Spearing Regulations in Florida State Waters


Spearing: A term encompassing bow fishing, gigging, spearfishing (underwater), or using any device to capture fish by piercing its body. It does not include snagging or snatch hooking.

General Prohibitions:

  • Species Limitations: Cannot spearfish for species not allowed by spearing regulations.
  • Freshwater Prohibition: Spearfishing in freshwater bodies is prohibited, as is the possession of spearfishing equipment in or on freshwater.

Specific Area Restrictions:

  1. Upper Keys No-Spearfishing Zone: Includes all state waters from the Miami-Dade County line down to and including Long Key.

  2. Near Public Areas:

    • Within 100 yards of public bathing beaches, commercial/public fishing piers, or bridges where fishing is allowed.
    • Within 100 feet of the unsubmerged portion of any jetty (except along the last 500 yards of any jetty extending more than 1,500 yards from the shoreline).
  3. Recreation and Parks Jurisdiction: Prohibited in waters under the Division of Recreation and Parks of the Department of Environmental Protection, including possession restrictions.

  4. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: No-take areas are off-limits for spearfishing. Visit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for specific boundaries and regulations.

  5. Special Local Laws: Some areas may have specific prohibitions. Always check local laws and regulations on MyFWC.com/Fishing under "Saltwater," "Recreational Regulations," "Full Text Rule by Species" and "Local Laws."

Recreational Regulations:

  • Same Regulations Apply: Marine species harvested by spearing are subject to the same recreational regulations (e.g., bag limits, size limits, and closed seasons) as those harvested by other types of recreational gear.

Prohibited Species for Harvest by Spearing:

  1. All prohibited species
  2. Billfish (all species)
  3. Bonefish
  4. Crab (blue, stone)
  5. Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)
  6. Goliath grouper
  7. Manta ray
  8. Nassau grouper
  9. Permit
  10. Pompano (Florida and African)
  11. Red drum
  12. Sharks (all species including dogfish)
  13. Snook
  14. Spotted eagle ray
  15. Spotted seatrout
  16. Sturgeon
  17. Tarpon
  18. Tripletail
  19. Weakfish
  20. Marine life species (listed on Marine Life Regulations)

Local Exceptions:

  • Volusia County: Spearing is not allowed except for flounder and sheepshead, and only by the use of a barbed spear with three or fewer prongs.
  • Special Local Laws: Some areas may have specific prohibitions or regulations regarding spearing. It's crucial to check local laws and regulations on MyFWC.com/Fishing under "Saltwater," "Recreational Regulations," "Full Text Rule by Species" and "Local Laws."


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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.