The recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in northern Florida reopens on March 1. This means all Florida waters will be open to the sport harvest of spotted seatrout beginning in March.
Spotted seatrout harvest is prohibited in February in Atlantic Ocean waters north of the Flagler-Volusia county line to the Florida-Georgia border and in Gulf of Mexico waters north of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco county line, to the Florida-Alabama border. This one-month closure helps maintain spotted seatrout abundance.
The maximum daily bag limit for spotted seatrout in the reopened waters north of the established boundaries is 5 fish per person. In waters south of these boundaries, the daily limit is 4 fish per person.
The statewide slot limit for spotted seatrout is 15-20 inches total length, but anglers may keep one spotted seatrout larger than 20 inches as part of the daily bag limit.
Spotted seatrout may not be harvested by any multiple hooks with live or dead natural bait, and snagging or snatch-hooking spotted seatrout is illegal. Anglers may take spotted seatrout with hook-and-line gear and cast nets and must land the fish in a whole condition.
More information regarding Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission saltwater fishing regulations is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on “Fishing – Saltwater”).