Is it legal?

model14model14 JacksonvillePosts: 1,007 Officer
Is it legal to have more than the bag limit of legal size fish in your live well, intending to cull out a limit of bigger ones and dump the rest before you head home?
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Replies

  • TrpntjTrpntj Posts: 59 Deckhand
    model14 wrote: »
    Is it legal to have more than the bag limit of legal size fish in your live well, intending to cull out a limit of bigger ones and dump the rest before you head home?

    Think soon as you caught the overlimit fish you'd decide on which fish went and always keep your limit in the livewell
  • teampryorteampryor Posts: 218 Officer
    in a word NO
    Usually if you have to ask yourself is it legal, its usually NOT
  • southboundchickensouthboundchicken Posts: 711 Officer
    actually "culling" is illegal unless your fishing a tourney that has the proper permitting from the state to allow
    "culling". once you put a fish on the rope or in the live well its yours so you better be happy with it. beside the legality of it. its UNETHICAL to cull in my opinion
    '
  • jawrayjawray Posts: 256 Deckhand
    Having over the limit is illegal and culling is also illegal except in some tournaments.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,098 Admiral
    Haha, I know the fishing report that inspired this post, lol.

    You dont have to be over the limit, to "cull". In other words, what if you are well below your limit, and "upgrade" as you go along? As long as the fish released are in perfect health, its okay in my eyes... most most folks cant keep them in perfect health, lol.

    And what if you are below your limit, but then have a double or triple header? If you get caught in that moment, you could be in trouble. But it will most likely be obvious to the LEO whether you are trying to play by the rules or not.

    Heres an example of "culling"... we wanted to catch (not keep) way over our limit of cobia in a day, so we used nets to net them, and kept them frisky in a huge livewell and "upgraded" releasing fish as we caught more. In this case, we caught 17 fish in one day, but never actually had over a limit in the boat at any one time, which is 6 cobia.

    Because of copyrights, this is not viewable on mobile. Feast your eyes on 17 sight fished cobia in one day! Was this wrong? I dont think so, imho.
    [video=youtube_share;lqNO02dMltg]

    *loaded wierd, double click for full screen mode.
    Tony Eden-
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  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,223 Admiral
    I was on a hot bite of big sea bass, and I dropped a few in the livewell...being solo and drifting I didn't want to waste time walking up to my cooler to measure each and every one....I knew most were over the limit...and they actually stayed in there for maybe 20 minutes or so before they were released un harmed....Of course my livewell kicks (works good), and those fish were no worse for wear. Sometimes you just get the bite while you can. Besides I'm talking about a handfull of fish.

    unethical .....pffft !!

    Now if they hit the ice then that's another story and they stay there...:grin

    No Stringers, no chains....just a little swim in the on board jacuzzi....

    It's better than leaving them on the deck...all the law says is that they have to be released if undersized....nothing says they have to swim away free. So technically one could leave fish on the deck intending on "releasing it later right?...or did I miss the rules were it says you have X amount of time to get them back in the water....

    I think unethical could be best described as unadulterated wasting of the resource....which I am far from....If I was unethical, I would've kept the 20 or so chicken snapper, and buried them in ice....calling them beeliners....:willynilly

    Oh well shoot me....I'm a bad bad boy....:cool


    steve
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,783 Captain
    Steve makes a good point. The problem is this, harvesting is defined as any fish that is aboard the vessel. Whether the fish is on a stringer, in a live well, on the deck rotting in the sun or in the cooler. It all comes down to the inspecting officers timing. If you have a few studs with a couple smaller legal fish and the number of fish exceeds the allowable bag limit or vessel limit, you can and likely will be sited. The officer won't care about your excuse that you want the biggest size possible and that you will release the smaller fish once you have the sizes your after.

    In my opinion, if im limited out on Sea Bass(just an example), i have 2 really solid fish with the rest of my limit being filled with border line legal fish, they are alive and well in the bait tank, i continue fishing for them and im releasing the smaller ones as im catching the bigger ones, so long as there is never an over the limit number of fish staying aboard my boat, i see nothing wrong with this. It may be unethical, however, this should not be outside the limit of the law. Do i do this at times? **** right i do. Because i don't have too many of said bag limit aboard at any one time. You also have to be smart about how you go about something like this. Don't go sticking a fish that's been gut hooked and is bleeding everywhere in the live well unless you fully plan to keep it. Unless it's been handled correctly and is healthy enough to handle being stored in a live well, it shouldn't be kept. Another thing to consider, is the species you are throwing in the live well the type that can sit in a confined space and survive for any amount of time? Most Pelagics can't do this obviously and shouldn't be stored. Also do NOT overcrowd the tank... if they can't get enough movement to achieve the necessary oxygen intake, they will die. Use the brain god gave you, common sense goes a long ways.

    The bottom line, if you are doing this correctly, whether you are boarded or not, you will NOT be sited with "Culling" or exceeding bag limit. The officer would have to be sitting around watching you from binoculars for a long period of time to be able to even tell. The bigger picture, is this practice harmful to the fish in question? If you are handling the situation correctly, the answer is no, it's not.

    You can do this with:

    Slot Reds
    Drum
    Sheepshead
    Black Sea Bass(when season allows)
    All Snapper(when season allows)
    Flounder
    All Trout
    Triple Tail

    The reason is because these fish can swim stationary without dieing. Im sure there are others but the listed species are the most common.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,098 Admiral
    That was a nice, subtle shot at my cobia culling Steve, lol. Did you see how big the livewell we were using was? Did you see how well they instantly shot off out of sight? Them fish were fine, cobs are tough as hell lol but thanks for your expert opinion. P.s., Trout dont survive well at all after being beat up in a live well. Curious how many snapper and tripletail you have actually put in a livewell anyway?

    Not trying to get you all riled up, just noticed ya singled me out. ;)

    Oh, and in some tournies, we actually get legal culling permits that allow us to temporarily posses over the limit during the culling process, another tidbit fyi.

    You might wanna call marineland and tell them thier cobia tagging program was a bust, since you know better than to put cobia in a giant livewell. They catch em, bring em in to marineland for measurements and tags then take em all the way back out in the ocean for release, just another lil tidbit. ;)
    Tony Eden-
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  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,783 Captain
    Dang you are a child. Ill start off by saying this Tony, for starters, i didn't read your reply, at all. Noticed that you had an opinion but never read it nor did i play the video, simply didn't care. I tend to have common interest in the things that Steve posts and very much agreed with his point. I wanted to delve into a bit of additional detail on why i agree with him. Some people can't read between the lines and additional detail helps keep the questions down a bit. As to the point you were making about Cobia, i actually agree, go figure. I have no personal experience with culling Cobia, nor did i know they could swim stationary. However, i did mention that there may be other popular fish not included in my list. I only put up what i actually know. Plus you know, i don't have a 100 gallon live well on my 18 foot KW so there is no reason for me to know this. The point of my thread was that i support the act of Culling so long as it's done right. Now that you've called me out on this, i watched the video and i couldn't agree more, the way they handled the fish was smart. Period. There was no stick at you. In this case, you are simply bent out of shape for no reason. No subtle pokes, no hate, nothing. People do put Trout in a live well for tournament fishing so i know it was worth mentioning Trout whether you agree or not. Can't tell you how many pics ive seen From Sean Thompson and and Robert Golarza on FB of solid tournament Trout heading in after a day of killing it in the creeks. In fact Trout are probably one of the "MOST" common live well kept fish during tournaments. You couldn't have made a more incorrect statement if you tried.

    So to recap, my entire comment had nothing to do with you, or, your first reply. Simply never read what you wrote.

    P.s.

    I also find it deliciously hilarious that you think the OP started this thread over some old charter fishing video you posted. I promise you this subject has been brought up before. It's a common grey area that a lot of people don't understand or necessarily agree with.
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    I quit keeping 'barely legal' BSB after the 1st time I got them home & after filleting them I realized they weren't worth the cleaning effort (even though as taste goes they're one of my favorites). I feel the same way about 'barely legal' beeliners... OTOH they both make really good Grouper bait ;)
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • model14model14 JacksonvillePosts: 1,007 Officer
    It was not my intent in posting the question to stir up any fuss. I was just curious after reading the fishing report from Steve, especially since it was posted to the public. I feel certain that those fish were released unharmed. I don't think any of us who love to fish will knowingly kill or harm fish unless they are being brought home to eat. I don't even bring fish home for the freezer. If I can't cook it in two days, it goes back in the water.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,098 Admiral
    Dang you are a child. Ill start off by saying this Tony, for starters, i didn't read your reply, at all. Noticed that you had an opinion but never read it nor did i play the video, simply didn't care. I tend to have common interest in the things that Steve posts and very much agreed with his point. I wanted to delve into a bit of additional detail on why i agree with him. Some people can't read between the lines and additional detail helps keep the questions down a bit. As to the point you were making about Cobia, i actually agree, go figure. I have no personal experience with culling Cobia, nor did i know they could swim stationary. However, i did mention that there may be other popular fish not included in my list. I only put up what i actually know. Plus you know, i don't have a 100 gallon live well on my 18 foot KW so there is no reason for me to know this. The point of my thread was that i support the act of Culling so long as it's done right. Now that you've called me out on this, i watched the video and i couldn't agree more, the way they handled the fish was smart. Period. There was no stick at you. In this case, you are simply bent out of shape for no reason. No subtle pokes, no hate, nothing. People do put Trout in a live well for tournament fishing so i know it was worth mentioning Trout whether you agree or not. Can't tell you how many pics ive seen From Sean Thompson and and Robert Golarza on FB of solid tournament Trout heading in after a day of killing it in the creeks. In fact Trout are probably one of the "MOST" common live well kept fish during tournaments. You couldn't have made a more incorrect statement if you tried.

    So to recap, my entire comment had nothing to do with you, or, your first reply. Simply never read what you wrote.

    P.s.

    I also find it deliciously hilarious that you think the OP started this thread over some old charter fishing video you posted. I promise you this subject has been brought up before. It's a common grey area that a lot of people don't understand or necessarily agree with.

    Wow that was long winded! Everyone knows you want to take a stab at me whenever possible, you and I both know what you were doing. And obviously, you have no clue what you are talking about. But fyi, In my reference to a report, I was talking about Steves silly, I knew as soon as I read it there would be trouble and I was backing him up with my support and agreed opinion.

    I knew Id take heat for the trout comment, but that is just my personal opinion. They are weaker and more fragile than any of the other fish mentioned, and I just dont think they fair well. They may live, but they dont take it well.

    Sorry to the OP for getting off track with morrocco, was just adding to your subject matter.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • fsu11fsu11 Posts: 1,888 Captain
    Soooo anyone wanna take me sheepshead fishing? :grin
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,098 Admiral
    Yes, they are..... "delicious" bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,783 Captain
    model14 wrote: »
    It was not my intent in posting the question to stir up any fuss. I was just curious after reading the fishing report from Steve, especially since it was posted to the public. I feel certain that those fish were released unharmed. I don't think any of us who love to fish will knowingly kill or harm fish unless they are being brought home to eat. I don't even bring fish home for the freezer. If I can't cook it in two days, it goes back in the water.

    You didn't stir up anything. Was trying to add to the discussion. Very unfortunate that Tony had to ruin it.
  • pilingjunkypilingjunky Posts: 2,044 Officer
    I usually cull the bigger fillets into my ziplock and release the smaller or less desirable species into my buddy's bag at the end of the day. Unethical? Maybe.
  • southboundchickensouthboundchicken Posts: 711 Officer
    there are exceptions to every rule and being smart about culling (if your going to cull) will insure a heallty release and subsequent survival of the fish being released :crossed personally I don't do it. ya'll that know me know i'm chasing reds with the occasional flounder or trout. if I take one its guaranteed to be well within slot limits and once on the rope that's where it'll stay until i'm ready to fillet it as I've never felt the need to replace it with something a little bigger :USA
  • trousertroutmantrousertroutman Posts: 1,332 Officer
    I agree with a post above, having more than your legal limit of fish in your "posseion" live or dead could, and should be a violation. just becaus esomeone has a great oxygenated tank, and releases the fish unharmed, doesnt mean some dufus might put them in a five gallon bucket full of water, where they moght still be "alive". it just eliminates grey areas.
    Make the forum great again.....consolidate general fishing with for sale or business but keep reports separate!
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,223 Admiral
    Okay fellas...no need to call captain Watson from the whale wars on me....the fish were in the jacuzzi for a very short time...and I happen to know that they loved every minute of it. :wink

    Besides this ain't golf...no need to call a foul on one's self...:grin

    Besides part two....I told the nice guys in the dark car with Barney, that I just might have been lying...:willynilly


    Steve
  • Anonymous3Anonymous3 Posts: 5,987 Officer
    I had one of my sheathing subs out one day and we blistered the fish but they wanted one more drop on the way in........ I threw the hook and they were all doubled over continuously while I started scrubbing the boat. Well as I was working my way back to the cockpit, I noticed one guy lifting the rear deck hatch.... They had filled the bilge with shorts !!!! Since my float switch was turned off and I was dousing the deck with 5 gallons of sea water at a time, they thought it was a live well and thought gags were legal @ 22". I released them unharmed but worried that one or two may have swam up toward the bow......... I have also released a 30" gag during a solo Feb. trip after he had been on ice for 20 minutes, he jumped out of my hand as soon as he laid eyes on the ocean and went straight down !!
  • samsiam74samsiam74 Posts: 2,215 Officer
    I once had too many Lion Fish in my glass live well at home and had to release a few... Don't worry, they swam away just fine..
  • Anonymous3Anonymous3 Posts: 5,987 Officer
    You gone get swatted talkin like that bro..... remember rocco.
  • samsiam74samsiam74 Posts: 2,215 Officer
    Lol!!!
  • jimmy06jimmy06 Posts: 1,178 Officer
    model14 wrote: »
    Is it legal to have more than the bag limit of legal size fish in your live well, intending to cull out a limit of bigger ones and dump the rest before you head home?
    straight from fwc (
    A question that often comes up is "Once you harvest and possess your bag limit, can you keep on fishing for that species." The answer is "Yes" but each additional fish that you catch needs to be quickly and properly dehooked and released alive and unharmed. So you can catch and release a hundred per day as long as you quickly dehook and release each fish to minimize harm and maximize the fishes chances of survival. Putting one in the live well constitutes possession (even if you intend to release it later) and the use of a livewell for culling is prohibited by rule. )
  • model14model14 JacksonvillePosts: 1,007 Officer
    jimmy06 wrote: »
    straight from fwc (
    A question that often comes up is "Once you harvest and possess your bag limit, can you keep on fishing for that species." The answer is "Yes" but each additional fish that you catch needs to be quickly and properly dehooked and released alive and unharmed. So you can catch and release a hundred per day as long as you quickly dehook and release each fish to minimize harm and maximize the fishes chances of survival. Putting one in the live well constitutes possession (even if you intend to release it later) and the use of a livewell for culling is prohibited by rule. )

    Well, there you go. Any chance you have a reference where you found the information?
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,223 Admiral
    Like I said before....I could have made that part of the story up....unless Barney saw me, it never happened right ??

    Besides....If I did this:wink....it wasn't "culling", as per the definition.....it was more of putting a few fish in the livewell during that one drift....so to be sorted later, after that 100 ft drift, and not give up a hot bite.

    Like I said...If this happened at all....I have been known to make stuff up....yall have heard about Edna haven't yall ??

    'nough said....:machinegun
  • BakermanBakerman Posts: 1,222 Officer
    Look at it this way. If you were the FWC officer, who hears all kinds of BS excuses all day, and arrived would you believe such a story as that for having too many or short fish?
    Bakerman formerly known as Bakerman.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,223 Admiral
    Bakerman wrote: »
    Look at it this way. If you were the FWC officer, who hears all kinds of BS excuses all day, and arrived would you believe such a story as that for having too many or short fish?


    BARNEY BELIEVES EVERYTHING....
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,223 Admiral
    Bakerman wrote: »
    Look at it this way. If you were the FWC officer, who hears all kinds of BS excuses all day, and arrived would you believe such a story as that for having too many or short fish?


    Now seriously.....I don't think any common sense thinking lawman would've had any problem whatsoever with what I was doing.

    I caught fish....I kept them on board long enough to measure and release healthy, once they went into the ice they were then considered harvested.....the time frame was insignificant, because it wasn't long at all....the jacuzzi was much better on the fish than into a bucket, with no water....
  • dlagatordlagator Posts: 790 Officer
    My thoughts are that if you are not supposed to do it, then you shouldn't do it. I have no doubt that "if" Sea Snake in fact did what was stated (which I highly doubt :wink ), he had no bad intentions and was only doing it for said reason....BUT, my question is how many of you would feel differently if it wasn't good ol' Sea Snake? What if it was somebody culling BSB's and calling them whitins'? You'd all be in an uproar...Just my $.02

    Pot stirred :willynilly
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