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2012 Florida Saltwater Fishing Spearing Regulations
Spearing is regulated well in the state of Florida. It is clearly defined as the "catching or taking of a fish by bowhunting, gigging, spearfishing, or any device used to capture a fish by piercing its body." It is different from snagging or snatch hooking and is not regulated under the same rules as hook-and-line fishing. There are prohibitions on using bangsticks, rebreathers, and powerheads, plus all the regulations that are below.
Volusia County, Florida
Spearing is not allowed in the inland waters of Volusia County except for flounder. Those using a spear that has three or less prongs on it may spear sheepshead, however.
Permit and African Pompano
These two types of fish may only be taken by hook and line fishing in state waters. They may only be taken by spearing as well as hook and line in federal waters.
In both state and in federal waters, the Florida pompano can only be taken from the water via a haul seine, cast net, beach seine, or by hook and line.
Fish Species That Are Prohibited to be Speared
Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are several fish that are not allowed to be speared at all. These include manta ray, shark, bonefish, sturgeon, spotted eagle ray, all species of billfish, and tarpon. Florida and African pompano, permit, tripletail, lobster, and stone crab are also on that list. Lastly, weakfish, red drum, spotted seatrout, blue crab, Nassau grouper, snook, Goliath grouper, and families of ornamental reef fish round out that listing.
Spearing Location Regulations
Spearing is not allowed under any circumstances within 100 yards of a commercial fishing pier, a public fishing pier, a public swimming beach, or a bridge where public fishing is allowed. It is also prohibited within 100 yards of a jetty except for that last 500 yards that extends over 1,500 yards from the shoreline.
Other Spearing Regulations
There are many other regulations in regard to spearing in Florida. If you are on freshwater, even the possession of a spear gun is not allowed. Marine and freshwater species in freshwater prohibits spearing. Spearing and possession of spearfishing equipment is not allowed in any water under the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks jurisdiction.
Tina Samuels lived for 25 years in North Georgia in front of a creek that emptied into a river. She enjoyed fishing every chance she got, always practicing catch-and-release. If she listens carefully, she can still hear those waters.
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