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A couple more questions please..!

I'm just getting a few things ready for my holiday. I've printed off the rules and regs and am trying to learn them to make sure I don't get caught out.

One of the bits I'm not sure about is the circle hooks for reef fish in the gulf rule. We don't use circle hooks here in the UK. Is there any time it would be better to use j hooks? Or am I better off just using circle hooks for everything? 

Am I right in thinking that you can keep pinfish, grunts, mackerel, jacks, mullet etc as bait if needed, with no minimum size? And all fish with a minimum size are stated in the regulation list?

The rules state you need an unhooking device. I am bringing two long forceps and a pair of pliers. Is that sufficient?

Is there any fish that could sting while handled? Obviously a sting ray! Or a Lionfish! I just don't want to spoil my holiday grabbing a fish I shouldn't. 


Cheers in advance for any answers!

Replies

  • nowinchattnowinchatt Posts: 93 Deckhand
    My rule in tropical water is if I do not know what a fish is I do not touch it. Saltwater catfish stings are very painful, so use caution with them
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,958 Captain
    I'm just getting a few things ready for my holiday. I've printed off the rules and regs and am trying to learn them to make sure I don't get caught out.

    One of the bits I'm not sure about is the circle hooks for reef fish in the gulf rule. We don't use circle hooks here in the UK. Is there any time it would be better to use j hooks? Or am I better off just using circle hooks for everything? 

    Am I right in thinking that you can keep pinfish, grunts, mackerel, jacks, mullet etc as bait if needed, with no minimum size? And all fish with a minimum size are stated in the regulation list?

    The rules state you need an unhooking device. I am bringing two long forceps and a pair of pliers. Is that sufficient?

    Is there any fish that could sting while handled? Obviously a sting ray! Or a Lionfish! I just don't want to spoil my holiday grabbing a fish I shouldn't. 


    Cheers in advance for any answers!
    Here is one thing I learned via a warning from FWC.  Any regulated fish must be in whole condition.  We had a Barracuda we caught and were using for bait.  we filleted one side and it was in the cooler, with the rest of the fish.  Now that Barracuda is regulated it must be in whole condition.  From what I understood we could take it back, chop it up and bring it back out?  didnt seem to make much sense..
    A houndfish could slice you up w its teeth same as a king, cuda or wahoo.  I don't think there is anything else in the keys you would need to worry about.  Its the fillet knife after a bunch of rum and a cooler full of fish to clean that usually gets me
  • CaptainBirdsnestCaptainBirdsnest UkPosts: 19 Greenhorn
    edited July 2018 #4
    That's great. Thanks! I didn't realise realise some catfish can sting.
     Yes I love rum! Filleting fish and rum sounds dangerous!

    That's interesting about the barracuda. I would never have even considered that. It's ridiculous to be honest.

    I will find out what a houndfish is!
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 13,513 AG
    Houndfish are fun, especially when they start tailwalking. 
    Like is like a Helicopter.  I do not know how to operate a Helicopter  
  • One Named Fishin'One Named Fishin' Key WestPosts: 59 Deckhand
    You’ll most likely fish the Atlantic, but circle hooks are awesome. Once you get used to them, you might never go back. Make sure the bait doesn’t clog the gap of the hook. Reel slowly till you get tight, then crank Em in. Good luck!
  • deadbuckdeadbuck Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    This is what this forum is all about. helping fellow anglers. glad to see posts and responses like this!
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 13,513 AG
    You’ll most likely fish the Atlantic, but circle hooks are awesome. Once you get used to them, you might never go back. Make sure the bait doesn’t clog the gap of the hook. Reel slowly till you get tight, then crank Em in. Good luck!
    Circle hooks are great for beginners, my son still reels even when we are using J hooks, i keep trying to pull the old Roland Martin face ripper hook set.    
    Like is like a Helicopter.  I do not know how to operate a Helicopter  
  • Plan Sea ChartersPlan Sea Charters Posts: 41 Greenhorn
    LEATHER JACK, to an untrained eye it might get confused for bait, do not handle, BIG mistake!
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 579 Officer
    Make sure you download the FWC app on your phone.  Kind of a cheater sheet on the water.  Also, you can pick up a book called Sport Fish of the Atlantic or Gulf version.  Covers most of the fish identity and general info about them.  Both are extremely helpful if you are interested in knowing all the fish that you are catching or wanting to keep.  Gives you edibility info as well.
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • SaltologySaltology Posts: 125 Deckhand
    edited July 2018 #11
    Spanish mackerel is 12", King Mackerel is 24", no size limit on ceros and I would never use them for bait, too good on the table. Unregulated fish have a general limit of 100lbs whole, dehookers are cheap in a tackle shop, not sure if pliers count. Also download the fish rules app
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,484 Officer

    Their are several saltwater fish that can inflict severe pain with poisonous spines in Fla. Usually it’s their dorsal fin that is the most dangerous except for the sting ray. 

    Scorpion Fish

    Lion Fish

    Hardhead catfish

    Gaff-topsail catfish

    Leather jack

    Sting Rays (Barb at the base of tail)

    There is even a electric torpedo but it’s very rare.

     

    Giimoozaabi
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,702 Captain
    a 3" mangrove from the trap into the livewell=squad car ride+ court date. 
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  • XafXaf Posts: 1,105 Officer
    edited July 2018 #14
    As someone above stated, if I don't know what it is I don't touch it.

    All species in the snapper grouper complex must be maintained with heads and fins intact. (Cobia, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, dolphin, and wahoo must also be landed with heads and fins intact.)

    From FWC:  De-hooking tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit the need of the angler, and even a pair of needle nose pliers is considered a de-hooking tool.

    If I read the rules correctly, In Gulf waters circle hooks must not be off-set, In the Atlantic they can be in-line or off-set.

    I hate it that you have to almost be a lawyer (not even sure they could make heads or tails of the rules) to understand Florida's  fishing regulations. 
     
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 303 Deckhand
    you can find a free pamphlet in most bait stores from the state regarding rules, measurements, etc....you do not need to use a circle hook in the Atlantic, if you are fishing in the Key West area the issue is iffy since the Gulf boundary could be close by....in the rest of the Keys you are OK....good luck and keep us posted...
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    Almost everything down in the Keys has some kind of defence that can hurt you. Even the lowly shrimp has a point on the head that can stick you. Got one stuck in my toe one time, painful when it wiggled!
     I dropped an undersized yellowtail on my bare foot (I know, I know, rookie move, but there was a cormorant in my 8 foot zodiac with me, trying to eat the yellowtail and I was trying to hit that frikking bird with a paddle ) I got stuck by the dorsal fin, three days later wound up in emergency with skin infection crawling up my leg. 
    Oh, don't forget Portuguese man o war....    A mangrove snapper will actually try to extend it's reach out to bite you, and they won't let go. Ditto on all the critters mentioned above.
    Carry a tube of disinfectant gel of some kind, use it on any cut, scrape or wound. Could save a few vacation days for you!
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 794 Officer
    Cormorants are also regulated so must also be kept intact.  No size limit though.
  • WahooslayerWahooslayer Posts: 52 Deckhand
    Why would a fish's fins need to remain intact?
    2019 Everglades 435
    1989 35 Contender TCummins
    2013 296 Cobia
    Stuart and Marathon FL
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    Sometimes it is difficult to tell one species from another unless you can see the shape of certain fins, or count the dorsal spines, for instance.
  • deadbuckdeadbuck Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    Almost everything down in the Keys has some kind of defence that can hurt you. Even the lowly shrimp has a point on the head that can stick you. Got one stuck in my toe one time, painful when it wiggled!
     I dropped an undersized yellowtail on my bare foot (I know, I know, rookie move, but there was a cormorant in my 8 foot zodiac with me, trying to eat the yellowtail and I was trying to hit that frikking bird with a paddle ) I got stuck by the dorsal fin, three days later wound up in emergency with skin infection crawling up my leg. 
    Oh, don't forget Portuguese man o war....    A mangrove snapper will actually try to extend it's reach out to bite you, and they won't let go. Ditto on all the critters mentioned above.
    Carry a tube of disinfectant gel of some kind, use it on any cut, scrape or wound. Could save a few vacation days for you!
    Had a big 8lb mangrove chomp my thumb once. They do not let go. Longest 10 seconds of my life. Looked like I hole punched my thumb when it was all over
  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    edited July 2018 #23
    I found out this works well. On your conventional boat reel.
    Keep your thumb on the spool until you make contact with
    the bottom, good luck.



    K Mart in Key West

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  • N2naclh20N2naclh20 Posts: 286 Deckhand
    I had a buddy that was messing with a little mangrove, acting like he was gonna kiss it, and the thing chomped down oh his lip....it hung on for a while.  hilarious. 
    There is no greater passion than that of a fisherman.
    Avatar photo: Grandparents and my Dad at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter 1923.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,105 Officer
    Cat fish don't really sting you but they have barbs on the dorsal and each of the pectoral fins that can will stab you if you grab them wrong.  I nearly lost a finger after being stuck by one of the fins. My son and I were bait fishing before going offshore for the day. I hooked a small catfish and was in the process of taking the hook out when I was barbed.  I probably had unhooked hundreds of them without any problem but that one time the fish somehow flipped and stuck me in the ring finger.  It hurt like he** at the time but I didn't think much of it.  During the day it kept hurting more and more and my finger started to swell up.  Before I realized what was happening my finger was so swollen that I could not get my wedding band off which was cutting off circulation to my finger.  Not knowing what to do, I stuck my hand in  the ice chest on the way in.  Once we hit shore I went to the emergency room.  They cut my ring off, flushed the wound for about 15 minutes with saline solution, gave me a shot and put me on antibiotics for about 10 days.  They said if I had waited much longer I could have lost my finger.  They also said I did the opposite of what I should have done.  I should have put my hand/finger in water as hot as I could stand rather then putting it in ice.  The heat will help kill the bacteria from the barb.  Needless to say I now have a healthy respect for handling catfish.
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 528 Officer
    Xaf said:
    Cat fish don't really sting you but they have barbs on the dorsal and each of the pectoral fins that can will stab you if you grab them wrong.  I nearly lost a finger after being stuck by one of the fins. My son and I were bait fishing before going offshore for the day. I hooked a small catfish and was in the process of taking the hook out when I was barbed.  I probably had unhooked hundreds of them without any problem but that one time the fish somehow flipped and stuck me in the ring finger.  It hurt like he** at the time but I didn't think much of it.  During the day it kept hurting more and more and my finger started to swell up.  Before I realized what was happening my finger was so swollen that I could not get my wedding band off which was cutting off circulation to my finger.  Not knowing what to do, I stuck my hand in  the ice chest on the way in.  Once we hit shore I went to the emergency room.  They cut my ring off, flushed the wound for about 15 minutes with saline solution, gave me a shot and put me on antibiotics for about 10 days.  They said if I had waited much longer I could have lost my finger.  They also said I did the opposite of what I should have done.  I should have put my hand/finger in water as hot as I could stand rather then putting it in ice.  The heat will help kill the bacteria from the barb.  Needless to say I now have a healthy respect for handling catfish.
    You should never wear rings in a work environment, learned the hard way. BUT, I saw a great video to get a ring off a swollen finger. They wrapped dental floss, I think, from the tip down towards the ring, which squeezed the blood back under the ring and reducing the swelling. When they wrapped all the way down to the ring, they then simply unwrapped the floss, sliding the ring up as they went. Look it up.
  • CaptainBirdsnestCaptainBirdsnest UkPosts: 19 Greenhorn
    Thanks for all the help guys. I have:

    Printed the rules and regs an learned them pretty well.
    Downloaded the app.
    Ordered circle hooks and a de-hooker.
    Ordered sabikis and a huge bunch of other stuff I need.
    Learned dangerous fish.

    Thanks for all the help. Just gotta work out how to drive a car with no gearstick and everything else the other way round now!

    Can't wait.





  • InstaGatorInstaGator Posts: 200 Deckhand
    Captain bird nest there is another free app I use called Fishrules.  It has fish I’d, size and bag limits and if it is good eating. It also allows you to geolocation yourself and the rules where you are. Difinetly a plus when you have gulf and Atlantic fishing options
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,105 Officer
    Cameron, I've seen that video also..    To bad it was long after the incident with the catfish.
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