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Tampa Real Estate Comes with Boating and Fishing Privileges

Updated on October 19, 2011

If boating and fishing are your passions, then TAMPA is the city for you. If you buy an affordable but beautiful piece of Tampa real estate and live in Tampa, then you can enjoy fishing and boating nearly all year-round. You don't have to fly every now and then. You just walk to your dock and boat, if yours is a waterfront home, then go, ride the water.

Florida has 12,000 miles of streams and rivers and 3 million acres of freshwater lakes, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, there are:

  • 227 lakes
  • 93 rivers
  • more than 300 ponds
  • 23 watersheds
  • and 5 bays, namely Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, Mill Bayou and Hayes Bayou.

The Tampa Bay area also embraces the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sailboat, Pinellas County. Photo by PinellasCounty, CC BY 2.0,   flickr.com/photos/pinellascounty/6103640495
Sailboat, Pinellas County. Photo by PinellasCounty, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/pinellascounty/6103640495

There are lots of places in Tampa where you can rent a boat, or ride your own boat, and fish. Or you don't have to fish yet. Just laze and enjoy the lightness of being, the serenity, the shadows, the clarity of the water, or the sunset.

Some of the Many Fishing and Boating Parks in the Tampa Area

Park
Location
Fishing
Boating
Picnics
Others
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al Lopez Park
4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa
Yes
 
Yes
120-acre park with trails
Channelside Watersports Rentals
1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa
Yes
Yes
 
island hopping
Dead River Wilderness Park
15098 Dead River Road, Tampa
Yes
Yes
Yes
biking, boardwalks
Morris Bridge Wilderness Park
13330 Morris Bridge Rd. Tampa
Yes
Yes
Yes
biking, boardwalks
Picnic Island
7404 Picnic Island Blvd. Tampa
Yes
 
Yes
boat ramp
Rowlette Park
2401 E Yukon Ave. Tampa
Yes
 
Yes
trails, canoe launch
Veteran’s Memorial Wilderness Park & Veteran’s Museum
3602 Hwy. 301 Tampa
Yes
Yes
Yes
biking, boardwalks
Hillsborough River State Park
15402 U.S. 301 N, Thonotosassa
Yes
Yes
Yes
camping, trails, swimming
Lake Park
17302 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Lutz
Yes
 
Yes
BMX tracks, handicapped equestrian center
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
4905 34th St. #5000 St. Petersburg
Yes
 
 
sightseeing, world's longest fishing pier
Photo by Andrew Patrick, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/80849230@N00/3059047503
Photo by Andrew Patrick, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/80849230@N00/3059047503

Boating Regulations

Some rules before you're free to explore Tampa's waters:

- Register your motor-powered boat with the Hillsborough County Tax Collector.

- Take a boater safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

- Get your Boating Safety Education ID from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

- Know the boating parks, navigable areas, boating-restricted areas, speed regulations, protected zones, and water markers.

- Have your personal ID with you.

Personal watercraft rules:

- You must be at least 14 years old to handle your own personal watercraft.

- You must be at least 18 years old to rent a personal watercraft.

- You must wear an approved non-inflatable Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (PFD).

Exemption from training certification and ID requirements: Person operating a boat on a private pond or lake

Boats exempted from registration:

- Non-motorized boats less than 16 feet long

- Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, racing shells or rowing sculls regardless of length

- Boats operated on private lakes or ponds

Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/jfinnirwin/6220211721
Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/jfinnirwin/6220211721
Fort de Soto campgrounds. Photo by Pinellas County, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/pinellascounty/
Fort de Soto campgrounds. Photo by Pinellas County, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/pinellascounty/

Fishing Licenses

You can obtain your fishing license from the Hillsborough County Tax Collector. This city service issues freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses and all related licenses on behalf of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Division of Marine Fisheries.

You can also get licenses from any of the tax collector's offices or from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, sporting goods stores and bait and tackle shops.


Fishing License Exemptions for Florida Residents

If you've purchased Tampa real estate and you've lived in Tampa for at least six months, you and your children may enjoy fishing license exemptions!

For Florida residents, you can fish without a fishing license if you're:

  • Fishing in freshwater in your country of residence using a cane-fishing pole
  • Fishing in saltwater from a licensed fishing pier
  • Fishing in saltwater from land or structure eligible for the food stamp, cash assistance and Medicaid programs of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). You must have your ID and DCFS or AHCA benefit ID with you.

These people are exempted from getting a freshwater and saltwater fishing license:

  • Young people under 16 years of age
  • Florida residents who are 65 years old or older. You must have your Florida driver's license or any other proof of age and residency with you.
  • Florida residents who are permanently disabled. You must have your authorized disability statement with proof of residency with you, or your Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
  • Florida residents who are with the U.S. Armed Forces and are home on leave for a period of 30 days or less. You must have your valid orders with you.

For guests, you can fish without any Florida fishing license if you're:

  • Fishing from a for-hire vessel with a valid vessel license, such as a fishing and boating charter
  • Fishing from a vessel operated by a person with valid vessel license

Hillsborough River State. Photo by ParkWes Bryant, CC BY-SA 2.0,  flickr.com/photos/vcalzone/4548936756/in/set-72157623923217796
Hillsborough River State. Photo by ParkWes Bryant, CC BY-SA 2.0, flickr.com/photos/vcalzone/4548936756/in/set-72157623923217796
 Fishing with Grandpa, Photo by Kathy (kthypryn), CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/44603071@N00/2085304575
Fishing with Grandpa, Photo by Kathy (kthypryn), CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/44603071@N00/2085304575

For Fishing and Boating All-Year Round, Own a Tampa Home

Anyone of these Tampa4U.Com realtors can help you find the home you want:

Julia, Erich, Irene, Jay, Olga, Conrad,Victoria, Leesa, Marisol, Charles, Marta, Rob, Mike, Eliane, Deborah, Luisa, Susan, Jason, Jurga, Brenda, Loreto, Dan, Adam, Jorge and Eddie are all Tampa real estate professionals. Each of them has specialties within the Tampa Bay area -- usually around the communities where they live or own second homes -- but they're also knowledgeable about many other areas in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco.

Photo by Kissimmee - The Heart of Florida Kissimmee Convention & Visitors Bureau, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/kissheartoffl/3704555047
Photo by Kissimmee - The Heart of Florida Kissimmee Convention & Visitors Bureau, CC BY 2.0, flickr.com/photos/kissheartoffl/3704555047

Tampa Fishing Piers

1. Hillsborough River State Park. Managed by the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks, a division of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The park has restrooms.

2. Lowry Park Tampa. Managed by the City of Tampa. Accessible to the handicapped, has restrooms, and has fish attractors within casting distance.

3. Edward Medard Park. Located at the Medard Reservoir. Managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Accessible to the handicapped, has restrooms, and fish attractors.

4. Al Lopez Park Tampa. Managed by the City of Tampa's Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Has fish attractors, restrooms and accessible to the handicapped.

5. Morris Bridge Road Park. Managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Has restrooms.

6. Trout Creek Park. Managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Has restrooms.

7. John B Sergeant Park. Managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. Has restrooms

Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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