View Full Version : Miami & Monroe County

11-10-2006, 03:01 PM
I called FWC today to ask about spearfishing in Miami and the officer I spoke with sounded clueless and sounded very doubtful on answering my questions so I thought I'd post it here.

The first question has to do with the boxes off Miami and Key Biscayne. They are labeled differently. The first box is located around the army tanks, the barge, and the pyramids in Miami. Itís written as ďObstn Fish Haven (25 ft. rep)Ē. This to me says Fish Haven (no fishing); I donít know what the other stuff means. Basically I would think you cannot fish there, but I see plenty of boats doing it. The next box is called Key Biscayne Artificial Reef and it reads "Obstn Fish Haven (auth min depth 65 ft.)". There are lots of ships in the area, and this is when the officer said we could not spear in any artificial reef or ship. But I was surprised because I know many people that do spear near ships in Miami. The last box worth mentioning is a fish haven inside a fishing area, doesnít make sense to me. Why put a fishing area and a fish haven over each other? Itís off Cape Florida and it reads the same as the previous box. So what do you guys say on this, where can I find the law on this subject area. Iím having a hard time finding it on FWC website. They mention no spearing withing certain areas of bridges and jetties, etc. but no mention of reefs. Could you spear ship wrecks in the Miami area, or are artificial reefs anywhere in Miami and Key Biscayne off limits? These areas I mentioned are all within 3 miles of the shoreline, but I donít know if that applies to Miami. It would be impossible to spear fish reefs within 3 miles of Miami, 3 miles and you are at like 200 ft. plus. I know 3 miles does apply in Monroe County.

This brings me to my next question. In Key Largo I usually spear just south of Pickles Reef, the usual 3 miles offshore. I believe Pickles Reef is just about 3 miles and outside of Pennycamp national park, does this mean I could spear inside this reef since it is not artificial?

The last question is somewhat stupid, but I really donít know. If you shot a fish that is undersized or oversized what do you do? Do you throw it back? The other day I speared a rudder banded fish and it was 24 inches, and I really didnít know what to do.

Thank you! :thumps:

11-10-2006, 03:43 PM
That's alot of questions, but I'll try to answer a few. First of all most of the time the FWC does not what they are talking about. You can spearfish around wrecks and artificials as long as it is not in a protected area (I don't think fish haven means it is protected). You do not have to be 3 miles off shore to spearfish in Miami. I don't understand the pickles reef question, if it is more than 3 miles off shore and outside of pennycamp it is good (as long as it isn't some other kind of preserve). Lastly DON'T shoot anything under or oversized. You can either keep it and risk the ticket or throw it back.

PS: What is the limit on Banded rudder fish. I've never shot one.

11-10-2006, 04:47 PM
That is just a marker on nautical charts to let large draft vessels and bottom trawlers know there is something on the bottom that may be hazardous to them. They aren't off limits to fishing or spearfishing.

The Florida limit on banded rudderfish is 14-22" to fork. As with all fish, you don't shoot something you aren't sure about. Since it is illegal to posses undersized fish I would not allow it on my boat or want it on my person. Be more careful.

For more info on Miami & Monroe county.

11-10-2006, 05:57 PM
Thanks many! Yea, the rudder fish was 24 inches. I knew the limits on the fish, but after measuring on the boat it read 24 and not 22, my mask played a trick on me. It was an unusual case, I never shot anything over the size limit before, a first for me.


11-24-2006, 10:37 AM
In some of those ZONES youll see a min depth on the chart, ive been told thats the min depth you can anchor at, and it makes very good sense to protect the bottom, as long as you drift and troll you should be ok unless you are in one of the red zones.. Most of the guys in the Feild are rather reasonable if you can prove you are operating under the best information available to you..so my advice is find the guys patrolling the area you intend to fish and ask them directly cuz in reality they have the final word... We are very friendly w/ all the FWC in the areas we normally dive and normally chat w/ them at length after most days....I salute them...