Florida's License-Free Fishing Dates
Florida's license-free fishing dates have been announced for the remainder of this year and for 2014 and beyond.
Source: Bob Wattendorf / FishingWorld
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday and for many represents the only four-day holiday on their calendar. So what better time to offer license-free fishing days? Friday, Nov. 29, will be a license-free freshwater fishing day, which will immediately be followed by a saltwater license-free day on Nov. 30. To round out the gift-giving, Saturday, Dec. 28, has also been designated as a license-free freshwater fishing day.
The 2013 Florida Legislature gave the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) authority to offer four additional license-free fishing days each year. Gov. Rick Scott helped announce the four additional license-free fishing days,which now total eight each year, this past September.
During the FWC’s Sept. 5 public meeting, Commissioners implemented a long-term strategy to encourage introducing new anglers to recreational fishing, and to give those who haven’t been fishing recently another incentive to enjoy time on the water. Since the dates for some of these long-term options had already passed in 2013, they also picked some one-time-only dates to make sure anglers got all the free-days the Legislature authorized.
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 supports nearly 80,000 jobs. Events like these help grow the industry even more. These days are a great way to introduce more Floridians to the lifetime sport of fishing.
Florida previously offered the public four license-free fishing days per year, where the requirement to have a recreational fishing license is waived for residents and visitors. The original saltwater license-free fishing days for 2013 were on June 1 and Sept. 1 and freshwater’s were April 6 and June 8.
The additional saltwater license-free fishing days added for 2013 were 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 weekend days from year to year, allowing potential anglers to plan fishing trips in advance and businesses and non profit groups to plan events around these fishing license holidays.
The recurring days will be:
• First Saturday and Sunday in June
• First Saturday in September
• Saturday following Thanksgiving
• First Saturday and Sunday in April
• Second Saturday and Sunday in June