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Get your free goodies for buying a 5-year freshwater fishing license now!

Fish Busters' Bulletin

Monday, March 01, 2010

Media contact: Bob Wattendorf

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), a major partner in the Get Outdoors Florida! coalition ( encourages families to enjoy all the pleasures of recreational fishing in Florida.  Active, nature-based recreation develops happier, healthier and smarter lifestyles for Floridians, as well as encouraging a conservation stewardship ethic among resource users.

According to the last several national surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau dealing with fishing and wildlife-associated recreation, more people fish in Florida than in any other state, and more tourists come here to fish and spend their money than anywhere else in the country. Like the FWC, the angling industry wants to keep Florida as the Fishing Capital of the World and knows the quality of fishing depends on great resources and responsible management.

One way the FWC and their industry partners encourage fishing and provide extra incentives and savings to anglers is via a special 5-year freshwater fishing license bonus program.  Beginning March 1, the first 3,000 anglers to upgrade to a 5-year freshwater fishing license will receive a special incentive in the form of free tackle, publications and fishing accessories that add to the convenience and cost savings already associated with a 5-year license.

Matched with the priceless memories created from your fishing experiences, the FWC makes this a deal difficult to resist. A 5-year license costs just $79, plus a convenience fee, but in return you know the fees won't increase while you have your license, and you don't need to worry about renewing for five years.  For most anglers, that amounts to barely a dollar per fishing trip, or about one quarter per hour, for healthy, relaxing recreation that allows you to connect with your family and friends in a fun, stress-free environment - and maybe even take home a free meal or two.

The bonus package literally has you covered "hook, line and sinker." The first 3,000 customers to upgrade to a 5-year freshwater fishing license after March 1 receive a free bonus package by mail with samples, magazines and coupons from fishing-related companies. Some of the items offered include:

  • Free hooks from Tru-Turn and Owner;
  • Jigs from Fish Vision;
  • A free spool of Spiderwire fishing line from Berkley;
  • Lead-free sinkers from Bullet Weights; and
  • Biodegradable lures from Fish Bites and Stubby Steve's.

Also in the package is a variety of useful literature to help ensure a safe-and-sustainable fishing trip, including:

  • Florida Wildlife magazine;
  • Freshwater regulations booklet;
  • Boating safety;
  • Fish ID charts;
  • Polk County fishing maps; and
  • Nature Rocks brochure.

Also thrown in are:

  • Catch-and-Release (Sure Life) for your livewell;
  • A retractor for your angling tools (Power Pole);
  • Instructions and special "Fishhook Removal String."

Plus coupons for:

  • Fishing or paddling trips (Bass Online, Canoe Outpost);
  • Educational programs (Ladies, Let's Go Fishing);
  • Fuel supplements (Fuel Medics) for your boat motor; and
  • Top-of-the-line polarized fishing sunglasses (Ocean Waves).

Five-year licenses are available online at and or by calling, 888-347-4356. In addition, they may be purchased at any license agent, such as retail stores that sell fishing supplies and bait-and-tackle shops or at local county tax collectors' offices. Even if your current license hasn't expired, you can order a 5-year license now and have the effective date for the license set for up to 60 days after the purchase. The package typically arrives in three to four weeks.

Fishing license fees are used only for fish and wildlife conservation purposes and are a major source of funding for conservation programs, from habitat restoration to fish stocking and fishing-access enhancement.  In addition, each 5-year license allows us to recover the excise taxes that you already pay the federal government on fishing tackle and motor boat fuel taxes to use here in Florida for Sport Fish Restoration Programs, boating-access enhancement and boating safety.

For information about local fishing opportunities, visit, where you can also verify that you will be one of the first 3,000 and see all of the bonus package contents.

One final note, the FWC has designated the weekend of April 3 and 4 (Easter weekend) as Free Fishing Weekend. Both residents and nonresidents can fish in public fresh waters across the state without a license. All other fishing rules apply (see

We encourage you to join the thousands of anglers who have taken the Anglers' Legacy Pledge ( and enter partner code FLFWC).  Anglers' Legacy is about giving back what you've been given, and making a promise to introduce somebody new to fishing. There's no membership fee and no obligation; it's just a way to help spread the fun of one of America's most popular traditions and share our fishing heritage with others.

FWC Facts:
Nearly 80 percent of the state's intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia Island waters. 2 million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually.

Learn More at AskFWC