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Recreational Shrimping Regulations

Big Bend Shrimp Closed Areas

License requirement: Recreational saltwater fishing license(resident or non-resident), unless exempt.

Bag Limit: Individuals can take 5 gallons, heads on, per harvester per day. Possession limit of no more than 5 gallons, heads on, per vessel at any time regardless of the number of persons onboard.

Size limit: None

Closed season: April and May closed in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties.

Closed areas: Contact your nearest FWC Law Enforcement office for local restrictions.

Big Bend closed area: (UPDATE) Harvest of shrimp is allowed with a limit of 2 gallons per person and 5 gallons per vessel using cast nets and dip nets only.

*View the full Recreational Shrimping Restrictions.

Allowable recreational nets for the harvest of shrimp:

  • No more than two nets shall be fished from a single vessel at any one time.
  • Landing or dip net with an opening no larger than 96 inches around the perimeter.
  • Cast net with a stretched length (the distance from the horn at the center of the net, with the net gathered  and pulled taut, to the lead line) no greater than 14 feet.
  • Push net - "Push net" means a mesh net or bag attached to the outer edges of a triangular or rectangular rigid frame with a handle attached that is fished by being pushed across the bottom by a person wading.
  • A beach or haul seine with a mesh area no larger than 500 square feet, mesh size no large than 2 inches stretched mesh, and may not be made of monofilament.
  • One frame net with an opening no larger than 16 feet around the perimeter, if deployed from a vessel or from a structure other than an operational bridge or causeway or catwalk attached to such bridge or causeway. "Frame net" means a net in the form of an elongated bag kept open by a rigid frame that is buoyed by floats and is not fished or dragged along the bottom. Frame nets cannot be made of monofilament. A Frame net that is dragged or towed is considered to be a trawl, which is not allowed for the recreational harvest of shrimp. Frame nets cannot be used to harvest shrimp in any waters off of Dade County.

Shrimp Trap Guidelines

Example of a standard recreational shrimp trap
  • Harvesters can use up to four shrimp traps.
  • Shrimp traps cannot exceed the following dimensions: 3 feet long by 2 feet wide by 1 foot high. 
  • The incorporation of external or unattached wings or other devices to funnel shrimp into the trap is prohibited.
  • The harvester's name and address shall be securely affixed to each trap. 
  • Any shrimp trap on public property which is not attended by the person whose name is affixed to the trap is subject to confiscation by the commission.
  • A buoy is not required but is recommended for preventing loss of the trap.

Baiting Information

A person recreationally harvesting shrimp may use a cast net in conjunction with nonmetal poles to bait shrimp while adhering to the following rules:

  • No more than five poles shall be set at any one time by any person.
  • Each pole may not exceed one inch in diameter.
  • Poles shall be driven into the bottom, set no closer than 10 yards apart and the distance between the first and last pole shall not exceed 50 yards.
  • Poles shall only be set, fished and retrieved during daylight hours. The term "daylight hours" means the period beginning 1/2 hour before official sunrise and continuing through 1/2 hour after official sunset, each day. All poles shall be removed each day by 1/2 hour after official sunset.
  • Each pole shall be marked with white reflective tape.
  • No pole shall be set within 50 yards of any dock, pier, public boat landing or ramp, seawall, jetty or bridge.
  • Poles shall be tended at all times. The term "tend" means that the harvester is within 100 yards of the nearest pole at all times.

More information