Florida Fishing Regulations and Seasonal Highlights (2024)

Unveiling the Secrets of Successful Offshore Fishing

Planning a fishing expedition this weekend, but the weather seems uncooperative? Consider chartering one of the area's spacious sportfishing boats for offshore adventures. While bottom fishing might be challenging, trolling can yield exciting catches, including dolphin, blackfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo, and kingfish.

Surf Fishing Update

Despite the challenging surf zone conditions, dedicated anglers managed to find pompano and Spanish mackerel during brief breaks in the weather last week. Keep an eye on the forecast, and once the winds subside, anticipate a resurgence of action in the breakers.

Important Florida Fishing Regulations and Seasonal Closures

Spotted Seatrout:

  • Harvest closed Nov 1 - Dec 31, 2023, in specific counties (Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach).
  • Reopens Jan 1, 2024.


  • Harvest closed Nov 1, 2023, to Apr 30, 2024.
  • Season reopens May 1, 2024.


  • Harvest closed Oct 15 - Nov 30, 2023.
  • Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.

Gag Grouper:

  • Closed for both recreational and commercial sectors from Oct 23.
  • Reopens May 1, 2024.


  • Harvest opened Sept 1.
  • One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required.
  • Harvest closes Dec 15.

Blueline Tilefish:

  • Harvest closed Sept 1 in Atlantic state and federal waters.
  • Season reopens for harvest May 1, 2024.

Golden Tilefish:

  • Harvest closed July 17.
  • Harvest opens Jan 1, 2024.


  • Regular season opened Aug 6 - Mar 31, 2024.
  • No egg bearers, 3-inch minimum carapace length.
  • Lobster stamp required.


  • Hunt season opened Aug 15 - Nov 1.
  • Permits required.


  • Harvest opened May 1, closes Jan 1, 2024.


  • New bag and size limits for state waters.
  • Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.


  • Harvest banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon since Sept 1, 2022.


  • Bag limit is 5 fish per day per angler.
  • Vessel limit is 30 fish per day.
  • Captain and crew may not be included in the limit.

Bass at Headwaters Lake:

  • Soon to be catch-and-release only.

Vero Beach Boat Show - November 18-19, 2023

Don't miss the 40th annual Vero Beach Boat Show this weekend at Riverside Park, Vero Beach. Explore the latest products and celebrate the boating lifestyle with local dealers and manufacturers. Free admission and parking make it a perfect outing for boating enthusiasts.

Fishing Insights by County

Indian River County:


  • Expect good fishing for mangrove snapper, triggerfish, kingfish, porgies, and occasional cobia in 70-90 feet of water.
  • Pelagic fish migration underway, with dolphin, blackfin tuna, and wahoo beyond 150 feet of water.


  • North jetty access may close due to rough weather.
  • Snapper and sheepshead can be caught on the west side of the A1A catwalks.
  • Pompano catches possible during outgoing tide at Wabasso Causeway.


  • Headwaters Lake offers some of the best bass fishing in the state.
  • Use wild shiners, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits for 3-5 pounders.

St. Lucie County:


  • Fall dolphin run offers plenty of shots at 10-20 pound fish.
  • Sailfish, blackfin tuna, and wahoo in the mix.


  • Spotted seatrout biting around spoil islands and mangrove shorelines.
  • Snook, jacks, and tarpon may also take bait meant for trout.


  • Rough shorebreak makes fishing difficult along Treasure Coast barrier islands.
  • Pompano and Spanish mackerel were scarce before the winds started.

Martin County:


  • Dolphin dominate catches, with fish from 10 to 15 pounds common.
  • Troll ballyhoo along current edges for successful fishing.


  • Tripletail on the catch list, especially around channel markers and bridge fenders.
  • Fair snook fishing at bridges during outgoing tides.

Lake Okeechobee: Watch for Wind Advisories

Be cautious of potential lake wind advisories, especially on Friday and Saturday. Despite waves caused by winds, fishing in the lee of grass islands and bulrush thickets may prove productive. Exercise caution in bass boats with low freeboard.

In summary, stay informed about fishing regulations, seize opportunities when weather permits, and explore the diverse fishing options across Florida's counties. Whether you're an offshore enthusiast, inshore angler, or freshwater fanatic, Florida's waters offer a bounty of experiences for every fishing aficionado.

Florida Fishing Regulations and Seasonal Highlights (2024)
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