Where can you fish without a permit in Florida?

Fishing in Florida is incredibly popular. In fact, you pretty much aren’t a Floridian if you don’t try to catch anything once in a while. While you can have yourself a real fun time, as always there are some rules and regulations. You are going to need a fishing permit, even if you are just visiting to fish for a few days. It isn’t really that difficult of a process, and the prices are fair. All of the money made goes into maintaining the beautiful waters and wildlife anyway, so as anglers we should be happy to pay. A common question that people have is whether or not there is anywhere they can fish without a permit in Florida. Thankfully, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

Where or when can I fish without a permit?

Aside from the other exemptions such as being 16 or young or 65 and older, one of the main exemptions comes with recreational shoreline fishing. Although many battle hardened anglers come down to the waters here for a fight with sport fish in the deep blue ocean, there are plenty of people who come just to relax and fish from the shoreline. The main exemption from a license in the state is when you fish from a licensed pier. Many cities have a blanket license that covers everyone fishing into the water from one. If you simply cast your lure for fish in these areas, then you don’t need to go through the hassle of buying a permit.

Where do they have them?

In fact, most state or county run piers are going to have a license for you to fish already, but it is best to enquire before doing so just to make sure. Some of the most popular are Naples, Daytona Beach, and St Petersburg. A large, tourist-friendly town is sure to have one, and you can usually spot them because they are crowded with people taking advantage of the license-free fishing.

Anything else?

Yes, in fact there is. Florida also is home to license-free fishing days. You can do most types of recreational fishing on these days without a permit. Here is info from the state website:

For 2015 and beyond, the following dates will be license-free fishing days:

  • Saltwater
    • June 6 and 7, 2015. (First Saturday and Sunday in June.)
    • 5, 2015 (First Saturday in September.)
    • 28, 2015 (Saturday following Thanksgiving.)
  • Freshwater
    • April 4 and 5, 2015 (First Saturday and Sunday in April.)
    • June 13 and 14, 2015 (Second Saturday and Sunday in June.)

So if you are heading down to the sunshine state to go after some game, remember that you are most likely going to need a permit. However, if you choose to stay on dry land, then it is possible to have a lot of fishing fun without needing any of that pesky paperwork. These license-free piers are the best way to catch some fish, and not worry about anything else. So head down to them, and have yourself some fun.