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How to Fish in the State of Florida

Updated on June 19, 2013

Florida is perfect for fishing. Almost half the state is comprised with water, and out of that, the majority is good for fishing. No matter what your fishing skill is, or what type of fishing you enjoy doing, there is plenty of places to go. If you happen to be an enthusiast of fishing, Florida is the place to be. One of the best places to go fishing has to be Destin, Florida. Not only is Destin the closest port to the 100 Fathoms Curve, meaning that you are the closest point to deep water, meaning that you are deep sea fishing faster from Destin anywhere else, but Destin is also home to an extensive river and bay system full of fresh water, and freshwater fish. This truly makes Destin of the best fishing locations in Florida. And add in the fact that Destin vacation rentals are at their best prices in years, trips to the area to go fishing are cheaper than ever!

Permits

Florida requires everyone that goes fishing within the state to hold a current Fishing License. The good news is that you can get temporary licenses that are good for the day. There are two different types of licenses for fishing in Florida - Freshwater and Saltwater. These licenses allow you to fish in all of Florida's waters. Be careful though, as there are bag limits, size restrictions (both too big and too small) and weight restrictions. Make sure to know the rules of the water before you go, so you don't end up with a ticket from one of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conversation (FWC) officers. They take their jobs seriously, and are good at their jobs. You need to have the proper permit in order to go fishing in Florida. Those that are under 16, and those over 65 do not need permits to fish, but are still required to follow all laws and regulations set forth by the state of Florida. The good news is that Florida loves to promote its fishing, and encourages it by hosting Fresh and Saltwater Free fishing days, giving those without permits the chance to enjoy a day on the water fishing. These are great opportunities for those that are interested in fishing, without them having to purchase a permit. Permits are good for a full year, and are generally quite cheap.

Freshwater

Florida is blessed with plenty of water for freshwater fishing. In fact, Florida has over 3 million acres of freshwater ponds, reservoirs, and lakes to choose from, as well as roughly 12,000 miles of rivers, streams, creeks, canals, and more of fishing. There are plenty of freshwater species of fish located in the waters, and last year, over 1.4 million people participated in fishing throughout the year. All different types of freshwater fishing are enjoyed in Florida, including fly-fishing, boat fishing, shore fishing, fishing from bridges, and more. Typical catches include bass, catfish, shad, crappie, bluegill, tilapia, and carp.

Saltwater

This is where Florida really shines. Saltwater fishing is the name of the game in Florida, although it has very good freshwater fishing as well. Most of the residents in Florida that fish love saltwater fishing, and the challenges that saltwater fish provide. What you can catch off of Florida's shores is about as abundant as the fish in the sea. Hundreds of different species of all different types of fish in all various sizes are caught every day along the shores of Florida. And with a plethora of bridges, piers, and other fishing spots along Florida's coast, saltwater fishing is one of the easiest (and cheapest) activities along the coast. Commonly caught fish along Florida's coast include: marlin, swordfish, cobia, flounder, grouper, amberjack, pompano, mackerel, mullet, wahoo, snapper, snook, triggerfish, sturgeon and even barracuda Shark species located in Florida's waters include hammerheads, mako, and balcktip.

Charter Fishing

This is the cream of the crop of fishing. Fishing charters in Florida is one of the best ways to go fishing. One of the best places for fishing charters is Destin, Florida. Destin is located at the closest place to the 100 fathom curve, making it the quickest port to deep water, meaning you are deep sea fishing quicker. Destin has tons of fishing charters (and is known as the Fishing Charter Capital of Florida). With the largest fleet of private fishing charters in Florida, you can be sure to go out on a trip of a lifetime. Choose from all different types of charters, from private charters to large public charters, and from different types of fishing, such as Trophy fishing, where trophy fish, such as marlin and sailfish, are the name of the game, to shark fishing, deep sea trolling, and more. Trips usually last between 6-8 hours, although longer trips are available, including 12 hour, and overnight and multiple day trips.

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