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Fishing - Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore is a fishing paradise. Two-thirds of the park is underwater. The boundary extends one mile into the Gulf of Mexico and a half mile into the bay. There are miles of beaches that have easy access for surf fishing and Fort Pickens has a pier that reaches out into the bay. Also, many charter fishing facilities and two bridges for fishing the bay side of the islands are in the area.

Florida saltwater fishing laws state non-Florida residents who takes or attempts to take, or posses marine fish for noncommercial purposes must have a fishing license, when fishing from shore. Florida residents are not required to have a saltwater fishing license when fishing from shore. The Seashore has purchased a license that covers the fishing pier at Fort Pickens, therefore a license is not required. Residents and non-residents are required to have a Florida license, if they fish from a boat. Saltwater licenses are sold at many of the local bait and tackle shops in the area. If you need more information you can call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-488-3641, or from the link below.

Florida's waters have some of the highest species diversity of marine fish in the United States. Anglers have opportunities to catch a wide variety of species on any given trip and in some places, on any given spot. While the diversity makes fishing in Florida very interesting, it also presents a challenge to marine anglers to identify their catch. This challenge is of great importance to the angler, as it can make the difference between an enjoyable trip on the water and a trip ending with a fisheries violation. As ethical anglers, it is the responsibility to know what kind of fish is caught, and what regulations are for each species. Some fish are so similar that confusion still exists for anglers trying to tell the difference between some species. Literature is available at the visitor centers which help to identify some of these species. Also visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's web site.

Information provided by:
National Park Service

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