DEEP TROLLING RIG
A three point swivel or "T" is used as illustrated. Line connects
to one point, leader to another, sinker to a third. Light weight
string is again used so that the sinker will break off in the
event it becomes snagged on the bottom. The bait will stand
a better chance of riding over the snag and you may save yards
of line and aggravation.
PICKEREL CHANNEL CATFISH SHELLCRACKER BREAM SPECKLED PERCH LARGEMOUTH BASS
Offshore Game Fish
BONEFISH SPADE FISH BARRACUDA
SUMMER MONTHS O
FALL MONTHS O
WINTER MONTHS O
ALL YEAR f
ts Fl istoa
thope's always fish to catch
TORO FISH ("BIG EYE")
St. Petersburg W
OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Reubin O' D. Askew
Richard (Dick) Stone
Secretary of State
Robert L .Shevin
Fred 0 .Dickinson, Jr.
Thomas D. O'Malley
Commissioner of Agriculture
Floyd T .Christian
Commissioner of Education
YELLOW TAIL SNAPPER
GAG GROUPER ROCK HIND GROUPER Printed in Florida, U.S.A. 1973
S1 2 5 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12
Bass 0 Bass f Bass 0 Bass e Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass f
Bream Bream -Bream O Bream r Bream Bream Bream Bream 0 Bream B Bream 0 Bream
FRESH Catfish Catfish Garfish Ca fish Catish 0 Catfish Garfish Ctfish Catfish Catfish Garfish
Chipola Bass O Garfish Mudfish Gafish Garfish Garfish Mudshh fi Garfish Garfish Garfish t" Mudfilh O
WATER Garfish S Mudfi sh 0 Shellcracker Mudfish 0 Mudfish 0 Mudfsh Shel cracked Mudfish Mudfi sh Mudfish Pickerel
S Mudfish Pickerel Speckled Perch Shllicracker f Shelicracker Pickerel Speckled Peri Pickerel Pickerel Shellcracker
FISH Pickerel ShelIcracker Speckled Perch Shellcracker 0 Shellcracker S ShelIcracker 0
Shelicracker Spepeckled Perch 0 0 Speckled Perch 0 Speckled Perch S d
Speckled Perch 5 0
Amberjack A Dolphin Amberjack Amberjack 0 Amberjack 1 Bonito Amberjack o Bonito Amberjack
OFFSHORE Bonto Bonito 0 Bonito Bonito 0 Dolphin Bonito 0 Dolphin Bonito
Dolphin Dolphin 0 Dolphin Dolphin Wahoo W Dolphin 0 Sailfish Dolphin
GAME Marlin Sailfish 0 Salfifsh Sailfish Marlin 0 0 Sailfish f
Sailfishf Sailfish Tuna
FISH Swordtish Tuna Wahoo t
Barracuda 0 Barracuda Black Mullet 0 Black Mullet Barracuda Barracuda Barracuda 0 Barracuda 0 Barracuda 0
Black Mullet t Black Mullet 0 Bluefish Bluefish Black Mullet Black Mullet 0 Black Mullet 0 Black Mullet 0 Black Mullet
Bluefish 0 Bluefish 0 Drum 0 Ccbia 0 Bluefish 0 Bluefish 0 Bluefish 0 Bluefish Bluefish f
Cobia Cobia 0 Flounder 0 Drum Cobia Cobia 0Bonefish Cobia Bonefish
Crevalle Crevalle Grunt PFlaunder Drum 0 Drum Cobia 0 0 0 Drum Cero Mackerel 0
Drum O Drum 0 Jack Crevalle GrJnt 0 Flounder Flounder Flounder 0 Flounder Cobia S
Flounder Flounder S Jewfish 0 Ja;k Crevalle Grunt Grunt Grunt Grunt Grunt
Grunt 0 Grunt 0 King Mackerel 0 Jecfish Jack Crevalle Jack Crevalle Jack Crevalle 6 Jack Crevalle Jack Crevalle 0
Jewfish 0 Jewfish 0 Ladyfish 0 King Mackerel Jewfish Jewfish Jewfish Jewfish King Mackerel 0
INSHORE King Mackerel King Mackerel Pompano Lzdytish King MKing Mac KingMackeree King Mackerel 0 King Mackerel 0 Ladytish S
Ladyftish Ladyfish Rainbow Runner 0 Pcmpano Ladyfish 0 Ladyfish Ladyfish Ladyfish Permit
FISH Pompano 0 Pompano 0 Redfish 0 Rinbow Runner Pompano 0 Pompano Permit Pompano Rainbow Runner 0
Rainbow Runner 0 Rainbow Runner 0 Sea Bass 0 Redfish 0 Rainbow Runner Rainbow Runner Pompano Rainbow Runner Red Fish 0
Redfish 0 0 Redfish 0 0 Sea Trout 0 Sea Bass Redfish 0 Redfish Rainbow Runner Redfish S Sea Trout
Scamp : Sea Bass 0 Shark 0 Sea Trout Sea Trout Sea Bass Redfish Sea Trout Shark S
Sea Trout Sea Trout 0 Sheepshead 0 Shark 0 Shark Sea Trout 0 Sea Trout 0 Shark 0 Snook 0
Shark Shark 0 Spade Fish 0 Sheepshead Sheepshead Shad (in St.John's) 0 Shark Sheepshead 0 0 Spade Fish 0
Sheepshead 0 0 Sheepshead 0 Spanish Mackerel 0 Snaok 0 Snook Shark Snook Snook 0 Tarpon 0 0
Spade Fish 0 Spade Fish 0 Striped Bass 0 Spade Fish 0 Spade Fish Sheepshead 0 Spade Fish Spade Fish 0
Spanish Mackerel 0 0 Spanish Mackerel Tarpon 0 Spanish Mackerel 0 Spanish Mackerel Snook 0 0 Spanish Mackerel Spanish Mackerel 0 0
Tarpon 0 Striped Bass Trpon Tarpon Spade Fish 0 Tarpon 0* Tarpon 0
Tarpon Tripletail Spanish Mackerel 0
Red Snapper Red Snapper 0 Red Snapper 0 Red Snapper Mangrove Snapper 0 Red Snapper 0 Mutton Snapper Mangrove Snapper 0 Cero Mackerel
Toro ("Big Eye ) 0 Silk Snapper 0 Toro ("Big Eye") f Vermillion Snapper 0 Mutton Snapper 0 Vermillion Snipper 0 Mangrove Snapper 0 Red Snapper 0 0 Mutton Snapper
SNAPPER Vermiltion Snapper 0 Toro ("Big Eye") 0 Vermillion Snapper 0 Yellow Eye Snapper 0 Red Snapper 0 0 Yellowtail Snapper 0 Red Snapper Yellow Eye Snapper 0 Mangrove Snapper
SNAPPER Yellow Eye Snapper 0 Yellow Eye Snapper 0 Yellow Eye Siapper 0 Schoolmaster Snapper 0 Yellowtail Snapper 0 Schoolmaster Snapper f
Vermillion Snapper 0. 0 Yellow Eye Snapper t
Yellowtail Snapper 0 Yellowtail Snapper 0
Black Grouper Black Grouper 0 Black Grouper 0 Black Grouper 0 Black Grouper Black Groupa Black Grouper 0 Black Grouper 0 Black Grouper S
Gag Grouper Gag Grouper 0 Gag Grouper 0 Gag Grouper 5 Gag Grouper Gag Grouper 0 Gag Grouper 0 Gag Grouper 0 Gag Grouper 0
Graysby Grouper Graysby Grouper 0 Graysby Grouper 0 Graysby Grouper Graysby Grouper Graysby Grouper 0 Graysby Grouper 0 Graysby Grouper 0 Graysby Grouper 0
GROUPER Red Grouper Red Grouper 0 Nassau Grouper 0 Nissau Grouper Red Grouper f Nassau Grouper S Nassau Grouper 0 Red Grouper Nassau Grouper S
Warsaw Grouper 0 Warsaw Grouper f Yellow Fin Grouper 0 Red Grouper Warsaw Grouper Red Grouper 0 Red Grouper 0 Warsaw Grouper 0 Red Grouper 0
Yellow Fin Grouper Warsaw Grou:er 0 Warsaw Grouper Yellow Fin Grouper 0
Yellow Fin G'ouper 0 Yellow Fin Grouper 0
N',SSAU GROUPER GRAYSBY GROUPER
YELLOW FIN GROL PER RED GROUPER BLACK GROUPER
No matter what type reel you are using, check
your line carefully for fraying and nicks.
Always cut at least ten feet of line from the ter-
minal end after each fishing trip.
Keep reels lightly oiled and cleaned.
If you use suntan oil or lotion on a fishing trip,
it is a good practice to wash hands thoroughly
after you apply, as some oils tend to rot or
weaken line. Sharpen all hooks.
Use regulation knots. They have been tested by.
experts and work.
Have a good pair of work gloves in your tackle
box to avoid cuts and scratches when removing
your catch from the hook. Be particularly careful
with rockfish, scorpion fish and catfish, the
sharp teeth of barracuda and bluefish. Clean your
catch as soon as possible and keep it iced.
Most salt water fish have strong sharp teeth,
making heavy monofilament or wire leaders advis-
able. However, the experts say, you'll get more
strikes with light leader. If you're fishing in the
bay or off shore watch for frenzied bird activity
just above the water. This usually indicates
large fish feeding on a school of bait fish. Troll
through the edge with a feather, spoon or strip
and chances are good for a strike.
If you run into a school of dolphin while in the
Gulf Stream, always keep one on the line. This
will keep the other dolphin within striking
When you bottom fish off reefs and wrecks it is
advisable to reel in a few turns when you feel
your sinker hit bottom. This will help when a
lunker hits your line and tries to drag your rig
into sharp-edged cover.
When you fish with live shrimp avoid putting your
hook through the black spot back of the head.
It's always a good idea when you return from a
day's fishing by boat to let your line out free
spool from the stern of the boat to untwist.
Wash your tackle as soon as possible with fresh
water and let dry thoroughly.
There are Florida waters where spear fishing is
not permitted. ALWAYS CHECK THE LOCAL
COUNTY LAWS CONCERNING SPEAR FISHING
BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS SPORT. Remem-
ber, it can be dangerous for a novice and certain
rules must be observed.
1. Always go with an experienced guide.
2. Always have an underwater companion.
3. Never attempt to spear fish in murky waters.
I Iiii liii I ii
If accidentally snagged by a hook:
Don't try to remove the hook if it is deeply im-
Do apply a good antiseptic to the area around the
Don't wash the area of the cut with water from
lake or stream. There may be pollution present in
even the clearest water.
Do sever the line close to the hook to prevent
further pulling on the imbedded hook.
Do get to a doctor as quickly as possible.
Salt Watoep aws
No licenses required for sport fishing.
No closed season on any game fish.
Saltwater food fish not used must be returned to
the water alive.
Use of firearms or explosives for the killing of
fish is prohibited.
Snook and striped bass may be taken by hook and
It is unlawful to sell, buy or transport for sale
snook, tarpon, sailfish, striped bass.
There are no size or bag limits on saltwater fish
other than those listed below. Mullet and pompano
are measured from tip of tail to tip of nose; all
other species from fork of tail to tip of nose.
In the event of sunstroke:
Do make the victim as comfortable as you can, if
possible stretched out full length in the bottom
of the boat.
Do loosen tight clothing (including shoes) to
Do improvise a shade.
Do get the victim to a doctor with all possible
Don't attempt resuscitation or any other first aid
unless you are experienced and practiced at this
type of first aid.
REMEMBER the rays of the Florida sun are
much more powerful than in northern latitudes,
and sometimes doubled by water reflection.
Fishermen should wear sufficient clothing for
protection as some individuals can acquire a bad
burn in as little as fifteen minutes!
Daily Bag Possession
Bonefish 2 2
Mullet, Black -
Sailfish 2 2
Snook 4 4
Spotted Trout -
Tarpon 2 2
Striped Bass 6 6
Shad 10 10
. -111il .. I .
Fpesh Wate baws
Licenses are required for all persons fishing
Florida fresh water, except the following:
Residents who have reached their 65th birth-
day. Residents and non-residents under 15
years of age and residents fishing in their
county of legal residence with pole and line.
Licenses may be purchased at any County
Annual fees are $3 for residents and $8 for non-
Temporary licenses may be purchased by non-
residents at $2.25 for five consecutive days, or
$3.25 for 14 consecutive days.
In addition to pole or rod and reel, legal methods
include bush hooks, set hooks and trot lines.
The latter methods are legal only for catfish and
other non-game species and must not be baited
with live bait.
Use of goldfish, carp or the minnows of black
bass for bait is prohibited.
Shooting, spearing, netting of game fish is pro-
hibited. Rough fish may be taken with spear or
bow-and-arrow from above the surface of the
DAILY BAG LIMITS: Black bass 10. Panfish 50.
Pickerel 15 Total of 90 in aggregate, as long as
individual limits are not exceeded. Possession
limit--2 days' bag.
EXCEPTION: Limit on panfish is 70 in Dade,
Broward, Monroe and Collier Counties--except on
Lake Trafford in Collier County where regular
limit applies. THERE IS NO STATEWIDE SIZE
LIMIT ON ANY FRESHWATER FISH.
IN ANY AREA YOU PLAN TO VISIT, BY ALL
MEANS, CHECK THE LOCAL FISHING LAWS.
Education and Information
Tallahassee, Florida 32304
This public document was promulgated
at an annual cost of $21,075.62, or
$.087 per copy (including 3 cents per
copy for distribution) to provide fishing
and safe-boating information to the gen-
Good fishing comes eas here
Florida is a fishing paradise.
Its 8,426-mile Atlantic and Gulf shoreline
and the thousands of lakes and streams
throughout the State, offer the angler excite-
ment all year round.
Your Florida fishing visit is further en-
hanced by the availability of many unexcelled
marinas, other modern facilities, and exper-
ienced fishing guides.
There's real fishing fun waiting for you .
in the waters of Florida.
Reubin O'D. Askew
Florida's turquoise seas and crystal clear lakes,
rivers and streams beckon to fishermen from all
over the world.
The waters of the Sunshine State are alive with
more than 600 species of fish. Sea fighters like
marlin, sailfish, tarpon and dolphin lure big game
fishermen by the thousands every year. On the
other hand the quiet streams and lakes tempt
light tackle anglers who prefer the serenity of
back country fishing, spiced with the fighting
antics of big black bass.
Nowhere in the world is there a more genuine
welcome to fishermen than in Florida. Many
anglers who now call Florida home came here
from all corners of the globe, and they set their
lines, trimmed their jibs, and are now part of the
Such is the fantastic lure of Florida fishing.
Where else can a fisherman, visitor or native, ply
the back waters of the Everglades for bass and
then later in the same day be in the Gulf Stream
angling for tarpon or sailfish?
Where else can a fisherman toss a lure along
the green shores of the fabulous St Johns River,
and a day later be out in the Atlantic, trying the
snapper banks off shore from Jacksonville and
And only in Florida, from Key Biscayne south-
ward through the Florida Keys can a fisherman
catch the hard fighting, elusive bonefish within
the continental confines of the United States.
This silver fighter has, in recent years, become
the prime target for light tackle and fly fishermen.
Florida is truly the sportfishing capital of the
world, where someone is catching a fish, some-
time, somewhere, in Florida waters, 365 days of
Except for one method. ice fishing. Florida
offers sports angling for every technique and
every kind of tackle! The visitor will find fish to
fit his gear or his method at any time of year, and
this book will be of assistance.
When weather or season makes his favorite fish-
ing inadvisable, he can always be successful
with other methods and other fish. Flexibility is
the key to consistent success. Somewhere in our
state someone is always catching fish!
An important factor in fishing success is the
gathering of information, and conservation per-
sonnel, tackle shops, fishing resorts, news-
papers, radio and television are constant day-to-
day sources. Guides and authoritative directories
provide basic facts for each area of Florida.
The joys of Florida fishing are for everyone who
seeks the time and the place. The expert will
find his favorite kind of sport. and the begin-
ner will make an easy start!
alt WateO FisliRg
Most visitors think first of deep sea game fishing
when they think ot Florida's salt water prizes,
but residents can vouch for this fact: One of the
easiest, most pleasant ways of going salt water
fishing is on a bridge or pier! Fishing piers ex-
tend out far enough to give the caster a crack at
a wide variety of species! Charges for use of a
pier are generally nominal, and, as in the case of
a municipal pier, quite often free. There's usually
a lunchroom, tackle shop and bait house on the
You will see every kind of tackle imaginable on
bridges and piers, and the ideal choice would
depend, of course, on the species being caught.
A medium spinning rod with 10 or 15-pound
monofilament line is an excellent compromise.
The "popping rod", a stiff baitcasting rod with
long grip, is a good pier stick, used with a turn-
ing spool reel. Most surf rods are too long for
comfort and convenience on bridges or from piers.
When bluefish, cobia, mackerel, kingfish or other
artificial takers are running, pier lures include
weighted bucktail jigs and certain plugs which
can be operated well from high above water level.
Shrimp, cut bait, fiddler crabs and sand fleas are
used from bridges and piers with a variety of
float and -inker rigs.
mon pier fish include whiting, flounder,
o. sheepshead, drum, spadefish, and weak-
almost anything in the ocean swims
S Night fishing is often best for
r trout) and snook. Channel
bluefish and cobia are
; r migrations run south
in fall and north in spring. One of the more con-
sistent and dramatic runs is that of the cobia or
"ling", off Northwest Florida's "Miracle Strip"''
on the Gulf Beaches after the first of April.
Sharing the fun of your catch on a "party boat''
is popular here in Florida! A "party boat" some-
times called a "head boat" is a large, sea-going
craft that accommodates a large number of cus-
tomers for full or half-day trips at moderate cost.
Although the party boats sometimes troll on the
way to fishing grounds they usually bottom fish
or drift fish when they arrive. Bait is generally
furnished and tackle (boat rods and husky reels)
is often supplied although anglers are welcome
to bring their own. Very light tackle is not recom-
mended. Members of the crew are always helpful
in getting a beginner started. Although anything
from sailfish to ribbon fish may be caught occa-
sionally, mainstays of the. party boats are several
species of grouper and snappers. Most party boats
are equipped with electronic fishing aids.
A "charter boat" may be engaged by small parties
(six anglers or less) for deep water trolling at
moderate cost per person. The charter boat gener-
ally has a captain and one mate as crew and
makes either half-day or full-day trips for sailfish,
marlin, dolphin, bonito, kingfish and mackerel.
Tuna are an occasional catch off Florida. Some-
times charter boats "drift the reefs.''
A relative of the deep water charter boat is the
"tarpon boat", intended for shoal water fishing.
It is common in the Keys and on the lower West
Coast. These boats, some of which can be en-
gaged for a single tide of tarpon fishing, are true
opportunists and can go to sea for whatever is
Long surf rods, either spinning or conventional,
are used on Florida coasts, where the beaches
slope gradually. Regular surf customers are pom-
pano, whiting and, at times, cobia, channel bass
(called redfish in some areas), drum, bluefish and
Fishermen who pilot skiffs and other small craft
find sport on the Inland Waterway, Keys flats and
the thousands of bays, passes and brackish rivers.
Vacationers often bring their own boats for
sheltered inshore fishing, although skiffs are
available at hundreds of fishing camps. Light
tackle is best. Most popular of inshore fish is the
salt water speckled trout or weakfish. some-
times simply called a "speck." "Specks"'' are
caught by spinning, plugging or fly tackle. In
warm weather, fishermen drift or wade hundreds
of square miles of grass flats. Favorite natural
bait is the shrimp. Spinners and bait-casters use
jigs and plugs, surface or underwater, and fly
fishermen use streamers or popping plugs. The
fish run larger on the East Coast and generally in
greater numbers on the West.
Snook, channel bass, mangrove snappers, jack
crevalle and tarpon are easily reached by inshore
boaters. The tarpon is the one big game species
that is found in small rivers and bays. most
democratic of this glamour fish! Spring is the
most popular time for tarpon, although a few are
at home all year in the Keys and on the southern
Tarpon are caught on plug, fly, trolled spoons,
plugs and feathers. They are also still fished
with mullet bait on the Southwest Coast and drift-
fished with live bait in deeper passes, such as
Boca Grande where the pinfish is a favorite
Snook moves up the West Coast in late spring.
The run is less defined on the East Coast but
Florida's biggest snook traditionally come from
the East Coast Inland Waterway in the Lake Worth
vicinity during warm months.
The tripletail or "chobie" is caught around
pilings and buoys, usually after being sighted,
and takes both lures and bait.
The Keys flats are different enough to merit
special consideration. Bonefish, commonly known
as the "Grey Ghost" take shrimp, weighted jigs
and flies, and are caught in water from six inches
to four feet in depth all along the Keys and up
through Biscayne Bay at Miami. This is an ex-
citing combination of hunting and fishing, as the
angler usually sights the fish before casting. Best
results are achieved by hiring a guide with a skiff
and a pole. He will know the places and can see
the fish but a beginner soon learns to get along by
himself and spot his own fish with polarized sun-
glasses. A good quality of spinning reel on a
light rod is the most sporting rig for bonefish.
Shrimp or bits of crabmeat are most certain baits
but artificial are more fun if the fisherman can
handle them. Experienced fly fishermen use small
Bonefish make long runs (100 yards and more) at
high speed and this is why we recommend a good
reel. Bonefish have been known to rip an inferior
reel apart. The aristocratic bonefish lives up to
his name, so is rarely eaten although the flesh is
Other fish caught on the flats include channel
bass and occasional permit and tarpon as well as
trout and barracuda. Recently, fishermen have
been catching large tarpon (100 pounds or more)
on fly, baitcasting and spinning tackle in Keys
waters. Flats fishing for tarpon is challenging,
and the advice of a guide is usually welcomed.
Artificial canals all over South Florida provide
salt water fishing, especially for snook and tar-
pon. The best known of these is the Tamiami
Trail canal which runs across the state from
Miami to Naples and can be fished from roadside.
Artificial lures are good and fly fishermen are
well equipped for fishing over the vegetation
lining the canal.
Similar canals are found throughout the Keys and
on up both coasts.
Fpesh Water PFishing
Florida offers so much salt water shoreline that
many visiting anglers overlook the excitement of
our State's fresh water fishing! The fisherman
who has never hooked into the Florida largemouth
bass has missed out on a great sporting thrill!
These scrappers are found throughout the state
and generally run larger than in any other state.
Our fresh-water fishing is a year-round sport!
There is no closed season for the bass. The
large lakes and rivers have fishing resorts and
boat liveries, but some fine fishing is found in
thousands of unnamed back country lakes and
highway ditches. It almost seems a catch can be
made in any spot that's wet!
Florida bass fishermen lean toward lures manipu-
lated by the fishermen rather than those with
Live bait takes more big Florida bass than any
other method. Experts disagree on size but some
of the shiners used are up to nine or ten inches
long and "free running" live bait is most popular,
the bait being permitted to go on a free line with-
out sinker. Floats are generally used. Live bait
is for sale at most fishing resorts.
Spinning tackle is satisfactory for open water and
shoreline bass fishing. Conventional plug casting
gear is favored for fishing heavy grass, weeds
and bonnets (lily pads) and for the larger surface
plugs. Fly tackle is popular in spring, summer and
fall when it takes both bass and panfish.
Bluegills, commonly called "bream" are plentiful,
often overcrowded, so limits are generous. Few
weigh as much as a pound. They and other sun-
fishes are caught mainly with canepoles but are
more fun on light fly or spinning gear. Fly fishing
is best on warm evenings and small popping bugs
or rubber spiders are highly successful. A bug
that's just a bit large for bream may pick up some
bass, too. When bream begin surface feeding their
soft "plops" give them away.
The eastern chain pickerel is found over most of
Florida, frequenting weedy or grassy waters, and
is partial to spoons and spinners although willing
to take live bait. Pickerel are commonly called
"pike" or "jackfish" .
Several species of fresh water catfish are gen-
erally considered commercial "seafood" but can
be fun for the rod and liner. Especially game is
the channel catfish which sometimes takes artifi-
cial lures but generally prefers natural baits.
Shad fishing in Florida is confined mainly to the
St. Johns River where the fish usually run from
early December through late April and the Sanford
area is most reliable. Most shad are caught by
slow trolling with monofilament line and rigs of
tiny spoons or jigs (sometimes called "darts")
and trollers generally use two lures running at
Crappie or "speckled perch" get special con-
sideration as most popular of all Florida's
fresh water fishes. The natives go for them
through the winter and spring (spawning time)
and neglect them during the summer. They are
found in virtually all Florida fresh waters of
any size. Most "specks" are caught on small
minnows but there is increased interest in
fishing them with light spinning tackle and