Attention anglers in south Florida — it’s time to get out your rods and reels and hit the skinny water in pursuit of spotted seatrout.
The recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in southern Florida reopened on January 1. The opening rings in 2012, a recreational closure-free year that will include several spotted seatrout management changes that go into effect starting February 1.
The maximum daily bag limit for spotted seatrout in the southern region of the state is four fish per person. Harvest of seatrout in the southern region of the state has been closed since November 1.
The southern region includes any Florida state waters and federal waters south of the Flagler-Volusia county line on the east coast and, in the Gulf, south of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco county line.
In northeast and northwest regions, the daily limit is five spotted seatrout per person until the new rules take effect February 1.
Recreational spotted seatrout management changes include the following:
• The removal of all recreational spotted seatrout closures, including the annual Feb. 1 closure that would have affected anglers in northeast and northwest Florida.
• An increased recreational bag limit of six fish in the northeast region of the state.
• The statewide slot limit for spotted seatrout is 15-20 inches total length, and anglers may keep one spotted seatrout larger than 20 inches as part of the daily bag limit.
• Spotted seatrout may not be harvested by snagging or snatch-hooking or by any multiple hooks with live or dead natural bait. Spotted seatrout may be taken only with hook-and-line gear and cast nets, and must be landed in a whole condition.
For more information, visit myfwc.com.
Florida 2012 Sea Trout Changes