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Fishing Regulations in the Pensacola Area

The Pensacola and Pensacola Beach, Florida area offers great fishing for both the recreational and commercial angleras well as divers. It is famous for Red Snapper. There are Speckled Trout (Seabass), White Trout, Flounder, Redfish (Red Drum) and more to be caught inshore. Offshore are most anything you can catch- Snapper (Red, Black, vermillion…), Cobia, Grouper, Scamp, Triggerfish, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Amberjack, Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish and the list goes on…

Things to know and /or to do:

This page is included on a criminal defense lawyer Chris Rabby’s website because most fishing violations are criminal offenses. Violations are mostly misdemeanors which can carry a jail sentence, in a worst case scenario. It will also ruin your day if there is anything improper/illegal in the boat or if the operator of the boat is under the influence.  If you have an issue, call Chris Rabby- (850) 437-9410.  Chris has represented individuals from offenses ranging from undersized Redfish and fishing license violations to Federal offenses of selling falsely or mislabeled fish.

Fishing requires a license, unless on a licensed charter.

Know the laws. Violations are expensive and well exceed “normal” court fines and costs due to environmental impact fees.

Measure your own fish, you will have to deal with the consequences.
Don’t rely on your friend or boss to measure, it is your catch.

Measuring has different standards for different fish.
Most fish (Snapper and Grouper) are measured for total length.
This is the tip of mouth to the end of the tail, which may be pinched.
However, some fish (Amberjack and Triggerfish) are measured in fork length.
This is the tip of mouth to inside fork of tail.
Billfish are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the inner fork of the tail.
Don’t get me started on Stone Crabs and Spiny Lobsters…

Know the season. Florida State waters and Federal waters have different seasons.
Different species of fish have separate seasons in Florida waters and Federal waters.

Know the species. There are many different types/species of snapper with different seasons and size restrictions.
State identification chart.
Do you know the difference between a Lesser Amberjack and Banded Rudderfish?  (Hint- count the gills)

Know the “slot.”   Slot Redfish are ones that you may keep (2 a day) that are at least 18 inches long,
but not more than 27 Inches total length.

Expect fishing rule change. The rules change, check before your trip.

Expect weather change. Make sure your vessel is equip with all proper safety equipment,
because storms can pop-up in an instant.  Be prepared.

Bag limits apply in areas adjacent to fishing sites such as docks and parking lots

Fish per person transport limit applies when traveling in a vehicle on land away from a fishing site.

It is illegal to sell a fish to anyone (friend, co-fishermen, guy on the dock, etc.) without a commercial license.

Fish generally must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (fillet-and-release is not allowed).

You should take your Lawyer, Chris Rabby, fishing with you.

Located in historic downtown Pensacola, in Escambia County, Florida, the law office of Christopher L. Rabby, P.A., provides legal counsel for individuals charged Florida State and Federal fishing violations in Florida Courts and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.. Attorney Chris Rabby provides more than 20 years of criminal defense experience, a lifetime of fishing experience, and understands the complexities of the allegations and how to panee fresh Snapper.

Chris Rabby- (850) 437-9410