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Cast Nets

7591 Views 26 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  greggofish
I was reading over the entire NC fishing regulations site and I didnt see anything whatsoever about a license for cast nets. It said that non game fish for bait can be taken by cast nets but I didnt see anywhere, where you would need one. Did I overlook something?? I just remember someone talking on here about needing a license, I just dont want to get a stupid fine for castnetting bait.
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OK, this is straight from the wildlife resources commission. I emailed this exact info earlier this year. You CANNOT use bream for bait unless they are caught on a line and hook. It is illegal to use a cast net or trap to catch them for bait. Now if you got caught and said something like "no sir, these ain't for bait, these here are for research purposes", you might be ok if you looked at them and threw them back. You CAN use them though. There were questions about it being illegal to use bream. They can be used live or cut. You can also use Goldfish live or cut but it is ILLEGAL to release them into public waters. I think it is also illegal to put live bait on a bush hook, trot line, or jug line.So, if you catch your bream in a trap or cast net, you'd better poke a hole in his lip before you put him in the livewell. Maybe smear a little worm juice on his lips or something. OK, that didn't even sound right did it? I think you get the point.
ok that makes a lot more sense, I normally catch all my breem on hook and line with an ultralite, it is fun. I use crickets, those fish cant resist the crickets. That sucks though that you cant use live bait for jugs. I was looking forward to doing some jugging, I guess I will have to use cutbait instead for the blues and use live on the bobbers for flats. Thanks for the help.
look, we dont need any talk about worm joose, this is a fambly forum :crying:
License is needed for legal cast netting in NC. It's $10.00 for a year "non-commerical use". I'll try and find state link and post it here for ya.
You can only catch bait fish with it legally. That means any "non-gamefish".
Yes I almost found out the hard way. Got a DNR guy in the right mood and he let me throw back what I'd caught and then go and get a license and come back. The fine Is around $250.00 if caught without one.
the license you need is called a special device license. it cover you for traps nets, ect. i can show you where it is but cant remeber right now. is in the section about special device license. also in another place in that book you get when you but a fishing license.
Heres a copy from regulation page and a link to it.
in trout waters on game lands (included with any special trout license).
•Special Fishing Devices (basic/noncommercial): Authorizes the taking of
nongame fish from inland waters during designated seasons with nets, traps, gigs, reels,
spear guns, baskets, bow and arrow, and any other authorized special fishing device.
Includes the sale of these nongame fish. Taking of nongame fishes with bow and arrow is
authorized under any of the licenses providing basic hunting or fishing privileges. This
license is valid when no more than three special fishing devices are used.
•Special Fishing Devices (basic/commercial): Authorizes the taking of nongame
fish from inland waters during designated seasons with nets, traps, gigs, reels, spear
guns, baskets, bow and arrow, and any other authorized special fishing device. Includes
$10.00 $50.00 032 Resident
033 Nonresident
$100.00 $200.00 003 Resident
004 Nonresident

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Actually, the only thing you need to legally throw a cast net in NC is a State Fishing License. You do not need the special device license. When they refer to "nets" there, they are referring to nets like gill nets.......I am surprised if a Wildlife Agent told you different. If they did, I'd let em give me the ticket and beat it in court.

As quoted in the regs:

"Nongame fish may be taken for bait only with the equipment listed below, and an appropriate inland fishing license is required." Then it has several things listed below including cast nets.
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Not to start anarguement but to possibly help someone not get a ticket.
The area where cast nets are listed says nothing about the rod/reel license. heres a couple sections;

Collecting Nongame Fish for Bait
● Nongame fish may be taken for bait only with the equipment
listed below, and an appropriate fishing license is required.
1. A dip net not greater than 6 feet across.
2. A seine not greater than 12 feet in length with a bar mesh
measure of not more than 1/4 inch.
3. A cast net.
4. Minnow traps under immediate control and attendance of the
operator and not exceeding 12 inches in diameter, with
funnel openings not exceeding 1 inch in diameter.
● Fishes or aquatic animals taken under the provisions for collecting
fish for bait may not be sold.
● The daily creel limit is 200 nongame fish in aggregate, subject to
the follwing restrictions
1. No more than 50 eels, none of which may be less than 6
inches in length
2. No more than 25 herring (alewife and blueback in aggregate)
greater than 6 inches in length from the inland fishing waters
of coastal rivers up to the first impoundment dam on the
main course of the river. First impoundment dams are
identified under the Hook-And-Line Regulations above.
● Any fish taken for bait purposes are included in the daily possession

This is in the lower section where a fishing license is required plus the addtional license(special means) is also required.
To me the $10.00 isn't worth a day in court and/or plus a even larger fine.I've spoken to 5 different DNR guys in 4 different counties. All state the same thing.
Do what you feel is right. This is only a suggestion.
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:) Don't misinterpret this as argumentative (message board posts lack emotion :rolleyes: )

I appreciate the conversation regarding this issue. The part you posted is exactly the part I was pointing out. That is read I would think to say that you can use any of those methods as long as you have an inland fishing license. I know around here (Wake County) I have been checked at least 4 times that I can remember while catching shad with a 7 foot cast net ans each time they asked to see what I had and specifically mentioned not catching Bream in the net.

So.....either those guys (different everytime) were never told about an additional license, or chose not ask to see one. They did however check my state fishing license everytime.

Don't look at this as anything more than a couple of smelly fisherman trying to figger out the right thing to do to never have to pay anyone a fine...... :D

PS in rereading your post, the quote is "appropriate Inland Fishing License" which is the same as rod and reel license......
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ha! liked that smelly fisherman shot!
You have fished down wind of me before then.LOL
Well ain't been checked in wake yet but I;ll keep that in mind.
So your saying that as long as you arent catching game fish it is legal with just a regular license. Or are you saying you have to have the special permit no matter what.
All I know is what I was told by the guy that emailed me back from the wildlife resources commission. I was only asking about bream, so I don't know about other fish. He said for sure, if you used bream for bait, they must have been caught on a hook and line, not in a net or trap. Now if you tied a bunch of hooks to your cast net, you might get away with it. LOL!! Anyway, we use really small hooks and fishing worms. I break off about 1/2 inch peice of worm and thread it on the hook like a bass rig, then bring the hook out before it gets to the other end so it goes through the skin. If you don't, it will come off. This way, you can catch 10-15 bream on one 1/2 inch peice of worm. That's a lot cheaper than a tube of crickets.
It seems like there are so many loopholes in the regulations, that they could just about fine you for anything if they wanted to.
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I am saying that as long as I have caught non-game fish with a cast net for bait for myself, the wildlife officers have not ask for a special device license. Keith has a point that for 10 bucks you can be safe with whoever checks you and get the special device license. I'm gonna go ahead and do it. You of course need a State Fishing License.

I think that the confusion comes from the fact that in the regs there is a different section for collecting non-game fish for bait. The way I interpret the regs is if you use a cast net for collecting nongame fish to sell, you need a special device license. If you use a cast net to catch nongame fish for bait you don't.

The best thing to do to if you want to clarify it for sure, write the Commission and they will send a written response that you can keep with you in case you are ever hassled.

KHunter...the Bream thing is right on and I too use the piece of worm trick. Works like a charm everywhere but the Neuse. The Flatheads must have them scared to death cause I can't find em there. I bring em with me.
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Yeah sounds like the best thing to do is to just get a license for it, not that much money anyways. I have caught plenty of bluegills in the neuse, I cant catch them in the neuse on worms though, just crickets. I usually catch them near a ramp, next to the shore with cover nearby.
Here is what I got from Lee Ratcliffe who works with the wildlife department. The very bottom is what I sent to him, the top is what he replied.

From: Ratcliffe, R. Lee [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 10:57 AM
To: 'Mack Marcom'
Subject: RE: live bait

The following is a response from our Enforcement division. Thank you

1) It is legal to use live goldfish for catfishing; 2) Legal to use live goldfish for stripers; 3) Legal to use live bream for catfishing as long as they are caught on hook and line (they do not have to come from a private pond); 4) Lastly, it is legal to use cut bream and goldfish for bait. You cannot release the unused goldfish into public waters.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mack Marcom [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 6:56 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: live bait

I have heard conflicting stories about using live bait. 1st, is it legal to use live goldfish for catfishing? These would be purchased from a local bait shop. How about live goldfish for striper? 2nd, is it legal to use live bream for catfishing as long as they are caught on a hook and line from a private pond? In either instance, the baitfish would be hooked and cast out live on the hook. Lastly, is it legal to use cut bream or goldfish for bait? Thank you for your reply, Mack Marcom
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generaly in nc you can use almost anything for bait alive as long as its not endangered(or exocit)..ex the cape fear shiner......or an endangeren to use freshwate clams for cats in the upper haw but you had better be a bioligist to know the difference between some of the mussels.....also you can use gamefish as long as it was caught on hook and have to include it in your daily creel limit.............i use crappie all the time for cats........legally but not recommended you could use a largemouth as long as you include it and dont go over your daily creel limit......i also use white perch alot for cats and stripers........hook a white perch in the back and it will live a half the day......shad will die soon......stripers and cats would rather have a shad but white perch live longer.......all your guides at santee usually use live white to getting conflicting stories from wildlife offices i dont doubt it..............not that they are the same but i have been stopped in ala co numerous times over the last few years...ala co loves to do random road cks.....i always have a 357 mag on my seat when i travel.........i always tell the officer(with my hands out the window that i ahve a loaded gun right beside me......they are always calm but they all ask me to see my permit..........i tell them that i dont need a permit......i bought the gun before a permit from the sherrif was required to purchase it used and a concealed permit is not required to have it in the open......(the gun control act of 1968 gives you the right)......they always say oh .......and goodbye............i had a pit bull come at me growling on my land in ala co.....i almost shot it but it backed a way when i pulled it on it.......i then called the dog catcher which in ala co is under the authorty of the sherrif ...the lady deputy asked me did i have a permit.......i told her of course not...i dont need a permit to have it in the open.....she said oh...........sorry to ramble on but what i am getting at is i think sometimes our authorities have way too many regs and laws to keep up with........mack
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I am pretty sure but these days as long as you had a permit when you bought the gun you just have to have it out in the open. I didnt think you had to have the permit on you that you bought the gun with. As far as the netting I will just use it when I get the permit and only catch breem on hook and line, it doesnt take long at all to catch 10 of them for a nights worth of fishing.
you or someone else is right about live bait on trotlines , jugs or limb lines......though i will say that a lot..and i mean alot of the big cats caught in the neuse are caught on set hooks with live bream......illegal but they do it........i did 1 time ask a wildlife officer about putting nightcrawlers limb lines....because they would die soon.....he said he would not write a ticket for that.......... but the next officer may.....mack
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