Officials Letting Unlicensed Fishermen Off The Hook This Weekend

Aug 30, 2013

Fishing boats at Cortez, Florida
Credit William Folsom / NOAA

This Sunday, people can fish in Florida without a license. License-free days are the state’s way of inviting people to try fishing, an industry that brings in about $5 billion dollars annually.

At Crum’s Mini Mall in the Florida Panhandle, bait and tackle shop owner Ronald Crum is adding staff ahead of Labor Day Weekend.

“And the fish are biting," he says.

Crum’s been doing this for 46 years. He says he doesn’t expect much of a business bump from the license-free fishing day, but he says it’s part of a campaign the state needs.

“It’s a good program. Florida needs to send to the world, ‘Hey, come on down to Florida. We’re a kinder, gentler group of people,’” he says.

On Sunday, residents and nonresidents can recreationally catch fish, oysters, shrimp and shellfish in saltwater without a license. All other regulations will still apply this Sunday.

Residential licenses to saltwater fish cost less than $20 annually. Non-resident saltwater licenses cost about $50.