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Question Regarding the Landing of Fish in Whole Condition

adamkweinsteinadamkweinstein Junior MemberPosts: 10 Greenhorn
I would like to understand the rules related to the requirement to the landing the fish in whole condition.

The ramp I use does not have a fish cleaning station. In the past, once I tie up to the dock and prior to putting the boat on the trailer, I have cleaned fish on my rod holder mounted cutting board. I am concerned that cleaning the fish on the boat is a violation of the landing rule and exposes me to a ticket – can a LEO or other expert confirm.

Assuming my current method is a violation of the rules, an alternative is to physically get off the boat and filet the fish on the dock (immediately next to the boat using a cutting board), store the fish in a cooler on the dock and then put the cooler back in the boat after pulling the boat from the water. Any holes in my thinking (i.e., violations) here?

Thanks in advance. Adam in Jupiter.


  • fish_stixfish_stix Senior Member Palm BayPosts: 1,395 Officer
    Good grief! When you tie up to the dock you have landed the fish. The law is designed so that LE officers can determine the species of fish if they stop you on the water. If you only had filets it's kind of difficult to determine if it was a snapper, grouper, margate, porgy, etc. They're not going to pull up while you're standing there cleaning fish at the dock and write a ticket because you're still floating.
  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Senior Member Riviera BeachPosts: 1,352 Officer
    When you tie up at the dock and get your fish out of the boat onto land you have landed your fish. You are not allowed to clean your fish on your boat at sea or at the dock. I have seen questions on here asking if th leo was in the right ticketing them for cleaning fish on there boat at dock, and one was for cleaning his catch on the pier before leaving the pier and landing his fish.
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