Do You Know Boating Regulations in Florida?

Fishing is always a recreational activity that many enjoy doing, especially under the cool sunshine. However, there are rules governing waters in every State and country that you visit. It is therefore prudent as a visitor or a resident of a specific region to always be conversant with the set boating rules and fishing regulations of the region before setting on the waters.

In Florida, there are also rules that govern their water, which you should know before embarking on any escapade in the water. Florida follows most of the set federal rules listed in the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Regulations and in the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Regulations.In this article you will learn what is needed of you before sailing in Florida waters. Let’s get started

Where to Check for Boating Regulations in Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife

FWC usually updates the ever changing fishing and boating rules and regulations and it can be a good resource that can sharpen your knowledge on these regulations. FCW will also offer you Angling Guides on all the regions around Florida to help you to navigate easily.

Florida Boaters Guide

If you need to know the current waterways, then you need to request for the current version online. They also provide an outdated list of rules that is free, but may have some rules that are not in place now.

General Rules and Regulations in Florida Waters

The reason why there are set rules in place in Florida, its because fishing can be very rewarding in their waters. That’s why getting a Florida boat license is important to have an awesome experience in their waters. Some of the special rules that should be always in your mind include:

  • Everyone in the fishing vessel should have a fishing license except for those people on fishing charters.
  • All your catches must be intact until you reach the shore. Florida Saltwater Regulations Species can help you understand more.
  • Always know the prohibited species
  • Know the kits to use while in the federal waters in Florida.
  • Always use dive down flags if you are a diver, spear fisherman, or a snorkeler.
  • Know the special marine zones where you are not supposed to be going
  • Ensure your vessel meets all the set federal laws and requirements governing vessels

Some Illegal Things in Florida Waters

Since Florida leads when it comes to the per capital number of licensed recreational boats in the United States, they have set several rules and regulations to keep everyone safe. In Florida you are not allowed to:

  • Interfering with the navigation of other vessels
  • Anchoring your vessel in a place where it will prevent other vessels from passing
  • Attaching your vessel to a buoy or beacon light
  • Speeding your vessel that endangers the life of others
  • Riding on decks where you can easily fall


Ensure your boat is registered and has a Florida boat license, which you should always be having while in water for identification purpose. Beside, your vessel should comply with the US Coast Guard (USCG) that ensureyour equipment is safe. Have the navigation lights, diver flags, and markers on the board.