Tournaments do not need a permit if they’re under state bag and length limits.
This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribiG
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide stay-at-home order issued Wednesday afternoon specifically mentioned fishing and hunting as allowable activities for Floridians.
The governor’s order put recreational activities “such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming” among a list of essential activities — so long as social-distancing guidelines are followed.
For instance, the governor’s directive last week that recreational boats must stay at least 50 feet apart and carry no more than 10 people remains in effect.
Many of the boat ramps throughout the state remained open to the public as of Wednesday, and users were urged to engage in social distancing. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will update their “Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder– every 24 hours with information regarding boat ramp status. Information specific to each county can be found under the special comments section. The FWC said if the comment box is blank, this means the ramp is open. The FWC recommends checking with each local government on boat ramp status as well as local emergency orders.
The FWC said last week there are no new restrictions on fishing tournaments around the state, and no permit is needed to hold a tournament under existing bag and length limits.
The news release was sent Friday to address questions surrounding the COVID-19 health emergency.
The FWC recommends all bass fishing tournaments adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, such as staying six feet away from others, avoiding touching your face, regular cleaning and disinfection and staying home if you are feeling sick.
The agency recommends that anglers ask tournament directors about the tournament’s practices for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus that had killed 87 people in Florida and more than 4,000 nationwide as of Wednesday morning.