No License? No Problem! Sept. 1 is License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day in Florida

Fort Myers Beach fishing

Greater Amberjack Catch (Photo credit: myfwc.com)

Sept. 1 is a license-free saltwater fishing day in Florida. This year, it not only falls on a holiday weekend, but is during the popular spiny lobster and bay scallop seasons. Florida is known as the “Fishing Capital of the World” due to its abundant resources, combined with responsible freshwater and saltwater fish management. Florida residents and visitors can experience the joy of saltwater fishing and many will discover a healthy sport they can enjoy for a lifetime.  Don’t miss this opportunity to to share the fun, excitement and togetherness of a fishing trip with the entire family or introduce friends to the sport, even if they don’t have a fishing license.

Popular Shore Fishing Locations near Fort Myers Beach:

  • Sanibel Causeway – Head North on San Carlos Blvd off the North end of Fort Myers Beach, and turn left onto Summerlin Road, following the signs to Sanibel. Once passed the toll booth ($6 toll, but covers in and out) there are a number of places to stop on the causeway islands. One of the islands also includes restroom facilities.
  • Punta Rassa area – Just before the Sanibel Causeway toll booth there is an exit on the right to Punta Rassa. If you take this exit there is a boat launch area where you can park, and go fishing under the causeway bridge. Also on the south side of the road when you are heading back from Punta Rassa, just after the toll booth there is a wide shoulder where people park to go fishing on the south side of the road. This is also a popular spot for camping and kite boarding.
  • Pier on Fort Myers Beach – The pier in downtown Fort Myers Beach is usually a very popular spot for fishing. Head to Times Square and walk out the pier to the end. There is a small convenience store located on the pier.
  • South End Bridge – If you follow Estero Blvd all the way south as you are about to leave the island, you will most likely see people standing on the bridge fishing over the side. This spot almost always has people fishing from it.
  • Lovers Key State Park – Just drive a bit further south from the South End Bridge and you’ll be on Lovers Key. There are plenty of spots to park for free, including near the boat ramp and you can wade in to the bay side very easily. There is a sign about alligators at Lovers Key, so keep that in mind.
  • Beach Spots – Almost any spot on the beach will do. You’ll no doubt want to stay away from a crowd of people in the water as they can spook the fish and get in your way, so near the downtown area is usually not the best spot. It seems that between the beach and the sandbars that exist in a number of spots along the beach are popular, due to increased fish activity. Mid-island, near Cocoplum Beach House, is usually a very quiet stretch of beach.

All other bag limit, season and size restrictions apply on these dates. To make your fishing day successful, check out MyFWC.com/Fishing for fishing tips, locations and rules.Visit MyFWC.com and click on “Calendar” to learn more about boating-safety events during National Fishing and Boating Week and year-round.

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