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Can Regulated fish be used as bait ?

John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,922 Captain
Surely this has been asked before, but having trouble finding it.   Can I use a legal yellowtail snapper or Spanish Mackerel as bait in SE Florida ?  I am assuming an undersized fish would be illegal to use as bait.   

Replies

  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,453 Admiral
    Reef fish regardless of size cannot be used as bait in Federal waters. In State waters legal sized fish can be used as bait, but must remain in whole condition and count against your bag limit.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,453 AG
    you cannot use any reef fish as bait.    Which kind of makes no sense because pinfish hang out on reefs but snapper are a no no.  

    People probably use them anyway, I almost did last year, had a juvi lane in the bucket with my pins.   i noticed it before hand and let him go but if I had used him, i'd have felt bad.   Cut him loose and promised i'd be back in June this year for him.  
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 5,371 Admiral
    Dare I ask why anybody would use a yellowtail for bait? 


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,453 Admiral
    you cannot use any reef fish as bait.    Which kind of makes no sense because pinfish hang out on reefs but snapper are a no no.  

    People probably use them anyway, I almost did last year, had a juvi lane in the bucket with my pins.   i noticed it before hand and let him go but if I had used him, i'd have felt bad.   Cut him loose and promised i'd be back in June this year for him.  

    Certain fish are labelled as reef fish by the state such as Snappers and Groupers, etc.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,453 AG
    kellercl said:
    Dare I ask why anybody would use a yellowtail for bait? 
    for mackerel nonetheless.    I like mackerel, but they're pretty stupid.   snapper seems like a terrible bait, you can catch them with a 3/8 wrench and a hook wired on.   No need to waste a perfectly good snapper fillet for that. 
    You don't need fun to have alcohol
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,350 AG
    you cannot use any reef fish as bait.    Which kind of makes no sense because pinfish hang out on reefs but snapper are a no no.  

    People probably use them anyway, I almost did last year, had a juvi lane in the bucket with my pins.   i noticed it before hand and let him go but if I had used him, i'd have felt bad.   Cut him loose and promised i'd be back in June this year for him.  

    Certain fish are labelled as reef fish by the state such as Snappers and Groupers, etc.
    certain people are labeled as impaired also.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,453 Admiral
  • BK922BK922 Posts: 69 Greenhorn
    Yellowtail Snapper make great Black Grouper bait...or so I hear. And spanish are great trolled for  giant Kings and also rigged as billfish trolling baits.  Have even caught big Gag's using live spanish on shallow water rockpiles when I couldn't come  by any other bait. 
    <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,922 Captain
    Reef fish regardless of size cannot be used as bait in Federal waters. In State waters legal sized fish can be used as bait, but must remain in whole condition and count against your bag limit.
    There was some inconsistent comments, but I believe Westwall01 has set me straight on the issue.  Thanks for everyone's replies.

    Cheers.  
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,707 Captain
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,593 Captain
    A 12" Lane snapper was one my favorite baits for BIG grouper.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,350 AG
    saltybum said:
    A 12" Lane snapper was one my favorite baits for BIG grouper.
    that or a beeliner.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,453 Admiral
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)

    What I previously stated was and is correct.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,707 Captain
    edited April 2018 #15
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)

    What I previously stated was and is correct.
    Please provide link to or statue number to reference for SAFMC managed area (federal south atlantic)? Is this some new reg, when did it become law. Please note the OP specifically asks about SE FL.

    Are you aware tomtates are considered a "managed species" in the south atlantic? Actually there are way over 50 different species I believe that under the "snapper - grouper" managed complex in the south atlantic. If some "blanket regulation" exists as does for the smaller "reef fish" complex of the GOM federal manged waters .......please do us a great service and point us to it. Yes some individual fish in the complex may have a reg not to use as bait (seabass etc.), but unless you can point me to it, I know of no blanket rule like the one that exists for reef fish in the GOM.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,707 Captain
    Reef fish regardless of size cannot be used as bait in Federal waters.



    Please show reference to statue that covers this for federal waters of South Atlantic???
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,922 Captain
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)
    Agree, that is whey Westwall said, " must remain in whole condition."
  • Frank SFrank S Posts: 42 Greenhorn
    It would be nice to be able to use the tails or heads from big kings for shark bait. Obviously legal size, but not "whole", after cleaning for the smoker. I don't see any loopholes on the reg.
  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    I read the above.  :) 

    From my understanding it's certain species.
    Then there's that rule where you can't use
    techniques that catches A type of species
    that's not in season. You're not even allowed
    to practice catch and release. Definitely A beneficial topic.
    GOOD QUESTION ! !
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,922 Captain
    I emailed this question to F & W and this was the reply I received:  

    Hi John,

     

    I am not sure if our Law Enforcement Liaison responded to your email as of yet, but each individual regulated species has its own rule, for example Spanish Mackerel: 68B-23.0035(2). Within this rule you will notice it states Fish must be landed in whole Condition. To be exact it reads:

     

    (2) All Spanish mackerel harvested in or from Florida or adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters shall be landed in a whole condition. The possession, while in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty, of a Spanish mackerel that has been deheaded, sliced, divided, filleted, ground, skinned, scaled, or deboned is prohibited. Mere evisceration or “gutting” of Spanish mackerel, or mere removal of gills before landing is not prohibited.

     

    You can acess this rule from our website here: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/spanish-mackerel/  and the rule 68B-23.0035 here: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=68B-23

     

    Yellowtail Snapper is considered a Reef Fish and therefore fall under the rule: 68B-14.006(4) which also has a Land in Whole Condition Requirement which reads:

     

    (4) Landed in Whole Condition Requirement – Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, all fish harvested from Florida or adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters pursuant to the requirements of this chapter shall be landed in a whole condition. The possession, while in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty, of such fish that have been deheaded, sliced, divided, filleted, ground, skinned, scaled or deboned is prohibited. Mere evisceration or “gutting” of fish, or mere removal of gills from fish, before landing is not prohibited. Preparation of fish for immediate consumption on board the vessel from which the fish were caught is not prohibited.

    (5) Landed in Whole Condition Exception – Recreational anglers that lawfully harvest species listed as South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper in Table 4 of Appendix A to 50 C.F.R. §622 (as of June 22, 2016), in waters of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas are exempt from the requirement to land such fish in whole condition under the following conditions:

     

    The rule can be found on our website here: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/snappers/ and the rule 68B-14.006 here: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=68B-14.

     

    So in these 2 cases, you would not be able to cut them us to use them as bait on the water. Please look up any other species you have concerns about via that webpage above. The rule is at the bottom of each page.

     

    Hope this helps you!

     

     

    Gina Russo
    Fish and Wildlife Research Institute 

  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,088 Officer
    What if you have half a mackerel that a predator chopped up. Can you keep it?
  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 257 Deckhand
    Wait, you can't SCALE a fish on the boat?  That's how I read the response from FWC a few posts up.  How is scaling a fish that has been bled and gutted considered "not whole condition"? 
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,707 Captain
    You must keep all the fish in a nice, fresh, whole, total, marketable condition until you land ashore.
    Then once ashore.....................wait for it......................................
    You ain't allowed to sell them! :D
  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 257 Deckhand
    You must keep all the fish in a nice, fresh, whole, total, marketable condition until you land ashore.
    Then once ashore.....................wait for it......................................
    You ain't allowed to sell them! :D
    That makes about as much sense as quite a lot of things involving the government these days.   :smirk:
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,922 Captain
    grey2112 said:
    Wait, you can't SCALE a fish on the boat?  That's how I read the response from FWC a few posts up.  How is scaling a fish that has been bled and gutted considered "not whole condition"? 
    Seems stupid not to be able to do that. I believe scaling might be an issue if it prevents correct identification of the specie, but concur that based on reading the reply, its a crime.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,256 Officer
    edited January 2019 #26
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)

    What I previously stated was and is correct.

  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,707 Captain
    Barrell said:
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)

    What I previously stated was and is correct.

    BULL-SUGAR!

    For those know it alls that keep quoting me with these "I told you so posts".........question for you.

    Federal waters South Atlantic......tomtate is a regulated reef fish.

    I catch and use one for bait alive or dead but in a whole non cut condition............ What violation will you cite me for?
    Please provide link to the statue or regulation being referenced.

    And just so there is no ambiguity in what my position on this issue is.

    Real men don't just use bait bought in frozen 5 gallon boxes! :p
    Although I'm sure King Roy would prefer it to be that way. ;)


  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 8,647 Admiral
    mullet are regulated

    #justsaying
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 688 Officer
    There are alot of freshwater fish that are regulated and you can use them for bait. Bluegills for one. Yes mullet are regulated .
  • mannn123mannn123 Posts: 137 Deckhand
    I don't think Westwall's comment is totally accurate.......for GOM yes........for SAMFC managed areas I think it might not be totally correct as I don't recall a "reef fish as bait rule".

    Now you might run afoul of the "must be landed in whole condition" if you use one as cut bait.
    ;)

    What I previously stated was and is correct.
    Country Bumpkin's response is accurate.   The below rule is in the same Part 622 of the Code of Federal Regulations that regulates both Gulf and South Atlantic.  Rule is only for Gulf reef fish....no such prohibition on the books for South Atlantic.

    (e) Use of Gulf reef fish as bait prohibited. Gulf reef fish may not be used as bait in any fishery, except that, when purchased from a fish processor, the filleted carcasses and offal of Gulf reef fish may be used as bait in trap fisheries for blue crab, stone crab, deep-water crab, and spiny lobster.
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