Get your reel and rod: fish without a license in Florida during Free Fishing Days

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

In the state of Florida, fishermen and fisherwomen need to purchase a fishing license in order to drop a lure or net into the many salt or fresh bodies of water that teem with fish, crustaceans or mollusks.
These licenses can be purchased from a tax collector's office, an official licensing agent or online at gooutdoors florida.com.
However, avid anglers will want to get ready to fish, for the first weekend of free fishing in Florida is fast approaching!
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC): “License-free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for those who don't yet have a fishing license to experience fishing, take youth fishing, or for avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license.”
On the select days that have been designated as Free Fishing Days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers, including Florida residents and non-residents alike.
While other state fishing rules, such as season observations, bagging limits and fish size limits still apply, anglers will be able to fish in fresh and salt waters without needing to purchase a license.
For freshwater fishing, the free fishing days are the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in April – which is April 6 and 7 this year; and the second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June – which is June 8 and 9 this year.
For saltwater fishing, the free fishing days are first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June – which is June 1 and 2; the first Saturday in September – which is Sept. 7; and the Saturday following Thanksgiving – which is Nov. 30.
During these days, the saltwater waiver applies to any recreational harvest that requires a saltwater fishing license, such as crabbing, lobstering and scalloping.
It also applies to any fishing that is done from the shore or a boat.
Snook or spiny lobster permits are also not required on these days.
For more information about saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses, as well as permits for wildlife, hunting, or recreational licenses, visit the FWC website at myfwc.com/license.