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What is bait?

Old 04-14-2020, 06:28 AM
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What determines that a mullet, crab or blue runner can legally be used as bait while a flounder may not. Also, if a flounder or other fish is brought on shore may it then be brought out on a subsequent fishing trip and used as bait? Just trying to keep it all legal and I eat or release all my flounder.
Old 04-14-2020, 07:04 AM
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Mullet and blue runners are usually not "controlled" by the fish and wildlife authority of your state. Flounder are. The rule (I think) is that you CAN use for bait if they are legal. I've heard this about people using 20"+ mahi as baits.... But if you mutilate the fish (cut it into pieces) then that would be against many state regulations.

Someone with actual knowledge might know for sure but that's always how I assumed it worked.
Old 04-14-2020, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrillseekers View Post
What determines that a mullet, crab or blue runner can legally be used as bait while a flounder may not. Also, if a flounder or other fish is brought on shore may it then be brought out on a subsequent fishing trip and used as bait? Just trying to keep it all legal and I eat or release all my flounder.
You like many others on THT ask a question based on local and fail to list your local. What state are we asking about? You are aware of the no filet rules for fish with size limits?
Old 04-14-2020, 07:54 AM
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I live in Florida but I'm asking about any state. Mullet is controlled, crab are controlled. Does anybody know if there is a designation assigned that determines if it can be bait? And yes I know about filet rules. That makes common sense to me.
Old 04-14-2020, 08:02 AM
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Anything can be used as bait, but if it is a regulated spices (season, size, etc.) you have to abide by the regs. So if you would like to use a legal size and in season flounder as bait, have at it. Please note, this applies to using it whole. Different rules apply if only using parts like fillets.
Old 04-14-2020, 01:00 PM
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Thanks, Good to know. Can a regulated fish or parts thereof be brought on shore, ground/ cut up and used legally for chum on a latter trip?
Old 04-14-2020, 02:17 PM
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In delaware if you want to use flounder strips as bait. You must retain the legal carcass from which it came. And it counts towards your daily take.
Old 04-14-2020, 06:06 PM
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Flounder are really good grouper bait.
Old 04-14-2020, 06:30 PM
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In Kentucky where I live, there is a list of sport fish. You cannot use sport fish for bait. For instance Bluegill are great bait for bass but that’s illegal. It makes sense so I assume most states regulate it the same way
Old 04-15-2020, 10:10 AM
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In Alaska you can't use sport fish for bait (there may be some exceptions for carcasses but I don't recall), and in California you can use sport fish for bait as long as it is legal to possess and you are counting it against your limit.

Of course, when you are out using salmon heads for crab bait in the winter you are in violation of the seasonal salmon closure...
Old 04-15-2020, 10:30 AM
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I live in NJ and I never really thought about what I can and cannot use as bait. I have used live Fluke and Bluefish as Mako Shark Bait and never ever considered I may be breaking the law. I have to look into this now because I really take Hunting and Fishing Laws to heart. I am a very honest person and I dont want to be doing that if it is illegal. If anyone from NJ knows if this is legal or not I would really be grateful for an answer
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGnUGLY View Post
Flounder are really good grouper bait.
I can't imagine using a flounder for anything other than dinner.
Old 04-15-2020, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by danme View Post
I live in NJ and I never really thought about what I can and cannot use as bait. I have used live Fluke and Bluefish as Mako Shark Bait and never ever considered I may be breaking the law. I have to look into this now because I really take Hunting and Fishing Laws to heart. I am a very honest person and I dont want to be doing that if it is illegal. If anyone from NJ knows if this is legal or not I would really be grateful for an answer
Just call the law enforcement office 609-748-2050 Every state is diferent never asume what you can do in one state is OK even in the state next door.
Old 04-15-2020, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by danme View Post
I live in NJ and I never really thought about what I can and cannot use as bait. I have used live Fluke and Bluefish as Mako Shark Bait and never ever considered I may be breaking the law. I have to look into this now because I really take Hunting and Fishing Laws to heart. I am a very honest person and I dont want to be doing that if it is illegal. If anyone from NJ knows if this is legal or not I would really be grateful for an answer
I also use bluefish for shark bait. With the new rules for bluefish if I go solo I can only take three baits.
Old 04-15-2020, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by barrell View Post
Just call the law enforcement office 609-748-2050 Every state is diferent never asume what you can do in one state is OK even in the state next door.

LE doesnt really know if it can or cant be done. And whenever you try and call the Game wardens n this state you get a recording and yur lucky if they cal you back. I think ther is only 4 game wardens in the entire state. I really have to research this to find the answer. Thank you for the info barrell appreciate that alot
Old 04-15-2020, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by the sneaky snook View Post
I also use bluefish for shark bait. With the new rules for bluefish if I go solo I can only take three baits.
If they are frozen baits, I vacuum bag my bluefish and bonito for shark bait also.... if they are in vacuum bags or frozen I’m not worried if have a dozen or so bluefish on the boat. What you catch and use fresh is up to you and the ones on the boat..
Old 04-15-2020, 05:17 PM
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Should be in your state regs, so download the book and read it. Typically most states does not allow you to use any fish that has a size or creel limit for bait.

Old 04-16-2020, 02:27 AM
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I wonder how the Feds feel about this? Most of my fish are outside the 3 mile limit.
Old 04-16-2020, 05:41 AM
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Florida: in Federal waters, got checked by FWC and buddy was using chunked up Kingfish that we had caught days before as bait. FWC told him a violation using a gamefish and having it cut up aboard. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that one can not use a 'game' fish, in whole or part, for bait. Just went to FWC website and I can not find a definitive statement. Anybody finds (for Florida or Federal, South Atlantic) please post link. Thanks.
Old 04-16-2020, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by danme View Post
I live in NJ and I never really thought about what I can and cannot use as bait. I have used live Fluke and Bluefish as Mako Shark Bait and never ever considered I may be breaking the law. I have to look into this now because I really take Hunting and Fishing Laws to heart. I am a very honest person and I dont want to be doing that if it is illegal. If anyone from NJ knows if this is legal or not I would really be grateful for an answer
Fluke strips are good fluke bait BUT it must come from a legal sized fish, you must have the fish it was taken from on board and it is part of your bag limit.

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