Knowing Your Fish

It’s good to know your partner, the way your vehicle works before you step behind the wheel, and your own personal limitations; but here in Florida, it’s also good to know your fish!

It’s important to know your fish size limits and bag limits to help preserve our prolific waters and, of course, to keep out of trouble! For example, the number of freshwater game fish you can take per day is 5 black bass with only 1 at 16 inches or larger, 2 peacock bass and 20 striped bass. A saltwater sampling of limits includes red snapper (2 per harvester allowed per day), which need to be 20 inches and bonefish (1 per day) at 18 inches. Size and bag limits even vary within species, such as black grouper and gag grouper differ from red grouper, yellow mouth grouper and scamp grouper in that the former should be at least 24 inches with a bag limit of 1 each per day and the latter should be at least 20 inches and no more than 3 each per day can be harvested.

In order to follow these rules, you also have to be able to identify the different species of fish you catch and know when the season is open for each, keeping in mind that the number of fish you can harvest varies from the Atlantic to the Gulf. You can pretty much find all the information you need online for all the fish you are fishing in all the waters you want to fish. For instance, if you go to myfwc.com, you will find a very helpful chart with fish illustrations and size and bag limits for different species and different waters.

The other things you should know about your fish are which are fun to catch and which taste the best! Then, have at it!