Nope, you can't do it. The law reads that you can use nets, seines, traps, etc. to catch minnows and shad for bait but that all game fish caught by those methods must be immediately released (Regulation 220-2-.39). Bream are designated as game fish in 220-2-.34.
Looks like I can't even use the baskets without a special license and then only for personal consumption...not to use as bait. This sucks. I think I will just use them in ponds to catch my bait and keep them alive in a bait tank.
The following species shall be named and designated as game fish in Alabama: rainbow trout, all members of the sunfish family, including largemouth, shoal, smallmouth, redeye and spotted bass (commonly called trout or green trout), white and black crappie (commonly called white perch), rock bass, shadow bass, flier, warmouth, redbreast, bluegill, longear and shellcracker (commonly called bream); all members of the bass family including white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass (commonly called rockfish) and hybrid striped bass (a cross between the white bass and the saltwater striped bass); all members of the pike family including redfin, grass and chain pickerel; the following members of the perch family: walleye, sauger (commonly called jack salmon), and yellow perch. USE OF BREAM FOR BAIT
All species of bream may be used as bait as long as a person does not have in his possession total bream numbers in excess of the daily creel limit, regardless of size and they are harvested legally. Other native game fish may not be used for bait. WIRE BASKETS
Wire baskets may be used only in certain counties to harvest nongame fish for personal consumption only. Persons holding a commercial fishing license may not fish with wire baskets. No fish taken in wire baskets may be sold or offered for sale. All game fish taken in the baskets must be immediately returned to the water. All baskets must be clearly marked with the valid wire basket license number and name of person using and owning the basket. It is illegal for any one person to fish with more than four wire baskets. Consult the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Regulation Book or local Conservation Enforcement Officer to determine number of baskets and locations where wire baskets are legal. TAKING MINNOWS AND SHAD FOR BAIT
It is legal to take minnows and shad by the use of a cast net, minnow jug, minnow basket, not to exceed 24 inches in length, 12 inches in diameter, with funnel entrance not more than one inch in diameter, dip net or minnow seine, the length of which shall not exceed 25 feet and the width or depth of which shall not exceed 4 feet for the purpose of taking shad or minnows for the exclusive use as fish bait. All game fish and all commercial or nongame fish taken by nets or seines must be immediately returned to the water from whence they came with the least possible injury. Dip nets may be used to land legally caught fish.
The traps I made and USE are not legal in state or PUBLIC waters in Georgia either but the DNR here told me they were perfectly legal to use in PRIVATE ponds.. which is what I do. I primarily use mine to catch bullheads from a few private ponds. There was a company here in Georgia last year selling shocking devices for catfish on e-bay and although shocking is illegal in Georgia they can be used in PRIVATE ponds and thats why they were and are legal to sell the traps and shocking devices in the state of Georgia.
You should always check legal matters in your own state for yourself.. I never trust what someone else says or heard.. ask the authorities and sometimes ask 2 or 3 as even then you may get different answers.. even form the authorities.
Good luck with the traps.. tghey work great for my use... Sam
Just so noone gets the wrong idea...I did take my newly built traps for a trial run, but it was for testing only. I released the bluegills unharmed. After double-checking with our local gamewarden, I will be using them in private ponds. I am military and very rule oriented. I fully support and adhere to all laws to the best of my abillity and would never suggest anyone do any different.
I have made 1 of this traps that Sam designed and they are great. Work for bullheads, gills and carp. I put it in private ponds to get my bait. I mainly use it when I setlines out and need a lot of bait in a hurry. The kids love it because now they don't have to go catch bait!!