and nonprofit groups to plan events around these fishing license holidays. The recurring days will be:
- First Saturday and Sunday in June
- First Saturday in September
- Saturday following Thanksgiving
- First Saturday and Sunday in April
- Second Saturday and Sunday in June
The FWC offers several angler-recognition programs to help promote fishing and share memories. Freshwater anglers can go to TrophyCatchFlorida.com to be entered in a drawing for a bass boat and motor. If they catch, document and release a trophy largemouth bass over 8 pounds, they can submit a photo of the entire fish (head to tail) on a scale to claim great rewards-starting with a $50 gift card, custom T-shirt and certificate. For other recreational freshwater fishes (33 species included), a simple photo of a fish that exceeds the designated minimum length or weight will get them a Big Catch certificate and bragging rights on the website.
For saltwater anglers, the challenge is to catch a "slam" by catching three different species of saltwater fishes in the same day. Four different groupings of popular sport fish are included to promote the diversity of marine fisheries the state has to offer. For an application and to learn more about this program, which is conducted in collaboration with the International Game Fish Association, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing, then click saltwater and Grand Slams.