First, a disclaimer: while I’ll throw a line in the water when I’m bored, I’m not a big fisherman. I do have a Florida Fishing license, but I don’t go fishing much. On the Loop, you will be on the water, well, pretty much all of the time! So if you like to fish, there are many opportunities to do it. The problem comes in that you will be in a new state every few days and since there is no “National Fishing License”, you are going to have to get non-resident day licenses on a regular basis, so it’s pretty expensive. (We saw many Fish & Wildlife officers stopping boats with poles and asking for licenses all along our trip). Also, in Canada, you will need an Ontario license, either an 8-day ($54) or a 1-year ($82); at least that’s just one! Another complication is fresh vs. saltwater in some states.

All that aside, we did see lots of Loopers fishing and saw some great catches. It seems that it’s popular to drop a line on slow boats when crossing the Gulf of Mexico overnight. When I did fish, it was usually when we were in marinas. I’m strictly a “catch-and-release” fisherman, especially when in marinas. There are lots of catfish, bottom feeders, and even in the CLEANEST marinas, I wouldn’t trust what they might eat on the bottom (oil, fuel, “accidental” overboard pump outs). For us, when we consider the cost of a license, bait, tackle, and then cleaning, cooking (the smell in the boat), we are happy to go to a local restaurant for the “catch-of-the-day” and support the local fisherman and restaurant staff! If we anchored out more, it might be a different story.

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