This Sunday Florida Governor Rick Scott, will allow Floridians to enjoy one day of freedom to fish without having to ask permission from the state government – but only in saltwater. Guess the State didn’t want to go too crazy by giving Floridians too much freedom. If you plan to fish in fresh water without asking permission first, then you’re out of luck – unless you want to be locked up by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or pay a hefty fine.
“The license-free fishing day on Sept. 1 is a great way for families to enjoy Florida’s incredible saltwater fishing opportunities during the Labor Day holiday,” Scott said. “Florida is the fishing capital of the world and this license-free weekend is a great opportunity to introduce friends and family, who may have never experienced Florida saltwater fishing, to enjoy the Sunshine State’s bountiful waters and historic fishing communities.”
Adrian Wyllie, Scott’s main opponent in the 2014 race for governor, said today of the license-free fishing event, “Its glorious that His Majesty Rick Scott has granted us, the peasants, a one-day reprieve from the Royal fishing tax in the kingdom’s oceans. I would much rather see the saltwater fishing license law completely repealed.” Scott and Wyllie are considered the two frontrunners of the 21 Floridians who have filed to run for the office. Often Charlie Crist’s name comes up in news reports for the job, however he has not filed and is not considered a candidate.
What many may not realize is that Floridians, while exercising their right to fish without a license can also open carry their firearm at the same time. Florida statute allows one to open carry their firearm while “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition.” That does not mean Sunday will be free of fishing regulations, even if you choose to do so without a license. You could still go to jail if you are too successful in your fishing expedition by catching too much of one species. State regulators change what one can and cannot do while saltwater fishing yearly and the current booklet from the State denoting the regulations is 28 pages thick and is only good through June, 2014. The regulation booklet for freshwater fishing is 26 pages.
Libertarians believe individuals should not have to ask permission from the government to go about their normal business, so long as they are not violating the rights of others. Thereby, Libertarian feel the State of Florida should not be forcing Floridians to ask it for permission to simply put a pole out in the water in order to feed themselves, their family or for commerce.