Lionfish are a predatory reef fish that eat native fish reducing native populations causing negative effects on the overall reef habitat. They are an invasive species that threaten Florida’s saltwater fish and wildlife. The FWC encourages people to remove lionfish whenever possible from Florida waters to limit negative impacts to native fish and wildlife. There is no recreational or commercial harvest bag limit for lionfish. A recreational fishing license is not required for targeting lionfish. You just have to use a pole spear, a Hawaiian Sling, a handheld net or any spearing device that is specifically designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish.
The first lionfish reported in Florida waters was caught in the Atlantic near Dania Beach in 1985. Since then the species has spread north along the Atlantic coast to North Carolina and Bermuda and south throughout the Florida Keys. They are widespread in the Caribbean and have been found in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola and Apalachicola.
Lionfish grow to approximately 12-15 inches in length; however they have been noted to be larger in areas where they are not indigenous. They have a red, brown and white striped, zebra-like appearance with long pectoral fins and dorsal spines. The spines contain a venom gland in the distal third of the spine (but not at the tip). The venom causes pain but is rarely lethal.
Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Charter Fishing in Fort Lauderdale