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Florida Go Fishing man holding snook fish

Beach Seining in Florida


Boys close to the edge of the shore holding a seine net with long poles, other kids out in the waterWhat is a Seine Net?

A beach seine (pronounced sane) is a rectangular net in varying lengths and heights that have corks evenly spaced along the top so the net floats. The seine net also has weights along the bottom enabling it to hang down and touch the substrate. The nets are attached to poles on each end that keep the net rigid and act as a handle to pull the net in. Beach seine nets are used to catch fish that inhabit near shore beaches, marshes, lakes and streams and are common tools for organizations like Collier Sea Grant and FWC.

The seine is set parallel to shore or in the form of an arch then pulled in by hand as two to more people walk towards the shore holding the poles that are attached to either end. The seine will hopefully catch all the fish that were between the net and the shore that cannot fit through the nets holes.

Note: You must have a fishing license to collect bait!

Lets Go Beach Seining

tide chart imageWhen to Go Beach Seining

One important seining tip: the best time to seine is when the tide is moving. That means, about 1 to 1.5 hours after the high tide which is when it begins moving again. And, the same with low tide - it starts moving again 1 to 1.5 hours after the low tide mark. Going at these times will result in the most "bountiful" catches. And moon tides are by far the best time of the month due to the large volume of water movement.

Let the Tide Be Your Guide logo


How to Work a Beach Seine

2 men holding a beach seine in very shallow water
Photo Courtesy of Florida Marine Science Educators Association

Using a seine is a two man (or woman!) operation. Each person holds an end pole and walks through the water. The strongest in your team usually works the "deep end" of the seine and he knows when the weight of the catch is nearing his capability - and that's when he calls "in." Meaning, it's time to bring it in. If he waits until the net is "full," they would never get it in. Another method is to set the net out in the water and leave it in the current for a while; the law states you can do this for no more than an hour. To bring the net in, each person will walk towards each other to close the net then bring it to shore to sort their catch from the net.

The anglers in the picture to the left are using a small seine net about 20' long with dark mesh, perhaps green, could even be black. In clear water, you really don't want to be using something the fish can "see." Even the clear or white colored mesh is light refractory and can be spotted if the lighting is just right. So, it comes down to a matter of preference when choosing color. The mesh squares can be smaller but no larger than a 2" stretch, the largest allowed by state. A small manufacturer of nets can make them with smaller mesh size but it would have to be a "special order", not something they keep in stock. The people in the photo are holding the poles correctly - bottom of pole slightly ahead of top of pole, so they certainly know what they are doing.

Did You Know? Each person holding a pole while seining must have a Florida fishing license.

It is advisable that you wear an old pair of tennis shoes or beach shoes when seining. Just store them with your net so you will remember to take them every time you go seining.

Picking Through Your Catch

fresh gulf shrimp pile for baitNow the fun begins! All creatures large and small can be caught in a seine. Sorting out your catch starts by removing the critters that will not be kept and returning them to the water to ensure their survival. Next, remove your keepers from the net, placing them in a bucket or cooler.

Using a beach seine net is a great educational family affair, too. Let the kids help clean out the net - give them each a bucket and a fish ID card. The kids will have great fun scrambling to get the unwanted species back to the water and inspecting what you catch.

Wearing gloves while sorting your catch is advised to protect your hands from sharp teeth, spines, and jelly fish stings.

Remember to have a cooler with ice or a bucket with fresh sea water ready to store your keepers, especially during the warm daylight hours. Keep your cooler or bucket out of the sun and change the water regularly if you are keeping your catch in sea water.

Beach or haul seines may be used as harvesting gear for the following species only, they must be within their established size limits for possession and bag limits apply:
(species with a star * have size limits)
  • Black Drum*
  • Bluefish*
  • Cobia*
  • Flounder*
  • Mullet
  • Florida Pompano*
  • Red Drum*
  • Sheepshead*
  • Shrimp
  • Spanish Mackerel*
  • Weakfish*
  • Unregulated Species

For more information on regulations for catching live bait in Florida, please visit our Live Bait webpage.


Learn Your Juvenile Fish Species

Just because the fish is small does not mean it is legal to use as bait. Many juvenile sportfish inhabit the inshore waters near the beach where you will be seining. When picking through your catch you need to carefully return to the sea all species that are not legal to catch by netting, are not of legal size or surpass your daily bag limit. It is always best to have on hand a current copy of Florida's regulations so you can double check size and bag limits of your catch.

Many juvenile fish do not look the same as an adult, here are some common sportfish species to help you identify them:

pdf iconCommon Seine Net Species You May Catch

The following images courtesy of Collier Sea Grant except where noted. Please visit Collier Sea Grant's website to learn about the many species to be found while seining on our beaches and learn about the juveniles.

Juvenile Fish Species
Juvenile sheepshead fish Juvenile Pompano fish
Juvenile gulf flounder 8 week old cobia fish in hands
Juvenile lane snapper Juvenile mangrove snapper
Juvenile Permit Juvenile Goliath Grouper
Juvenile Snook fish Juvenile sea trout


Targeting Specific Species

man with head strap light smiling at a hand holding a pile of shrimpSeasonally in Florida, shrimp and mullet show up in large schools close to shore and offer seiners the opportunity to collect these species for bait or dinner.


Shrimp are the most targeted species for bait. Using a beach seine net when shrimp are moving can fill your bait bucket fast!

Florida law states you can collect 5 gallons of shrimp with their heads-on per person, per day (that's one 5-gallon bucket full). The recreational possession limit per vessel is no more than 5 gallons, heads on, at any time regardless of the number of persons onboard. There is no size limit on shrimp in Florida.

Closed season: April and May closed in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties.

Closed areas: Contact your nearest FWC Law Enforcement office for local restrictions before you go.

If you are lucky, you could catch shrimp large enough for dinner, otherwise the shrimp you catch will most likely be used for bait. Please, only take what you will use within say 24 hours. Shrimp can be kept alive if you put them in a tub or tank with fresh sea water and an air pump. Change the water in their pen every 24 hours to keep them lively. There is no better bait than fresh shrimp used to fish in the same waters where they were caught.

Seining for shrimp at night during a moving tide is the most successful time to catch large shrimp. It is not uncommon to see seiners in northern Florida on the beach with head-lights working the shore line. As you can see in the picture above, you can catch a lot of shrimp at night.

Below is a chart of the different species of shrimp in Florida, all located in different regions around the state.

the many types of shrimp in florida

big shrimp on ice that were caught with a beach seine

In the Northeast from the Florida border down to around Daytona Beach shrimp tend to be bigger and run in large schools nearshore from July to September, with larger specimens caught later in the season.

Anglers in the Jacksonville area use seine nets to catch shrimp on the St. Johns River with large concentrations of shrimp found far up the river where the water turns brackish near Palatka or Green Cove Springs. Note: You still need a saltwater license to catch shrimp in brackish water.

In the Central East, shrimping is popular in the Indian River Lagoon among grass flats, mangroves and near bridges.

On the Gulf coast, Tampa Bay south to Marco Island, shrimp hold up in the grass flats and the mangrove estuaries, leaving these areas during outgoing tides.

In the Panhandle the shrimp run from brackish waters to the sea from May to June on the eastern Choctawhatchee Bay.

During daylight hours the shrimp tend to hold up in the cooler deep waters. At night, the shrimp are closer to shore and easier to catch with your seine net. Of cause, all this depends on the tide movement. Using a floating light on the surface will attract shrimp to your area. Do not use too bright a light or you will spook the shrimp. Place the light near structure or preferably underwoater, near some structure, like pilings, so the shrimp have a safe place to congregatet. Fish chum is also a great tool to lure shrimp to your area. As the shrimp come to shore, be ready with your seine net and have a lot of fun. star icon Recreational Shrimping Regulations


Mullet fish in a bucketMullet are an excellent bait fish and good to eat! You cannot catch a mullet with a hook and line - recreational anglers commonly catch mullet with castnets or beach seine nets.

The mullet bag limit in 2013 is 50 per harvester per day, with aggregate vessel limits:

Feb. 1 to Aug. 31 - 100 per vessel
Sept. 1 to Jan. 31 - 50 per vessel

Mullet "run" at certain times of the year depending on the season - in the winter they are in south Florida, in the summer, northern Florida. It is not hard to spot a school of mullet - their schools tend to be very large with the water boiling at the surface. Mullet tend to hug the shoreline and sea walls at the coast, so they are easy to find if they are in the area.


Preserving our Fisheries

using a seine net in an estuaryWe want to encourage anyone using a beach seine net to do so responsibly. These nets are great for catching bait such as shrimp, but please use them conservatively to ensure you do not damage ecosystems. Don't use your seine in the same place every time - move to another area on your next trip. Never dispose of damaged nets in the ocean. And always take great care in returning any species you will not be keeping back to the ocean to ensure their survival.

If used properly and within legal regulations, beach seine nets do not harm the environment. For those of you who are against the use of beach seines, think about these facts:

  • You can only use a beach seine up to shoulder height in the water, any deeper and you will drown
  • Beach seines gently drag along the sea floor, they do not scrape up the bottom because the weights are not heavy enough
  • The legal size of the netting at 2 inches stretched does not "gill" fish
  • Juvenile fish species can easily escape Florida legal nets, preserving inshore nursery habitats
  • Beach seine nets cannot be dragged over rocks or coral reefs, they would get ripped apart, so these nets do not destroy reefs
  • The laws and regulations are made by governing boards on both the State and Federal levels, including input from marine biologists, natural resource divisions - both federal and state, ecologists, and scientists.  That's why they have the laws on the books - to protect the ecosystem.

two boys holding a seine net on marco island beach

Buying a Beach Seine Net

orange colored float threaded on top of seine net lineBuying a seine net is not as easy as going to your local store or going online and buying one. Florida has very specific rules on what a "Florida Legal" net is made from and how big it can be. There are not many manufacturers out there that make legal nets for use in Florida. Our favorite manufacturer, Bountiful Seines, is located in Georgia and for quite a long time, they were located in the Panhandle. They hand make every seine net to Florida specifications so you can be confident you are purchasing the best quality, "Florida Legal" beach seine net.


closeup of the white fine seine nettingAccording to Florida regulations, you cannot use a monofilament net, which is what most retail seine nets are made of. Look for a net made using 20 lb test (#139 twine) multifilament (a nylon-based product).

The law states the net construction cannot be anymore than 500 square feet and the openings no more than 2 inches stretched. On the float line, there can be no more than 14 meshes tied in one linear foot when using the 2-inch stretched mesh.

When purchasing a seine net, look for ones that are handmade and hand-sewn with every mesh sewn in. Nets made this way do not leave gaping holes across the float line when sewing in every few meshes, thereby eliminating large defects in the hang of the net if one tie should lose its integrity due to a mishap. All nets made by Bountiful Seines are hand-sewn and every mesh is sewn in.


seine net held at waters edge
Treasure Coast Tackle using a 30 foot net on Jensen Beach

Weights & Floats

lead weight embedded in black line closeup of an orange colored seine net float

Weights allow the nets to stand vertical in the water and the floats placed along the top of the net keeps the net on the water's surface. small manufacturers takes the time to melt their own leads and embed them into the lead-line rope as you can see above.The cheap China made seines on the market have weights that tie onto the outside of it which get hung up on the bottom substrate and break off which is undesirable because the weights tear up the seine AND leave lead(s) in the water. It would be a very rare instance to lose a lead from an embeded hand-made seine; however, they are made of a size that would be extremely difficult for anything to swallow if they do become lost in the environment. Bountiful Seines takes the time to melt their own leads and embed them into the lead-line rope.

The floats on handmade seines are spaced proportionally to the length of the net and the weight of the lead line. They use only the highest quality floats on the market. closeup of the line tied to the siene pole


When you purchase a beach seine, the poles normally do not come with the net. It is very easy to make your own poles out of 2x2 pressure treated wood or PVC pipe. Most fishermen prefer wood because it is less expensive and you can have the poles cut to the standard 6 foot length when you purchase them. Once you get home all you have to do is drill 2 holes in each pole to thread the net ends through.

If you prefer PVC, you need to purchase 1 1/4" schedule 80 PVC from a plumbing supply store. Do not purchase Schedule 40 PVC, which is sold at most home improvement centers and hardware stores, it is too flexible and won't hold the net upright. The advantage of the PVC poles is you can put PVC caps on the bottom of each pole for a smoother glide across the sand.

Instructions and diagram of beach seine pole construction


seine net rolled up and leaning in a corner behind a doorCare & Maintenance of You Seine Net

Every time you use your seine net you must rinse it with fresh water and allow it to dry completely before storing it. You can roll up the net around one pole and store it standing or you can remove the net from the poles and fold it neatly and store it in a bag. Do not store your net in the direct sun - sun is the #1 worst enemy of netting, be it monofilament or multifilament.

Repairing Your Seine Net

Occasionally your net will tear from the sharp spines and teeth of fish or you can catch the net on a rock and rip it. Repairing your net is easy with a repair kit sold by the manufacturer of your net, which includes extra net twine and a net needle. For small repairs, it is a matter of simply sewing new twine to replace the torn section. For larger repairs, it may take a swatch of the netting to sew in with a net needle and twine.Repair kits are available for purchase online.

If you prefer, you can purchase a large needle and line at your local hardware store to repair your net. Be sure to purchase the multifilament material, not monofi lament, which is illegal to use in Florida.


Make Your Own Seine Net

For a fun project with the kids, how about making your own seine net? All you need are a couple of broom sticks, a 10 foot net, a few floats and some lead weights. Use string or twine to hold it all together. Here is a PDF document from New Jersey Sea Grant you can print out with instructions on how to assemble your own seine.


Florida Regulations

seine net with pvc poles being pulled in waterThe definition according to the State of Florida is "Seine" means a small-meshed net suspended vertically in the water, with floats along the top margin and weights along the bottom margin, which encloses and concentrates fish, and does not entangle them in the meshes. Beach or haul seines must measure no larger than 500 square feet of mesh area, no larger than 2 inches stretched mesh size, and not constructed of monofilament. One word of caution: do not, under any circumstances, connect 2 or more nets together, this will land you a huge fine and possible jail time.

You must also follow bag limits for each species, so review the rules below and take along a copy of the regulations species chart when seining, you will catch a variety of species with a beach seine.

Florida residents must legibly mark at both ends of the net the harvester's name and address.

Non-residents using beach or haul seines for recreational purposes are required to have a commercial saltwater products license and legibly mark the seine at both ends with the harvester's saltwater products license number. Non-residents that are under 16 years of age do not need a license to use a beach seine net.

* Regulations current as of September 1, 2012

diagram of a seine net being held by a girl and guy, shows the square netting and floats on top

Freswater Minnow Net Regulation: Minnow seines having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch, a length not more than 20 feet, and a depth not more than 4 feet.

Florida Rules Text: Any net constructed wholly or partially of monofilament or multistrand monofilament material, other than a hand thrown cast net, or a handheld landing or dip net, shall be considered an entangling net prohibited by Article X, Section 16 of the Florida Constitution, and this rule, unless otherwise authorized by rule of the Commission. The term "multistrand monofilament" does not include braided or twisted twines made of nylon, cotton, linen, or polypropylene. No person shall fish with, set, or place in the water any net, other than a cast net, landing or dip net, jellyfish paired trawl, or calico scallop otter trawl with a mesh size greater than 2 inches stretched mesh. No person shall soak a net for more than one hour, beginning when the first mesh is placed in the water and ending when the first mesh is retrieved back aboard the vessel or on shore. Once the first mesh is retrieved, the net operation shall be continuous until the net is completely removed from the water. No person shall fish with, set, or place in the water any net with a mesh area greater than 500 square feet. The mesh area of a net of uniform construction is determined by multiplying the maximum length by the maximum width of the net. The maximum length of such a net is determined by multiplying the number of meshes along the corkline of the net by the bar measurement of the mesh in the net. The number of meshes along the corkline is determined by counting the number of meshes per tie and multiplying that by the total number of ties along the corkline. The maximum width, or depth, of such a net is determined by multiplying the number of meshes between the corkline and leadline of the net by the bar measurement of the mesh in the net. If a net is constructed in a nonuniform manner, the mesh area shall be determined by adding together the mesh area of the component parts. No more than two nets shall be fished with, set, or placed in the water from a single vessel at any one time. No more than one net shall be fished with, set, or placed in the water by any person not on a vessel. No person shall connect, tie, or otherwise fasten together two or more nets in any manner so as to fish with, set, or place in the water a net exceeding the 500 square feet limit specified in paragraph. No net may have more meshes attached per foot of corkline or leadline than 14 divided by the bar measurement of the mesh in the net.

Full Florida Law Text

caution signWe highly recommend everyone read the full Florida state law Chapter 68B-4 Gear Specifications and Prohibited Gear before using a beach seine or any net except a cast net or dip net. There are specific rules for many areas in the state that prohibit or limit the use of seine nets.

Area Specific Rules from CHAPTER 68B-4

68B-4.011 Prohibition of Net Fishing in Faka Union River, Collier County. No person shall fish with, set, or place any net, other than a cast net or landing or dip net, in the waters of the Faka Union River (also known as the Faka Union Canal), or any tributary thereof, in Collier County, between 25?54'52'' North latitude southward to the mouth of the river, defined as a straight line between green marker 49 and red marker 50 extended on either side to the adjacent mangrove shorelines.

68B-4.015 Gear Specifications for the Panhandle Region: Recreational Net Fishing; Areas Closed to Net Fishing. The requirements in this rule shall apply in the Panhandle Region, which shall include the state waters of Gulf, Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties. (1) No person shall fish with, set, or place any beach or haul seine in the waters of the region described in this subsection to harvest or attempt to harvest any marine fish. (a) All the waters of Lake Wimico and its tributaries, including the Jackson River from its confluence with the Apalachicola River westward to the lake, Depot Creek, the Intracoastal Waterway from a line intersecting each shoreline drawn through Flashing Red Marker 10 on the north and Green Marker 1 on the south (near the eastern end of East Bay) eastward to the lake, and the Gulf County Canal from the U.S. Highway 98 (Highland View) Bridge northeastward to the Intracoastal Waterway. (b) All the waters of Sandy Creek, its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. The mouth of Sandy Creek shall be construed to be the narrowing of the waterbody near 30?03'30" N. Latitude. (c) All of the waters of Walkley Bayou (also known as Bull Bayou), its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. (d) All of the waters of Farmdale Bayou (also known as Maddox Bayou), its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. (e) All of the waters of Cook's Bayou (also known as Laird Bayou), its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. The mouth of Cook's Bayou shall be construed to be the narrowing of the water body just south of 30?07'25" N. Latitude. (f) All of the waters of Callaway Bayou and its tributaries north of a straight line beginning at Wilson Point on the west and running northeasterly to Green Point on the east, in Bay County. (g) All of the waters of Doty's Cove (also known as Emmon's Cove), its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. (h) All of the waters of Martin Lake and its tributaries east of U.S. Business Highway 98 in Bay County. (i) All of the waters of Watson Bayou, its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in East Bay, in Bay County. (j) All of the waters of Massalina Bayou and its tributaries northeast of Beach Drive, in Bay County. (k) All of the waters of Johnson Bayou and its tributaries north of Beach Drive, in Bay County. (l) All of the waters of Mill Bayou, its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in North Bay, in Bay County. (m) All of the waters of Pretty Bayou, its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in West Bay, in Bay County. (n) All of the waters of Burnt Mill Creek (or Bayou) north of a straight line beginning at Graze Point on the west and running southeasterly to Cedar Point on the east, in Bay County. (o) All of the waters of Crooked Creek and its tributaries north of a straight line beginning at Crooked Point on the west and running northeasterly to Doyle Point on the east, in Bay County. (p) All of the waters of Lake Powell and Phillips Inlet, their tributaries, and within 100 yards of the mouth of Phillips Inlet in the Gulf of Mexico, in Bay and Walton Counties. (q) All of the waters of Pippin Lake, its tributaries, and within 100 yards of its mouth in Choctawhatchee Bay, in Okaloosa County. (r) All of Blackwater Bay and its tributaries north of the Interstate 10 Bridge, in Santa Rosa County. (2)(a) The Marine Fisheries Commission has determined that repeal of Chapter 19694, Laws of Florida (1939), as amended by Chapter 63-1112, Laws of Florida (1963), and Chapter 71-534, Laws of Florida (1971), Bay County special acts, in conjunction with the adoption of subsection (3) of this rule, will not adversely affect the marine resources of Bay County or of the State of Florida. Applicable to Bay County, these special acts close certain local small bodies of water in the county to nets. (b) Chapter 19694, Laws of Florida (1939), as amended by Chapter 63-1112, Laws of Florida (1963), and Chapter 71-534, Laws of Florida (1971), rules of the Department of Environmental Protection (formerly the Department of Natural Resources) pursuant to section 2, subsection (5) of Chapter 83-134, Laws of Florida, as amended by Chapter 84-121, Laws of Florida, is hereby repealed.

(2) During the period beginning on November 1 of each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year, no person shall fish with, set, or place any beach or haul seine in the waters of the region described in this subsection to harvest or attempt to harvest any marine fish. (a) All the waters of the Gordon River in Collier County and its tributaries north of U.S. 41. (b) All the waters of the Imperial River in Lee County and its tributaries, including those connecting the Imperial River with Big Hickory Bay, upstream of a line immediately east of the intersection of channels connecting the river with Fish Trap Bay and Little Hickory Bay, which line runs between 26?20'09" N. Latitude, 81?50'18" W. Longitude on the east side of the river to 26?20'09"N. Latitude, 81?50'20" W. Longitude on the west side of the river. (c) All of the Estero River in Lee County and its tributaries, including those connecting the Estero River with Rocky Bay, upstream of the mouth of the river, which is east of a line that runs between 26?25'52" N. Latitude, 81?50'29" W. Longitude on the north side of the river mouth to 26?25'51" N. Latitude, 81?50'28" W. Longitude on the south side of the river mouth. (d) All of Hendry Creek in Lee County and its tributaries, upstream of the mouth of the river, which is north of a line that runs between Dixon Point at 26?27'27" N. Latitude, 81?50'29" W. Longitude on the west side of the river mouth and the northernmost edge of the mouth of Mullock Creek at 26?27'39" N. Latitude, 81?52'06" W. Longitude on the east side of the river mouth. (e) All of the Myakka River in Charlotte and Sarasota Counties and its tributaries north and west of State Road 776 at El Jobean. (f) All of the Alafia River in Hillsborough County and its tributaries east of U.S. Highway 41 at Gibsonton. (g) All of Hillsborough River in Hillsborough County and its tributaries north of the Platt Street Bridge in Tampa. (3) J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge/Sanibel Conservation Zone ? Within the following described area in proximity to Sanibel Island in Lee County, no person shall harvest or attempt to harvest any marine species from any vessel to which is attached or which contains a simultaneously operating internal combustion engine. Beginning at the mean high water line at a point due north from the intersection of Dixie Beach Boulevard and Woodring Road, and proceeding north (waterward) 300 feet; thence generally westerly at a set distance of 300 feet offset from the irregular contours of the mangrove shoreline and continuing 300 feet waterward of the Wulfert Keys to the center line of Blind Pass; thence southwest to the Gulf of Mexico at a point 300 feet waterward of the center of Blind Pass; thence southeast to the southeastern extent of the mouth of Clam Bayou Pass, and including all waterways, bays, creeks, and bayous landward of the boundary line. (4) Blind Pass Seasonal Closure to Net Fishing ? Within the following described area, during the period beginning on November 1 of each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year, no person shall fish with, set, or place in the water any cast net. Beginning at the northern side of the mouth of Dinken Bayou (also known as Jenkins Bayou) on Sanibel Island and proceeding southwesterly to the south side of the mouth of Roosevelt Channel on Captiva Island; thence following the shoreline of Captiva Island southwesterly to the conjunction of Captiva Island with the Colregs Demarcation Line on the northwest side of the mouth of Blind Pass on the Gulf of Mexico; thence following the Colregs Demarcation Line to the southeast side of the mouth of Blind Pass on Sanibel Island; thence northeasterly to the southern side of the mouth of Dinken Bayou; thence continuously along the interior shoreline of Dinken Bayou to the point of beginning.

Please read the full text, link above, before using a seine net to be sure the rules have not changed or anything has been added.

Q. Can I use a beach seine net from a boat legally?
A. It can't be done "physically". The important mechanism behind a seine is the poles, which keeps the seine open. One would have to build some kind of cumbersome (and probably dangerous) frame to hold it open if used with a boat. Then, it becomes a "frame net," which is illegal to use in Florida for "recreational harvesting." A frame net or trawl net can be used in Florida only by those with a commercial license.


A Little Bit of History

Seine Nets have been used for thousands of years as a means of catching fish around the world. Today, as in past generations, beach seining is a common daily practice in third world countries to put dinner on the table.

Seine nets have been used to target schooling species found close to shore. Up until the 1950's, seine nets were legal for commercial fishing and used in Florida to catch snook! There are dozens of images on Florida Memory's website showing commercial fishermen catching snook and processing snook in their plants. Go to Florida Memory and type in the search box "snook" or "seine net" for an amazing glimpse into Florida's fishing industry history.

Many decades ago it was legal for commercial fisherman to seine on beaches. Commercial fisherman would use horses and later trucks to haul in large nets with their catch of some very big fish as shown in the pictures below.

a seine net full of big fish on naples beach in 1949 Men on Naples beach with a seine net full of fish, you can see a huge Snook on the top of the pile
Men pulling in a Beach Seine net on Naples Beach in 1949. Notice how big the fish are. Source:http://floridamemory.com/items/show/246328 Commercial fishermen hauling in their beach seine net full of fish in Naples in the 1940''s. Notice the huge Snook in the center. Source:http://floridamemory.com/items/show/245614


Seine Net Manufacturers Today

Bountiful Beach Seines ad saying they are the Highest Quality "florida legal" Beach Seine Nets in America. Hand made since 1975

There are cheap nets you can buy that are made in China. We call these throw-a ways. The mass-produced models do not have embedded weights, so the free-hanging leads can catch on the bottom, can cause damage to the substrate, and can become dislodged from the seine. They are of such a size that can be swallowed by any number of ocean dwellers and cause suffering and/or death.

The best nets available are from back-yard, local manufacturers that hand make their nets. The prices are right and these nets are made to strict state seine net specifications. Local manufacturers take the time to make their own lead weights and embed them in the nylon line for an environmentally friendly tool to catching fish and bait.

We encourage everyone to support American Small Businesses and buy your seine net from a small business who makes nets.


This information is provided only as a courtesy and there is NO guaranties, warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Florida Go Fishing assumes NO liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information contained here. If you find an error or omission in the data, please feel free to contact us with the correct information and we will verify the error or omission and correct it as soon as possible.