For the best maritime fun the continental United States has to offer, head south to enjoy Florida saltwater fishing. With more than 1200 miles of coastline, you can enjoy the best the sea has to offer on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you cast a line for recreation or are looking to bring home a fantastic fresh-caught meal, Florida saltwater fishing can be an amazing experience.
Before heading out for a day on the waves, you’ll need to be aware of some of the rules and regulations that can affect your Florida saltwater fishing experience. Most importantly, you must apply for and receive a fishing license. There are a number of variables you can consider when applying for your license. If you are a resident who has claimed Florida as your primary residence for more than six months, or if you are a member of the military stationed in Florida, you can purchase an annual, five-year or lifetime license. You can also purchase a combination hunting/fishing license, or a freshwater/saltwater license. For the avid sportsman, there are also other combination packages to enjoy even more outdoor recreation in Florida. If you are a non-resident, you can purchase a three-day, seven-day or annual license. If your Florida saltwater fishing expedition includes anyone over the age of 65 or under the age of 16, they will not need a license.
Now that you’ve learned the regulations you must follow, its important to decide what area to visit to enjoy Florida saltwater fishing. With so much coast line, you’ll need to decide not only if you’d more enjoy northern or southern Florida, but also if you’d more enjoy fishing on the Atlantic Ocean or in the Gulf of Mexico. Three of the most popular destinations for you to consider are Jacksonville, in northeast Florida; Miami, on the southern tip of Florida; and the St. Petersburg/Tampa area, located on the Gulf in central Florida.
Long-time fisherman will swear that the best Florida saltwater fishing destination is Miami, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico come together to create a unique fishing environment. For fish numbering more than you can imagine, this is definitely your destination of choice. Northern Florida boasts its own breed of fishing that might tempt you as well. Head to Jacksonville where cooler waters can bring a whole new twist to your fishing experience. Don’t discount the Gulf when making your decision either! The Tampa/St. Pete area has calmer waters than some Atlantic Ocean shoreline areas. This can completely change the dynamics of your expedition!
No matter which destination you choose, make sure to brush up on regulations first, load up on sun screen, pack a cooler, and then enjoy the unbeatable fun of Florida saltwater fishing!