Statewide Bag and Length Limits for Freshwater Game Fish in Florida

Bag Limits for Freshwater Game Fish

  • Black Bass: Limit of 5 per day (including largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, Choctaw, and shoal bass). Only one of these may be 16 inches or longer. No minimum length for largemouth bass.

  • Suwannee, Shoal, Spotted, and Choctaw Bass: Must be at least 12 inches to possess.

  • Chipola River and its tributaries (Shoal Bass): Catch and release only. All shoal bass must be released immediately.

  • Panfish: Limit of 50 per day (including bluegill, redear sunfish, flier, longear sunfish, and others).

  • Crappie (Speckled Perch): Limit of 25 per day.

  • Striped Bass, White Bass, and Sunshine Bass: Combined limit of 20 per day, only 6 of which may be 24 inches or longer.

    • Suwannee River Region (Striped Bass): Bag limit of 3, each must be at least 18 inches (20 fish combined bag limit).
    • Lower Ochlockonee River (Striped Bass): Bag limit of 3, only one of which may be 24 inches or longer (20 fish combined bag limit).
  • Butterfly Peacock Bass: Limit of 2 per day, only one of which may be 17 inches or longer.

  • Alabama Shad, American Shad, Hickory Shad, and Blueback Herring: Combined limit of 10 per day, hook and line gear only.

  • American Eels: Limit of 25 per day, must be nine inches or greater. Wholesale/Retail purchase exemption applies for bait.

Important Notes and Restrictions

  • Possession Limit: No more than two days’ bag limit of freshwater game fish in possession (details in Rule 68A-23.005).

  • Transportation: Illegal to transport or possess more than two days’ bag limit per licensed angler without a commercial license. Exceptions apply for fish from aquaculturists.

  • Waste Prohibition: No native freshwater fish or their eggs may be taken, possessed, or wasted except as permitted.

  • Restricted Species: It is illegal to possess grass carp or alligator gar without a permit; they must be released immediately.

  • Keep Game Fish Intact: Certain fish must not be filleted or have heads or tail fins removed until the angler has completed fishing for the day. This includes black bass, striped bass and white bass or their hybrids, peacock bass, crappie and panfish (in certain waters).

Special Areas and Exceptions

Special bag and length limits may apply to certain lakes, rivers, and Fish Management Areas. Nongame fishes generally do not have bag or possession limits, except as noted in individual Fish Management Area regulations. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit MyFWC.com or consult the latest regulations specific to the area you plan to fish.

Special bag and length limits

  • Jim Woodruff Reservoir, Lake Seminole. In the waters of and on the banks of the waters of Lake Seminole — bounded on the west by Florida State Road No. 271, on the south by the Jim Woodruff Dam, on the east by a line immediately east of the Chattahoochee Marina, also known as the Booster Club, running northwest across the lake to the tip of land at the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers, west of Spring Creek; and on the north by the Herman Talmadge Bridge across the Chattahoochee River: 10 black bass, each must be 12 inches or greater in total length; 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which no more than two may be 22 inches or longer in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch); 50 panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin). Possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species.
  • St. Marys River and its tributaries: 10 black bass, each must be 12 inches or greater in total length; two striped bass, sunshine bass or white bass, both of which must be at least 22 inches in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch); 50 panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin).
  • Lake Talquin, Leon and Gadsden counties (including that portion of the Ochlockonee River lying between Lake Talquin and the railroad trestle that is located immediately below U.S. Highway 90, that portion of the Little River lying between Lake Talquin and County Road 268, that portion of the Rocky Comfort Creek lying between Lake Talquin and County Road 65-B, and that portion of Bear Creek lying between Lake Talquin and Bear Creek Road, those portions of Ocklawaha and Hammock creeks lying between Lake Talquin and State Road 267, those portions of Blount's, Freeman [Stoutamire], and Harvey and Polk creeks lying between Lake Talquin and State Road 20): Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.
  • Silver Glen Springs in Lake and Marion counties and Salt Springs in Marion County: Fishing is prohibited in and within 50 yards of the springs.
  • Rainbow Springs, Marion County: Fishing is prohibited from the headwaters of Rainbow Springs to a point one mile downstream on Rainbow River within Marion County.
  • Wildcat Lake, Marion County (Ocala National Forest): Black bass must be released immediately.
  • St. Johns River Water Management Area (Farm 13, including the Stick Marsh),
    Indian River and Brevard counties: 
    Black bass must be released immediately.
  • Fellsmere Water Management Area (commonly known as Headwaters Lake and Egan Lake), Indian River County:
    • Black bass must be released immediately.
    • Circle hooks required when fishing with natural bait greater than 3" in length.
  • S.N. Knight Tract, Indian River County (locally known as Kenansville Lake): Black bass must be released immediately.
  • Lake Okeechobee: Crappie (speckled perch) less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. Lake Okeechobee, for purposes of these rules, is defined as any point lakeward of a boundary line delineated by the following points:
    • Intersection of St. Rd. 78 and U.S. 441
    • U.S. 441 SE to St. Rd. 5 (“80”)
    • St. Rd. 5 (“80”) to St. Rd. 25 (U.S. 27)
    • St. Rd. 25 (U.S. 27) to St. Rd. 78
    • St. Rd. 78 to U.S. 441

Including:

  • Harney Pond Canal (C-41) north of St. Rd. 78 to South Florida Water Mgmnt. District (SFWMD) structure S-71
  • C-41-A Canal, southeast of S-84
  • Indian Prairie Canal (C-40) north of St. Rd. 78 to SFWMD structure S-72
  • All of Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough in Okeechobee County
  • C-38/Kissimmee River south of SFWMD structure S-65E to St. Rd. 78
  • All of L-50 Canal in Glades County
  • Fisheating Creek to U. S. 27
  • All of Sportsman’s Canal (LD-3) in Glades County
  • Perdido River: 10 black bass; 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (only 5 of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length); 30 crappie (speckled perch, all of which must be 9 inches or longer); 50 panfish (does not include crappie, possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species).
  • Lake Jackson (Walton County): 5 black bass (all of which must be 12 inches or greater in total length, only one of which may be longer than 22 inches in total length); 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (only 5 of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length); 30 crappie (speckled perch); 50 panfish (does not include crappie, possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species).

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.