Florida Keys Shore Fishing - FAQ's
1.When did the shoreline license requirement take effect?
2. Who is required to have a valid shoreline fishing license with them?
Resident saltwater anglers who fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore will need a
shoreline fishing license unless they have a regular saltwater fishing license, persons with
disabilities fishing license, other combo license or are exempt.
3. How much does the license cost?
The license is free. However, anglers who obtain the license over the phone will pay a
convenience fee of $3.33 to the vendor who provides the service, and those who obtain the
license online will pay a $2.31 convenience fee. Free shoreline licenses are available at retail
agents, such as sporting goods stores or other retailers that sell hunting or fishing
equipment, and at county tax collectors' offices.
4. If I have a regular saltwater fishing license, will I have to get a shoreline license too?
No. A resident regular fishing license that covers fishing from shore as well as from a vessel
costs $17 and may be the best option for most anglers unless they feel certain they will fish
only from shore.
5. If I wade into the water to fish, will I no longer be covered by the shoreline license?
Anglers who wade into the water are considered to be fishing from shore as long as they can
stand on the bottom and do not access or leave the area by boat.
6. If I ride in a boat to a fishing spot and then fish from shore, am I still covered by the
No. If an angler arrives at the fishing location by boat, he must have a regular saltwater fishing
license, regardless of whether he fishes from shore.
7. Do nonresident anglers qualify for the shoreline license?
No. The shoreline fishing license is available to Florida residents only. Nonresident saltwater
anglers must purchase a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license at $17 for three days,
$30 for seven days or $47 for one year, regardless of whether they fish from shore or a vessel.
These prices include administrative fees, but handling fees are additional.
8. Is anybody exempt from the shoreline license requirement?
The new license requirement allows exemptions for residents who are age 65 or older, all
children under age 16, resident disabled persons who meet certain qualifications, active duty
military personnel while home on leave, and all anglers who fish from a licensed pier. In
addition, the license requirement includes exemptions for resident anglers drawing food
stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid who have proof of identification and a benefit
issuance or program identification card issued by DCFS or the Agency for Health Care
Administration, and anglers who use a pole or line without a line retrieval mechanism (such
as a reel) in their home counties.
9. If I fish from shore, using a cane pole, Cuban yoyo or hand line with no reel attached, do I
still have to have the shoreline license?
There is an exemption for resident anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-
line-retrieval mechanism, using natural bait, and it applies to anglers who fish from shore,
structures affixed to shore or vessels. This exemption applies only in the angler's home
10. If I fish from shore, using a cast net, crab net, dip net, some other kind of net, crab
basket, trap, gig or spear, am I still covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't
have a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism?
The exemption for anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval
mechanism, does not include anglers who use any type of gear other than hook and line. For
instance, crabbers who use traps, baskets, crab nets, dip nets or landing nets will need to
have a fishing license. Also, fishermen who use cast nets or other types of nets are not
exempt from license requirements.
11. If I gather scallops or other shellfish by hand, am I covered by the license exemption for
anglers who don't have a fishing line retrieval mechanism?
No. The exemption for anglers using a pole or line not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval
mechanism does not include those who gather shellfish or other marine animals by hand.
12. If I get a shoreline license now, can I buy a regular saltwater fishing license later if I
decide to fish from a vessel or from shore using non-exempt gear?
Yes. Anglers who have a shoreline license but need a regular saltwater fishing license can
purchase a regular saltwater fishing license, even if they already have a shoreline license.
13. Why did the state pass this shoreline fishing license requirement?
At the request of the FWC, the Florida Legislature passed the shoreline fishing license
requirement to head off a federal registration requirement that would have gone into effect
Jan. 1, 2010, and would have had a $15 to $25 fee, beginning in 2011. The shoreline license
makes Florida's resident anglers exempt from that federal fee.
14. Is there a similar shoreline license for freshwater anglers?
No. There never was a general exemption for fishing from the shore or a structure attached to
shore in freshwater, so no new license was needed. In addition, the new exemption for
anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid applies only to resident
saltwater anglers fishing from shore or a structure attached to shore and does not relate to
15. Where can I find more information about license requirements?
More information about license and permit requirements, outdoor recreation and FWC
programs is available at MyFWC.com.
16. Do I need a Snook Permit if I have a Shoreline license?
Yes, if you are not exempt and have a Saltwater Shoreline license you are required to have a
Snook Permit to keep a snook in season.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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