W. Dale Summerford
Gadsden County Tax Collector

Saltwater Fishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is the administrative office that regulates saltwater fishing.

Anglers who are required to have a saltwater fishing license are persons fishing from a boat, on a sandbar, or any other land mass accessible by boat or by swimming or snorkeling through water deeper that four feet. In addition, effective August 1, 2009, Florida Residents fishing from shore or a pier must have a "no-cost" shoreline saltwater license or regular saltwater license. 

Underwater divers who take or attempt to take marine fish must also obtain a license. Anyone who operates a noncommercial fishing vessel for hire must purchase a saltwater license. This recreational license will exempt passengers from having to obtain individual licenses.

Other Exemptions:

You don't have to obtain a shoreline saltwater or regular saltwater fishing license if:

  1. You are a Florida Resident age 65 or older.
  2. Anyone who holds valid commercial saltwater products licenses other than the owner, operator, or custodian of a vessel for which a saltwater fishing license is required. Only one person aboard a vessel to which a commercial saltwater products license has been issued may claim exemption at any given time.

Saltwater fishing licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. A five-year saltwater fishing license and a lifetime license are also available to Florida residents. Non-residents can apply for a 3 day or 7 day permit for saltwater fishing.