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Baited jigheads in federal waters

In federal waters are baited, non-circle hook jigheads legal to use?

What's the scoop, Allan?


  • NOAA-EnforcementNOAA-Enforcement Posts: 202 Moderator

    Here is the link for federal waters/Gulf of Mexico.

    You must use circle hooks, if using natural bait for reef fish.
    My purpose on this site is to help everyone understand Federal Fishery Regulations and to provide information. Working with the Florida Sportsman is a collateral (volunteer) duty I asked for and enjoy; I will only give you an answer that I’m willing to put my name on and stand behind. Sometimes that means checking with other agents/offices in the area of concern.
    Please Stay Safe And Have A Wonderful Day.
    Special Agent Allan Coker
    NOAA's Office For Fishery Law Enforcement
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,189 Moderator
    In the Atlantic, you must use circle hooks when using bait, North of 28* Here's the bulletin:

  • Fishmonkey,

    Here is you answer. According to law, you only have to possess the circle hooks on your boat if you have snapper or grouper. So, use your baited jigs and keep an opened pack of non-stainless steel circle hooks in you tackle box. If someone stops you while fishing with a baited jig, you are fishing for blue runners, sheepshead or something besides grouper and snapper.

    BTW, there is a guy in North Carolina that makes a circle hook jig. I will post his link when I find it, but I think it is still called barefoot tackle or barefoot charters.
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