Natural North Florida Fishing
With the longest stretch of unsettled saltwater coastline in the continental United States, one of the longest unobstructed rivers in the nation and the largest concentration of first magnitude springs and spring-fed streams, our 14-county Natural North Florida region has excellent fishing resources.
Our Gulf Coast stretches from Panacea in Wakulla County to Yankeetown in Levy County and holds saltwater species like tarpon, spotted seatrout, redfish, groupers, cobia and pelagic species like king and Spanish mackerel.
Backwaters along our rugged coast are very fishable, with oyster reefs and limestone outcrops forming the basis for the fishery. The inflow of fresh water provides the necessary nutrients which allow the growth of this fish nursery and habitat.
In addition to saltwater finfish species, our Natural North Florida Big Bend coast is also renowned for the only recreational bay scallop harvest in the United States. This event lasts about three months throughout the summer and is one of the mainstays of our coastal economies. Bay scallops are legal game in the Gulf from mid-June until mid-September, depending on location. Admittedly it is a short season but, while it lasts, it’s just about as much fun as you and your family can have. For complete information on the bay scallop harvest, bag limits, and regulations, please visit www.myfwc.com/fishing
Florida residents and visitors need a Florida freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license. Your license is required to be with you. Go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website to obtain a license and to learn more about fishing and boating in Florida. Alternatively, download the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Fish/Hunt app to obtain your license and receive other useful information such as boat ramp locations.
FISHING CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Local fishing events include tournaments, as well as activities sponsored by local fishing and boating clubs. The Gainesville Offshore Fishing Club has monthly programs as well as family-oriented fishing events. The Gulf Coast Kayaking Club sponsors several fishing events throughout the year. Freshwater anglers might enjoy the programs and events sponsored by the Bassmasters of Gator Country.