Home Ask the Law!

Coker, is it legal to use a yellowtail for bait?

Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,029 Officer
Agt Coker,

It sounds like a crazy question but is it legal to use a 13" (legal sized) yellowtail for bait for grouper?

If not, why can we use other species ie blue runner, goggle eyes

What about lane snapper?

Legal lobster during the season for cubera's?

Before anyone else chines in, please let Agt Coker respond.

Replies

  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,029 Officer
    Just found out that there is a law stating that you are not permitted to use "reef fish" as bait. So, YT's and lane snapper are out but the others are still legal.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,012 Moderator
    Rob That is the law in the Gulf, but I could find no similar rule for the South Atlantic. And the law for the gulf states: "The use of federally managed reef fish as bait is prohibited."
  • NOAA-EnforcementNOAA-Enforcement Posts: 202 Moderator
    Like Jack wrote, the Gulf regulations list it as a prohibition. However, I'm still researching the South Atlantic regulations. I have not forgotten about you and will get back with you soon.
    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
  • NOAA-EnforcementNOAA-Enforcement Posts: 202 Moderator
    Since I work the Gulf and could not find any prohibitions against it in the South Atlantic I asked for a legal opinion.

    It is prohibited in the Gulf to use reef fish for bait.

    Not illegal in South Atlantic to use legal size yellowtail in Federal Waters.

    I hope this helps.
    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
  • lowe-boylowe-boy Posts: 1,222 Officer
    This is stupid....................

    I am not sure why people north of the Carolinas continue to make decisions for the South Atlantic/gulf fishery.
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
  • JEN'S REVENGEJEN'S REVENGE Posts: 661 Officer
    So I can kill a legal yt, take it home and eat it (or feed the dog), but I can't use it for bait? That makes no sense at all.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,291 Officer
    I remember reading that you can use a legal size snapper as bait, however it counts toward your overall bag limit.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,777 Captain
    Be sure to use them legal size ones alive, or whole dead ones. Because as I read it, the minute you turn it in to cut bait they can ticket you for this, "All species must be landed with head and fins intact".

    And tomtates of all things are regulated the same way. No size limit but "All species must be landed with head and fins intact". And if your one of us poor fellows who fishes north of the 28 degree line you have to use circle hooks to legally catch them with "bait". No tipping that sabiki with squid when the water is dirty. These regs are as ridiculous as some old "Jim Crow" or "blue" laws were.
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,029 Officer
    The reason I brought this whole topic up was that a buddy of mine was boarded by the Peter Gladding the NOAA law enforcement boat while catching bait at the Q buoy, located on the SE corner of the Tortuga's. The officer saw he had a 13" YT in the livewell. He asked what his plans were for the YT and my friend responded "I'm going to drop it down for a grouper". The officer then said that it was illegal to do so and threw in the cooler. I'd never heard of that rule. Depending on what side of the Q buoy my friend was on, would dictate the accuracy of the officer.

    I too think it's crazy but as I stated before, don't get Pi$$ed at Coker, he's only the messenger with a badge. The best way around some of the stupid rules is to know the stupid rules. "Sir, what are you going to do with that yellowtail?" "Uh, I plan on keeping it alive until I decide to return to the dock"... no law broken. My point is that if I were the LE officer, I would have said "Hey, BTW, you can't use that YT for bait in the gulf" and gone about my business. These guys are so gung ho trying to give a citation.
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,060 Captain
    The officer cited him and took his fish because he said he was going to use it for bait? I believe I'd have to go to court over that one. If I bought a new Vette, and a cop asked me what I was gonna do with it,and I said "drive a 100 mph", he couldn't write me a ticket because it's not against the law to say you're going to do something, either speeding or using a fish for bait.
  • HuckleberryHuckleberry Posts: 180 Officer
    I don't believe that there is an "intent" law in game management. He should have been caught using it for live bait to get a ticket. There is no law saying where you can keep legal fish on your boat.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,012 Moderator
    Rob did not say his friend was issued a citation. He said the officer threw th e legal yellowtail into the cooler and told him it was illegal to use as bait. No mention of a citation in the post and merely a warning not to use it as bait.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,481 Officer
    When i get boarded in Miami Dade (Just about every time i go) out, since i must fit some profile being a solo fisherman near 70 yo. The more "Experienced" LEO's will ask me such stupid questions that my replies usually gets their younger agent laughing or at least smiling. If a LEO asked me why is there a yellow tail in my live well. i would have said "I put it in there to keep it ALIVE because i could not bring myself to kill it" :) And then if they get irate about my answers i tell them "If you ask a stupid question you should expect a stupid answer". (BTW i have never been fined on the water in my 53 years of boating).
    Giimoozaabi
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,029 Officer
    My buddy did not receive a citation. They are looking for short YT's and lane snappers in your live well so beware. I dump the lanes before they go into the live well.
Sign In or Register to comment.