FWC sponsors free fishing weekend and special license offer


Mar 11, 2001
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FWC sponsors free fishing weekend and special license offer


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages families to enjoy all the pleasures of fishing in Florida this April.

“The FWC is proud of our state’s recreational fishing heritage and designation as Fishing Capital of the World,” said Bob Wattendorf, special projects coordinator for the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “More people fish here than in any other state, and more tourists come here to fish and spend their money than anywhere else in the country, according to a recent national survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

The FWC has designated the weekend of April 5 and 6 as Free Fishing Weekend. Both residents and nonresidents can fish in public fresh waters across the state without a license. All other fishing rules apply (see MyFWC.com/Fishing).

With Florida’s 7,700 public lakes and 12,000 miles of fishable rivers and canals, opportunities for families to reconnect with nature and share quality time together are abundant.

The FWC also is offering a special five-year freshwater fishing license bonus program, which kicks off on April 1. This promotion provides an extra incentive to anglers in the form of free tackle, publications and fishing accessories that add to the convenience and cost savings already associated with a five-year license. Matched with the priceless memories created from family fishing experiences, the FWC makes this a deal difficult to resist. Five-year licenses cost $79, plus up to $5.23 in convenience fees, depending on where licenses are purchased.

The first 3,000 customers to upgrade to a five-year freshwater fishing license after April[bw1] 1 not only will save from $6 to more than $20 in fees, but also receive a free bonus package by mail with samples, magazines and coupons from fishing-related companies. Some of the items offered include free hooks from Daiichi and Owner and lures from Culprit andBerkley, plus a coupon for free sunglasses from Penn, a Larchy dehooker and a lure retriever mail-in coupon, with handling fee.

In addition, innovative products - like Worm-glo by Sure Life, a fluorescent worm feed - will also be a part of the package. Several publications, including Florida Wildlife magazine, will provide information about safe, fun and successful fishing. Other package inserts include a Polk County Lakes Map and coupon book, and coupons from Bass-Online, Canoe Outpost, e-Angler, Disney Fishing, Gambler Lures, Ladies Let’s Go Fishing, Mage Eyes and Ocean Waves.

Fishing license fees are used only for fish and wildlife conservation purposes and are a major source of funding for conservation programs, from habitat restoration to fish stocking and fishing-access enhancement. Since a resident freshwater fishing license costs just $17 for an entire year, it is already an outstanding recreational value. The average angler takes 17 trips a year, so that is approximately a dollar per trip that typically lasts four to six hours.

Five-year licenses are available online at MyFWC.com/License and via the toll-free phone number, 1-888-347-4356. In addition, they may be purchased at any license agent, such as retail stores that sell fishing supplies and bait-and-tackle shops or at local county tax collectors’ offices. Even if your current license hasn’t expired, you can order a five-year license now and have the effective date for the license set for 60 days after the purchase. The package typically arrives in three to four weeks, without you or the agent having to do anything else.

For information about local fishing opportunities, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing/Forecasts. You can verify the offer is still in effect and that you will be one of the first 3,000 by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing/5yr-2008.html, where you can see all of the contents. The offer ends when 3,000 five-year licenses are sold.

Media Contact:
Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0331

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