Spotted Sea Trout Rule Changes Begin February 1

At its December meeting in Panama City Beach, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rule changes for spotted seatrout, which go into effect beginning Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Management zones have changed us from the Northwest zone to now, Western Panhandle. Anglers fishing in the Indian Pass area should pay especially close attention to the zone cutoff in Gulf County.

Bag and slot limits have also changed. You can possess only three trout that measure between 15 and 19 inches. When a party is fishing from a boat, only one trout over 19 inches can be included in the entire party’s limit. Guides need to be aware that the captain and crew limit is now zero when on a for-hire trip. Also, all of February is closed for any harvest of trout.

When a party is fishing from a boat, only one trout over 19 inches can be included in the entire party’s limit. Guides need to be aware that the captain and crew limit is now zero when on a for-hire trip. Also, all of February is closed for any harvest of trout.

See below and www.myfwc.com for more—and good luck!

Regulations Starting Feb. 1, 2020

MANAGEMENT ZONES
Regulations extend into federal waters.

Western Panhandle: Escambia County through the portions of
Gulf County west of longitude 85 degrees, 13.76 minutes but
NOT including Indian Pass/Indian Lagoon.

Big Bend: Remaining portion of Gulf County plus Indian Lagoon,
and Franklin County through Fred Howard Park Causeway
in Pinellas County near the Pasco County line.

SIZE LIMIT STATEWIDE
More than 15” and less than 19” total length (may possess
one over 19 inches per vessel included in bag limit)

REGIONAL DAILY BAG LIMITS AND SEASONS
• Western Panhandle: 3 per harvester, closed February
• Big Bend: 5 per harvester, open year-round

Zero captain and crew bag limit when on a for-hire trip

Allowable Gear: Hook and line; cast net

Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine
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