In general, the daily bag limits set by Commission rule for saltwater fishing are for a calendar day (24-hour period from midnight to midnight). These limits are also possession limits. Therefore, it is illegal to possess more than one day's bag limit "while in, on or above the waters of the State or on any dock, pier, bridge, beach or other fishing site adjacent to such waters" with regard to most species.
Once you have caught and possess the bag limit for a species, you may not harvest any more of that species until the next 24-hour period. Thus it is illegal to take the catch to shore and then return to the sea to harvest another daily bag limit during the same calendar day.
Florida reef fish regulations [68B-14.0036 (8) (a) and (b)] have exceptions to the general rule stated above for the following fish:
- snapper (gray, red, Atlantic vermilion, cubera)
- red grouper
- black sea bass
- red porgy
- amberjack (greater, lesser, banded rudderfish)
The reef fish rule: (a) allows for the possession of double the bag limit for one who has fished for more than one day, "once such person has landed the fish, departed the fishing site and is no longer within 100 yards of any state waters, docks, fishing piers, or other fishing sites."
Another exception (b) applies only when a person is fishing from a headboat or charter boat on a trip that spans more than 24 hours. This situation allows an individual to posses double the bag limit provided:
- The vessel has a sleeping berth for each passenger aboard the vessel;
- Each passenger possesses a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel that verifies the length of the trip.
Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters Recreational Fishing Regulations
South Atlantic Federal Waters Recreational Fishing Regulations