'Hooked' On Fishing: More License-Free Days In Florida

By: Bailey Myers Email
By: Bailey Myers Email

By: Bailey Myers
September 9, 2013

Tallahassee FL - Grab your rods and reels and get ready to hit the water. The State is helping everyone-- with or without a license have a chance to fish. Governor Rick Scott happily announced the addition of four more license free fishing days here in Florida, so that brings the grand total to eight days. All in hope that more people will take to the sport.

It's a sport that doesn't care how old you are, but in Florida you can't fish without passing a test and having a license. Early Monday the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Governor Rick Scott and Florida Legislators approved four more license free fishing days.

FWC Spokesperson, Amanda Nalley explained, "The goal in having these License Free Fishing Days is to get more people out on the water and get more people involved in fishing in florida. We are known as the fishing capital in the world so we want people to go out and experience the amazing Florida Fishing that we have here."

In order to go fishing you need a rod a reel a net and sometimes even a boat. So the fishing industry racks up around $8.9 billion. For business owners, people not having to get a license to fish-- means the potential for more customers.

The Manager of Crum's Mini-Mall Sally Ann Cooper said, "We have had a really bad summer due to the rain so people didn't go fishing like they should. But the fish are still out there and really starting to come in good. So we are hoping people come out and get hooked on fishing."

The hope is that the more people are out on the water fishing. The more they will fall for the sport hook line and sinker. From now on the license-free days for freshwater will be November 29th, December 28th, April 6th and June 8th. For saltwater they will be October 12th, November 30th, June 1st and September 1st.

Press Release: Governor Scott's Office

TALLAHASSEE – Today, Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced four additional license-free fishing days.

Governor Scott said, “Florida’s license-free fishing days are the perfect opportunity for people to try, or introduce a friend to, some of the finest fishing in the world. Florida's recreational freshwater and saltwater fishing industry has an $8.9 billion economic impact and events like these help grow the industry even more. I'm excited that the FWC has adopted four more license-free fishing days for a total of eight days per year. These days are a great way to introduce more Floridians to the lifetime sport of fishing.”

Florida currently offers the public four license-free fishing days per year, where the requirement to have a recreational fishing license is waived for residents and visitors. Saltwater license-free fishing days this year were on June 1 and Sept. 1 and freshwater’s were April 6 and June 8.

During its Sept. 5 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) added four more license-free fishing days to the calendar, and the Florida Legislature approved this increase earlier this year.

The additional saltwater license-free fishing days will be Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 and additional freshwater license-free days will be Nov. 29 and Dec. 28.

The Commission also set dates for 2014 and beyond. All eight days will now fall on the same day of the week from year to year, allowing potential anglers to plan fishing trips in advance.

For 2014 and beyond, the following dates will be license-free fishing days:


o First Saturday and Sunday in June
o First Saturday in September
o Saturday following Thanksgiving


o First Saturday and Sunday in April
o Second Saturday and Sunday in June

To make these events accessible to as many people as possible, the FWC planned these dates around holiday weekends and national events and National Fishing and Boating Week. Highlighted by significant national media coverage and public events, National Fishing and Boating Week promotes boating and fishing across the country as fun and healthy outdoor activities.

Plan your fishing experience today, but don’t forget, all other regulations such as seasons, size limits and bag limits still apply on these days. Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing to learn more about saltwater and freshwater fishing in Florida.

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