This is the last weekend to fish license-free in Florida

June 12, 2015
By Boca Beacon

Every year the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has license-free fishing days. You may have missed free saltwater fishing last weekend, but this weekend, June 13 and 14, will be license-free for freshwater fishing.
Florida residents and visitors need a Florida freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license unless they are exempted under FWC exceptions. Your license is required to be with you when you are engaged the licensed activity. Replacement licenses cost $2.
A fishing license is required to attempt to take fish. If you cast your line, catch nothing, catch and release, or catch and keep and you are not a member of one the groups listed below; you need a license. A saltwater fishing license is also required to attempt to take any native or nonnative marine organisms, such as crabs, lobsters, and marine plants.
Licenses and permits are required to help or assist in the take. Someone who is passively participating (setting decoys, calling birds or baiting hooks), whether actively fishing or hunting or not, must have a license.
You do not need a recreational freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license if you

  • are a child under 16 years of age (also exempt from federal duck stamp requirements)
  • are a Florida resident age 65 or older possessing proof of age and residency (a valid Florida Driver License or Florida ID Card meets this requirement) or possessing an optional Resident Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate. Residents age 65 or older may obtain, at no cost, complimentary hunting and fishing certificates from some county tax collectors’ offices
  • You freshwater fish in your county of residence on your homestead or the homestead of your spouse or minor child, or if you are a minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead of your parent.
  • You are a Florida resident certified as totally and permanently disabled and you possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing License (hunter safety requirements apply).
  • You are a resident who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, you are not stationed in this state, and you are home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.
  • You are observing or filming someone else who is fishing and you are not assisting in the take in any way
  • You are a disabled veteran or active or reserve duty military service member and his or her immediate family members and an assistant who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event, for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer.

In addition to the exemptions listed above, you do not need a freshwater fishing license if:

  • You have been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities External Website. The agency must furnish proof to such clients
  • You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or less which is located entirely within the private property of its owner.
  • You are fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or more, whose owner has purchased a fish pond license Not a Mobile-Enabled Link at a fee of $3 per surface acre.
  • You possess a Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License Not a Mobile-Enabled Link.
  • You are freshwater fishing during Free Freshwater Fishing Days Not a Mobile-Enabled Link.

You are a resident who is fishing with live or natural bait, using poles or lines that are not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, and you are fishing for noncommercial purposes in your home county. However, you must have a valid fishing license to fish by any method in a fish management area.