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Happy Predicament

So say you are fishing inshore with a boat without a fishbox or with a small one. All you have is a small cooler to keep your catch in suspecting it will be redfish, seatrout, etc. Then you get lucky and hook into and then land a cobia, lets say around 40 inches. This is way too big to fit into your small cooler. So what do you do? let it go? go back immediately? Is it legal to cut it in half and throw it in your cooler so you can continue fishing? Want to be prepared if this happy predicament happens to me.
"Insert intelligent sounding quote here"


  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Posts: 1,352 Officer
    cutting a fish in half could lead to a very unhappy predicament fish are to be landed in hole condition best thing to do is get a fish bag they are cheaper than the ticket
  • gerrysgerrys Posts: 738 Officer
    Here is the explanation:
    The regulated saltwater fish listed below must remain in a "whole condition" until the fish are landed ashore. In general, this means
    you must bring fish in with heads and tails intact. You can gut fish, scale them, and remove gills -- but you can not fillet them, cut off
    heads or tails until your fishing trip has ended (vessel has returned to the dock). When you are fishing from the beach, you can wait
    until you finish fishing, and are at least 100 yards from the shore before filleting and storing these fish. For some fish, the rules also
    apply until you have exited a fishing pier or bridge, catwalk or jetty.

    I personally think that you could gut and slit one side of the fish breaking the backbone and folding the fish over to get in a cooler. So long as head and tails intact, you should meet the reg. The only thing here is if a LEO wanted to "reconstruct" the fish for measurement, you had better start with a fish well within the limit.

    Fish bag is a good alternative and the one I use.
  • Reel AggressiveReel Aggressive Posts: 261 Officer
    run home fillet and go fishing again. If its that good of a catch it will be worth the trip back.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Throw a wet towel over it and keep fishing a few hours.
  • Silent snookerSilent snooker Posts: 378 Deckhand
    rope through the gills out the mouth then tied to a cleat….basically a crappie stringer for large fish….. make sure you aren't in a sharkey area when you do this.
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