Red Snapper inside of 3 Miles?

canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn

What is the law on this topic? Got a few rock piles that we Sheephead fish on inside of 3 miles that we have been catching small RS
on. Just wanting to know the law for inside of 3 miles here on the East coast?

Replies

  • oldbigbucksoldbigbucks Posts: 145 Deckhand

    20 inch minimum, two per harvester, open year-round...Not many legal size in state waters but a few big ones are caught each year off the southeast coast.

  • canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn

    Forgot to ask what if they say you didn't catch it withing the three miles. GPS track tells the tale but, there the ones with the ticket book!

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 927 Officer
    edited February 9 #4

    It is crazy that we have 2 different regulations for many fish. I'm looking at fishing mangroves in FEDERAL waters this year - limit is 10 vs 5 in state waters. I just need to travel straight from the ramp to federal waters to fish. If I stop in state waters, I can't keep 10 but can only keep 5.

    Clear your old GPS tracks and only have the current one on there - stay inside 3 miles that day and you're golden. If I could go out and catch a bunch of sheeps along with some snapper, I'd be all over it.

    Another thing to do is to keep your mouth and cooler shut - many folks who see or hear about red snapper being kept will report you and then you'll have to fight prejudice instilled in the LEO.

    If you just get stopped, then show the lone track on the GPS and point to the hard copy of the regulations that you have with you. It will go easier than if some jealous fellow sends the LEO to arrest the guy with "illegal fish".

  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 734 Officer

    Rich M..... I'm somewhat of a novice on state vs, federal water regs, but your post seems like very solid advice. Thanks.

  • shempshemp Posts: 493 Deckhand

    I would suggest taking a couple of cell vids while someone is hooked up / upon landing fish, and including a shot of the coords from the plotter

  • HuntnfeeshHuntnfeesh Posts: 240 Deckhand

    No need to prove innocence

  • canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn

    still waiting for a FWC officer to comment. Thanks for input.

  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 991 Officer

    I think you figured it out.

  • canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn

    Yep like fishing with no bait!

  • canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn

    Though the thread said SA Coker would answer questions? Hello

  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,444 Captain

    Special Agent Coker is not with the FWC, he works for the Feds (NOAA) and generally defers in State questions.

    Agent Coker may have retired though as I haven't seen a post from him in a while but maybe not.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 927 Officer
    Pick up the phone and make a call...
  • canubeatme68canubeatme68 Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    Everyone on the other end of the phone takes my number, but never get a returned call. Plus they sure can answer the question either.
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 927 Officer
    Well, then you get credit for trying to get an answer.

    If the law says 2 red snapper 20-inches or better in state waters.  State waters is 3 miles.  And you are catching them inside state waters - without entering federal waters - go and have fun.  Perfectly legal.
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,562 Captain
    Is that statute miles or nautical?
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 253 Deckhand
    Just remember not to leave state waters on your way in. A gps unit may show the line. 
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,560 Captain

    No need to prove innocence

    This made me literally laugh out loud. I hope you're joking
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 927 Officer
    He does have a point, but we know that it isn't likely that any LEO would just let them go without "proof".
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 3,857 Captain
    Usually the state and fed will set the rules the same but, with red snapper the fed is so hung up on protecting this fish for the commercial fishermen that they won't give the recreational fisherman a chance at them at all, so in this case the state set their own rules for this fish. Unfortunately they are a deep water fish so finding them close to shore is tough to do. Only certain areas can really produce any fish. If you go to the FWC web site they spell out the rules for recreational finishing pretty clearly.

    http://www.myfwc.com/media/4219696/QuickChart.pdf
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 994 Officer
    Gentlemen,
       IF you catch a red snapper in State Waters, you can keep it providing it is over 20". IF you catch one in Federal waters, it must be released.  IF you decide to risk it and get pulled over, you better tell the officer that you caught it in state waters.  If he asks to see your GPS, simply tell him "No thank you".  Without a search warrant, he cannot go into your GPS.  I say this not to get people to break the law, I say this because when it comes to red snappers, there is such an abundance of them and all the powers that be don't want to admit to it.  IMO we should be allowed to keep a couple year round but until they open it, I freely condone people using the rules to their advantage.  If you don't believe what I just typed, ask Coker or any FWC officer "Are you allowed to go into my GPS without my permission"?  If the boarding officer doubts your story, he'll ask you "How deep did you catch them? and "Can I see your GPS to see your track line?"  Simply answer "No"
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 927 Officer
    I get a kick out of a guy who calls himself Reef Bandit telling everyone to give LEOs a hard time.  LOL!

    Follow your own advise and let us know how it goes. 
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,629 Captain
    Gentlemen,
       IF you catch a red snapper in State Waters, you can keep it providing it is over 20". IF you catch one in Federal waters, it must be released.  IF you decide to risk it and get pulled over, you better tell the officer that you caught it in state waters.  If he asks to see your GPS, simply tell him "No thank you".  Without a search warrant, he cannot go into your GPS.  I say this not to get people to break the law, I say this because when it comes to red snappers, there is such an abundance of them and all the powers that be don't want to admit to it.  IMO we should be allowed to keep a couple year round but until they open it, I freely condone people using the rules to their advantage.  If you don't believe what I just typed, ask Coker or any FWC officer "Are you allowed to go into my GPS without my permission"?  If the boarding officer doubts your story, he'll ask you "How deep did you catch them? and "Can I see your GPS to see your track line?"  Simply answer "No"
    That could lead to the GPS being taken and you receiving a property receipt for it while the search warrant is applied for.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,444 Captain
    So, if you go out Dolphin fishing in Federal waters and decide later to do a little bottom fishing in State waters on the way in and legally catch some Red Snappers, how can the FWC ticket you if you are not in possession of the Snappers in Federal waters? Your GPS tracks will show you were in Federal waters during the trip but IMO that cannot be enough to receive a ticket if there is no proof that you actually caught them in Federal waters..
    I believe any judge would want more proof than that.
     Where I live, State waters go out to 550'+ so catching a ARS in Federal waters would be highly unlikely anyway but other areas in the State it would be possible. I can see the problem if you bottom fished first and then went to Federal waters as you would have illegal possession.
    I guess what I am asking is how can GPS tracks alone be used in prosecuting a suspected fisheries issue? Seems sketchy.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,629 Captain
    Not used alone. Totality of the situation.
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 994 Officer
    They've got to prove where you caught them.. simple as that. 
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 994 Officer
    So Agt Coker, does the FWC/Noaa have the right to seize a GPS just for the suspicion that someone was fishing in Federal Waters?  I was told by a federal Agt that they did NOT have the right to go into your GPS unless they had a search warrant.  What's the answer?
  • watergatorwatergator Fort Pierce Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    They cant cite you for snapper possession unless they stop you in federal waters or witness you crossing in from federal waters with the fish. This has been established in the upper gulf where red snapper, triggerfish, and amberjack seasons have been inconsistent between state and federal seasons. I lived in Alabama the last few years and we were able to go across the border on the boat when snapper were open in Florida but not Alabama as long as you had a Florida and Alabama licence and did not stop to fish in Alabama waters on your return. 

    Another question in here was about fishing offshore then coming in to catch snapper. This is perfectly legal as long as you dont have fish with conflicting regulations. For example, if you go offshore and get 2 cobia per person then you cant be in possession of any red snapper (if they are closed in federal) because you would have violated one of the possession regulations along the way. 

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