Here’s some great information that you need to know.
Spearing is defined as “the catching or taking of a fish by bowhunting, gigging, spearfishing, or any device used to capture a fish by piercing its body. Spearing does not include the catching or taking of a fish by a hook with hook and line gear or by snagging (snatch hooking)”. The use of powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers remains prohibited. The following is a list of species which are prohibited for harvest by spearing. Any other species not listed which are managed by the Commission, and those not managed by the Commission are allowed to be harvested by spearing.
Billfish (all species), Spotted eagle ray, Sturgeon, Manta ray, Sharks,
Bonefish,Jewfish, Blue Crab
Nassau grouper, Spotted seatrout,Weakfish,Stone Crab
Families of ornamental reef fish (surgeonfish, trumpetfish,
angelfish, butterflyfish, porcupinefish, cornetfish, squirrelfish,
trunkfish, damselfish, parrotfish, pipefish, seahorse, puffers)
You May NOT Spearfish (Excluding bowhunting and gigging):
Within 100 yards of a public swimming beach, any commercial or public fishing pier, or any part of a bridge from which public fishing is allowed.
Within 100 feet of any part of a jetty that is above the surface of the sea â€“ except for the last 500 yards of a jetty that extends more than 1,500 yards from the shoreline.
In Collier County and in Monroe County from Long Key north to the Dade County line.
For any fish for which spearing is expressly prohibited by law.
In any body of water under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. (Possession of spearfishing equipment is prohibited in these areas, unless it is unloaded and properly stored.) Anglers who catch and/or sell fish harvested by spearing are subject to the same rules and limitations that other anglers in the state are required to follow.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website has lots more info.
Every vessel must conform to minimum basic safety requirements from the Coast Guard. We tend to exceed these requirements on our kayaks (for the most part).
Check out http://www.uscgboating.org/regulations/default.aspx for all requirements.
This is a short list for kayaks:
1. One Type I,II,III, or V wearable PFD for each person on board. (must be USCG approved)
2. One electric distress light or Three combination (day/night) red flares.
3. Navigational Lights. Display an all-around white light, and if practicable, sidelights.
Note: 2 and 3 only required to be carried on board when operating between sunset and sunrise.
4. Some means of making an “efficient” sound signal – audible for 1/2 mile/4 to 6 seconds (i.e. horn or whistle)
Dive Flag requirements. 20″ x 24″ Diver Down Flag displayed on a vessel (must have stiffener). Dive flags on floats may still be 12″ x 12″.
Vessel operators must make reasonable effort to maintain a distance of 300 feet from any divers-down flag on all waters other than rivers, inlets, or navigation channels (100 feet in those areas).
Exception: Vessels may approach at idle speed for mooring purposes.
Navigation is a bit too much to go into here. Suffice to say, when in doubt, stay out of the way. Even if you have the “right of way”, the other vessel may not care or be paying attention.