Gill net?

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by John Rogers, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. John Rogers

    John Rogers New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    va
    Hey folks,
    What length gill net should i buy? I have never used one, but the few times I do go to the lower James I think it would be better than my casting method. Sometimes I've used half a tank of fuel trying to catch bait. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    Mine's 100 feet x 6 feet deep. mesh is 2 inches unstretched. I think I would get a shorter net next time and maybe a four foot deep net and slightly smaller mesh. Anybody else. I am all ears to learn from the pros.:)
     

  3. jonnycat

    jonnycat New Member

    Messages:
    103
    State:
    Maryland
    If you have never used a gill net you probably will be better off with something shorter so as to not waste so much money on the first one. This statement will make more sense after you set one out for the first time. Since most fishing trips do require more than a dozen or so cutter sized shad, I have a short piece of net that is only about 30ft x 6ft. My fishing partner bought a new 100ft net and gave me what was left of the old one. If the bait is there you will have the results necessary even with a short net. Remember to do your best to retrieve the net if it gets hung up so as not to cause a death trap for the future. It will kill all species of water animals and fish. There have been lengthy discussions on several sites as to the impact of so many gill nets being used & sometimes left snagged on the bottom to never be retrieved. Don't forget the license because he will hand you a written invitation to join him in the courtroom. I didn't mean to ramble but felt it important to say on behalf of all who use the river. See you on the water---jonnycat
     
  4. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    A 50 foot net works great. To minimize impact on other species of fish that might get hung up, I don't leave my net out for more than a few minutes at a time. Doing so, I get them out of the net and back into the water quickly. I've still got the dozen or so shad I need for the day in short order.

    One note to consider about the 2 inch square (4 in stretch) net - it is illegal during certain times of the year on the James. Naturally I learned this recently, after buying my 4 inch stretch net. I don't have the link but it can be found on the vmrc website. When I need to replace my net, I am considering going to Memphis net for one since they have smaller mesh sizes available. Fishnetco's smallest is 2" x 4" (though they will do custom nets). The size to look for - to be legal all year - is a stretch mesh size of less than 3 1/2 inch.

    /Scott
     
  5. Malligood24

    Malligood24 New Member

    Messages:
    67
    State:
    Richmond, Va
    Scott ,

    What months out of the year is the 2" by 4" mesh illegal?
     
  6. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I am not totally but it is sometime in the spring, maybe even now. It has something to do with the american shad and young stripers. I'll see if I can find it on the VMRC website.

    /Scott
     
  7. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Matt, here's the link. In summary - from Jan 1 to Mar 31 it is unlawful to fish a net having a mesh size between 3 3/4 and 6 inches on the tidal James. I was slightly off in the above post. I'll have to go back and edit it.

    http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/regulations/fr751.shtm

    I think when I have to replace my net, I will buy bulk netting in the smaller mesh from Memphis Net and use the rest of my existing rigging. It'll be a little cheaper that way - though it's not terribly expensive anyway. I think 5 lbs (minimum order) of netting costs about 60 bucks. I can't see a 50 ft net weighing more than a pound. That'd give me a supply for later replacements.

    /Scott
     
  8. tank3544

    tank3544 New Member

    Messages:
    201
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    good luck .. those rules are massively screwed up .. they make almost no sense


    first of all we have:

    Except as provided in 4 VAC 20-430-40 and 4 VAC 20-430-50, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, set or fish any gill net, except when licensed as a fixed fishing device, that is not marked in the following manner:


    1. One end of each gill net shall be marked by a flag of square dimensions, which shall measure at least 144 square inches.

    2. The end of each gill net opposite the square flag marker shall be marked by either a triangular flag of at least 144 square inches or a floating ball of at least 50 inches circumference.

    3. Each flag described in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this section shall be supported on a staff sufficient to maintain the bottom of the flag at least three feet above the surface of the water.

    4. The end-marker flags on the same net or flag and floating ball on the same net shall be of
    identical color.

    5. All flag staffs shall be marked with two stripes of two-inch wide reflective material that shall be visible from all sides; all end-marker floating balls shall be marked on three sides with patches of approximately two-inch by two-inch reflective material that shall be visible from all sides above the water line.

    so what i get from that is you need flags but if you look at the exemptions:
    4 VAC 20-430-40. UPRIVER WHITE PERCH AND STRIPED BASS FISHERY EXEMPTION.

    During the period December 1 through March 15, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, set or fish any gill net, used for the taking of white perch or striped bass in the areas designated below, that is not marked as described by either 4 VAC 20-430-20 or 4 VAC 20-430-30, or in the following manner:
    1. Both ends of each gill net shall be marked by a floating buoy of at least 3 1/2" in diameter.

    2. Both end-marker buoys shall be of blaze-orange color.

    3. Areas designated.

    a. James River. Upstream from a line connecting College Creek and Hog Point.

    b. York River. Upstream from a line connecting the southernmost point of the northern headland of Poropotank Bay and Croaker Landing.

    c. Rappahannock River. Upstream from a line connecting Greenvale Creek and Weeks Creek.

    4 VAC 20-430-50. DRIFT GILL NET FISHERY EXEMPTIONS.

    During the period February 15 through May 31 inclusive, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish any drift gill net, in the areas designated below, that is not marked in the following manner:

    1. Both end-marker buoys and all floats or buoys between the ends shall be of blaze orange or fluorescent paint color.

    2. Areas designated.

    a. James River. Upstream of the Jamestown Ferry Docking Station.

    b. Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. Upstream of the Route 33 bridges at West Point.

    c. Rappahannock River. Upstream of the Route 360 bridge at Tappahannock.

    from the expemtions i gather you merely only need to have blaze orange bouys on each end from december 1st through may 31st

    moving on to dates most of it you don't worry about .. as long as your net is no smaller than 2" not stretched and no bigger than 7" stretched you are fine for the entire year

    however it does say * From January 1 through March 25, it is unlawful to set or fish gill nets with stretched mesh size between 3 3/4" and 6" within the restricted areas set forth below
    James River: Upstream of a line connecting Willoughby Spit and Old Point Comfort.

    good luck they are a mess
     
  9. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Yea, ain't it fun!! That's why I'm not particularly concerned about it. Had I known about the mesh size restriction, I would have gone with a 3 3/4 inch net. Other than that - heck with it. The law enforcement guys can't even seem to get it straight based on the thread on that other forum awhile back. I've got buoys on my net and they're marked. I stay within a few yards of my net anyway.

    /Scott
     
  10. tank3544

    tank3544 New Member

    Messages:
    201
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    far as i'm concerned this time of year my net is 3 3/4" stretched .. if it measures over that it must have stretched extra with wear and tear

    as far as marking i have blaze orange bouys with my numbers on both ends .. that's good enough for me .. the guides don't even use those flags and they drop their nets every day

    you nailed it tho .. those guys don't even know what the rules are .. i haven't seen a single enforcement officer to begin with
     
  11. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I hope to get up to the James around the 1st or 2nd weekend in March, but I'm curious about the way you folks catch bait.
    I know you're using the gill nets as mentioned above, but how are you putting the net out? Is it put out in a straight line, or maybe in a semicircle. I assume it's not attached on either end to permanent structures, either.
    Also, what size and species of shad are you catching? Here in SC, we usually get small threadfin shad, or herring, but we can't use the gill nets, at least not without a commercial license, and I'm not sure what the regs are there. Now, at this time of the year, commercial fishermen are just starting to catch American shad, which I love for cut bait, too. The recreational shad catch will start picking up over the next couple of weeks, too. We are allowed to catch 10 - 20 per day on tackle, depending on location.
    One other quick question, off topic: how many rods are you allowed to use from a boat in VA, and what weight and type of sinkers do you recommend in the current of the James?
    Thanks in advance....
     
  12. jonnycat

    jonnycat New Member

    Messages:
    103
    State:
    Maryland
    The James has a pretty decent supply of gizzard shad on up to about 13-14 inches. I never let my gill net free from the boat. I try not to use it but sometimes it is the only way to keep from wearing youself out throwing the 8ft cast net. If you find the bait this time of year, normally it does not take too much effort to collect what will be needed. The place I normally get my bait during the colder months holds bait due to the warmer water in the area. The last time I went there the water exploded with cutter sized shad jumping everywhere. I took out the 6ft cast net and had plenty of bait in 5 minutes. I fished that Sun and took the leftovers home to fish with 2 days later. I don't get down to the James very often, or as much as I would like to, but it is a worth-while 3 hour ride on nearly every trip I make.
    The Potomac has plenty of bait in the 20-30ft depths where I've been fishing this winter. I believe there is an underwater discharge of some kind in this "bait hole" because the shad are just stacked in there. I have been able to get plenty each trip with a few pieces to throw in the old honey hole for the ones that didn't take theirs' off my hooks. There is not a limit to the number of rods you can personally use in Virginia. The sinker weights will differ with the depths you decide to fish. Sometimes a 10oz won't hold and sometimes it takes only 3-4oz. Hope this helps with your questions. Later for now---jonnycat
     
  13. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    That was good information, jonnycat. Thanks. I have one more:
    What mesh size cast net do most of you use, and how much handline is on the nets? Do you let it sink all the way to the bottom?
     
  14. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Tommy, there's no rod limit. You ought to see some of the rigs up here. You'd mistake them for a porcupine. I currently fish 3 rods but plan to settle on 4 once I get my last one finished.

    I just bought, today, an 8 foot 1 inch mesh net specifically for the large gizzard shad we're getting in the river. It has 1.2lb of lead per foot. I'm hoping that's enough to sink fast enough. If not, I'll add more lead. How deep you let it sink depends on where you mark baitfish on the depth finder. If they're suspended, you only need to let the net sink as deep as necessary, though you do lose a few when you start to close the net with the handline. If the bottom's clean then you can let it go to the bottom. The James is not particularly clean. Nets get torn up or lost quite often. If you mark bait on the bottom, then you gotta let the net go all the way. Handline length depends on the depth of the bait. Usually, the length that came on the net is enough. If you're throwing the net in a 25 ft hole, then you need to add some line.

    You set the gill net in a straight line. I like to set it perpendicular to the current. I've deployed the net with the current by just letting the boat drift feeding the net as I go but I find that I don't get as much bait that way. When there's a current, 16 or 18 oz of weight on the bottom at either end keeps it in place. With no current, the weight is not necessary as the bottom rope on the net is leaded.

    I also alway throw a few times with a castnet first. If I can get bait that way , great. If not, then I set the gill net. If I'm getting bait for 2 or three boats, then I just set the net since the quantity needed is double or triple. I use about a dozen shad in a day (by myself) I don't know how much everybody else uses.

    6 to 10 oz pyramids are all you really need. Some guys use no rolls, etc..

    The shad run will be starting for us soon as well. I've never fished for them so I don't know if they're American or Hickory.

    /Scott
     
  15. Yellowboat

    Yellowboat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    carolina
    DONT FORGET YOUR LICENSES AND A REPORT TO THE MAN :::



    RECREATIONAL GEAR
    REPORT FORM & INSTRUCTIONS

    REPORT ANY SPECIES CAUGHT AND KEPT FROM YOUR RECREATIONAL GEAR (GILL NET, FISH CAST NET, FISH DIP NET, CRAP POT, CRAB TRAP, OR CRAB TROT LINE)
    REPORTS MUST BE POST-MARKED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 5 OF THE FOLLOWING YEAR
    USE AS MANY FORMS AS NEEDED
    IF YOU NEED HELP TO REPORT OR NEED ADDITIONAL REPORTING FORMS CALL 1-800-937-9274 or 757-247-2240
    SEND REPORTS: ATTN: RECREATIONAL REPORTS, PLANS & STATS, PO BOX 756, NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607.
    HINTS FOR REPORTING:
    DATE: month/day/year
    WATER FISHED: where the gear is fishing in the water
    GEAR ABBREVIATIONS: AGN = anchor gill net, DGN = drift gill net, FCN = fish cast net, FDN = fish dip net, CP = crab pot, CT = crab trap, CTL = crab trot line
    GEAR AMOUNT: total amount of gear in the water
    SPECIES: specify the type of fish, crabs, or type of seafood caught and kept (i.e., jimmy, sook, peelers, sponge, croaker, spot, …) use separate line for each specie caught
    AMOUNT KEPT: specify the amount of each species caught and landed by count, pounds, or bushels (exclude catch and release) ABBREVIATIONS: BU = bushels, LBS = pounds, NU = number, DOZ = dozen.

    EXAMPLE:

    FULL NAME: Joe Fisherman
    ADDRESS: 123 Fisherman Way
    Newport News, VA 23602 LICENSE NUMBERS: AA0001
    AB1234 TAG NUMBERS: GR0001
    CP9999
    DATE WATER FISHED GEAR GEAR AMOUNT SPECIES AMOUNT KEPT
    7/30/00 Ches.Bay Lower West AGN 300 feet Croaker 10 NU
    7/30/00 Ches. Bay Lower West AGN 300 feet Spot 3 NU
    9/1/00 Lower James River CP 5 pots Hard Crabs 2 BU




    sFOLD HERE s



    RETURN ADDRESS:



    NAME


    ADDRESS


    CITY, STATE ZIP CODE










    VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
    PLANS & STATISTICS DEPARTMENT
    2600 WASHINGTON STATE
    3rd Floor
    NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607-0756






    RECREATIONAL GEAR REPORT FORM

    <PLEASE PRINT>

    FULL NAME:
    ADDRESS:
    LICENSE NUMBERS: TAG NUMBERS:

    DATE
    WATER FISHED
    GEAR
    GEAR AMOUNT
    SPECIES
    AMOUNT KEPT
     
  16. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    We get more hickory shad than American in Richmond when they are running. They start to show up in late March. By April they are thick. We catch some American Shad. They are much bigger and both are a hoot on light tackle. Hickory Shad makes fantastic cut bait for Blue cats. American shad have to be released. The Wardens are always hanging around during the Richmond shad run so be sure to have life jackets, fire extinquishers, throwable ring, lights, registration, fishing licenses, and no American Shad in possesion. Its a great run and easy to catch 100 shad in an afternoon when they are thick. I love to go in the late afternoon with my Kids, save some hickory shad for bait the next morning's blue catting. Shad row is good to eat.
     
  17. Billy Tucker

    Billy Tucker New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Manasszs Va
    The gill net marking requirment on the other pager refers to Com gill nets. Here is the link and wording for the rec gill net. All you need is a bouy with the last 4 digits of your SS number as stated in VAC 20-670-40.

    http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/regulations/fr670.shtm




    REGULATION: PERTAINING TO RECREATIONAL GEAR LICENSES REGULATION
    VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
    "PERTAINING TO RECREATIONAL GEAR LICENSES REGULATION"
    REGULATION 4 VAC 20-670-10 ET SEQ.


    PREAMBLE


    This regulation establishes licenses for the recreational and personal use of certain fishing and crabbing gear. It limits the amount of gear and the catch, and establishes gear identification requirements and harvest reporting requirements for the licensees.

    This regulation is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §§28.2-201, 28.2-226.1 and 28.2-226.2 of the Code of Virginia. This regulation amends and re-adopts as amended previous Regulation 4 VAC 20-670-10 et seq., which was adopted July 23, 2002 and effective August 1, 2002. The effective date of this regulation, as amended, is July 29, 2005.

    20-670-10. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this regulation is to establish licenses for the recreational and personal use of certain fishing and crabbing gear. Limits are established on the amount of gear which may be used and the amount of catch which may be taken. Gear identification requirements and harvest reporting requirements are established to reduce the possibilities of gear conflicts and to assess the levels of harvest made by recreational users of commercial gear.

    4 VAC 20-670-20. RECREATIONAL GEAR LICENSES.

    A. Any person desiring to take or catch finfish or shellfish for recreational purposes in the tidal waters of Virginia using commercial gear authorized under §28.2-226.1 of the Code of Virginia shall first pay the specified fee and obtain the license for the appropriate gear, as follows:

    1. Recreational gill net, $7.50;
    2. Recreational fish cast net, $8.00;
    3. Recreational fish dip net, $6.00;
    4. Recreational crab pot, $29.00;
    5. Recreational crab trap, $5.00;
    6. Recreational ordinary crab trot line, $8.00;
    7. Recreational eel pot, $10.00.

    B. Any license to use fishing gear for recreational purposes shall be issued to an individual for his exclusive use and shall not be transferable.

    C. No person shall be issued more than one recreational gill net license, more than one recreational crab pot license, more than one crab trap license, nor more than one recreational eel pot license.

    D. No license shall be required of any person taking minnows, menhaden, or mullet with a cast net for personal use as bait which is not to be sold, traded, or bartered.

    4 VAC 20-670-25. HARVEST LIMITS.

    It shall be unlawful for any person licensed to use recreational crab pot, recreational crab trap or recreational ordinary crab trot line, as described in 4 VAC 20-670-20, to take or possess more than one bushel of hard crabs and two dozen peeler crabs, in any one day, for personal use.

    4 VAC 20-670-30. GEAR RESTRICTIONS.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any gill net greater than 300 feet in length when licensed for recreational purposes under this chapter. Any person licensed to use a recreational gill net shall stay within 100 yards of such net when it is overboard. Failure to attend such net in this fashion is a violation of this chapter.

    B. It shall be unlawful for any person to use more than five crab pots or more than two eel pots when licensed for recreational purposes under this chapter.

    C. Any law or chapter applying to the setting or fishing of commercial gill nets, cast nets, dip nets, crab pots, crab traps or crab trot lines shall also apply to the gear licensed under this chapter when set or fished for recreational purposes, except that: 1) certain commercial gear used for recreational purposes shall be marked in accordance with the provisions described in section 4 VAC 20-670-40, 2) the daily time limits for commercial crab potting and peeler potting established in Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-30 shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this chapter., and 3) the closed season and area established in Section 28.2-709 of the Code of Virginia shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this chapter.

    D. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any recreational gill net to catch and possess any species of fish whose commercial fishery is regulated by an annual harvest quota.

    E. It shall be unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess more than the recreational possession limit for any species regulated by such a limit. When fishing from any boat, using gear licensed under this chapter, the total possession limit shall be equal to the number of persons on board legally eligible to fish multiplied by the individual possession limit for the regulated species, and the captain or operator of the boat shall be responsible for adherence to the possession limit.

    F. It shall be unlawful for any person using a recreational gill net, fish cast net, or fish dip net to take and possess any fish which is less than the lawful minimum size established for that species. When the taking of any fish is regulated by different size limits for commercial and recreational fishermen, that size limit applicable to recreational fishermen or to hook-and-line fishermen shall apply to the taking of that species by persons licensed under this chapter.

    G. It shall be unlawful for any person licensed to use five crab pots under this chapter to fish these crab pots on Sunday.

    H. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any ordinary crab trot line greater than 300 feet in length when licensed for recreational purposes under this chapter.

    4 VAC 20-670-40. GEAR MARKING REQUIREMENTS:

    A. Buoys of any crab pot, eel pot, gill net or ordinary crab trot line, used for recreational purposes, shall be marked with the licensee's last 4 numbers of his or her social security number or driver's license number, preceded by the letter "R".

    B. An offshore stake of any crab trap, used for recreational purposes, shall be marked with the licensee's last 4 numbers of his or her social security number or driver's license number, preceded by the letter "R".

    C. In accordance with subsections A and B of this section, licensees shall mark their gear in a legible and visible manner and in figures of not less than 1 inch in height.

    4 VAC 20-670-50. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    Any person using recreational gear, other than recreational fish cast net, recreational fish dip net or recreational eel pot, described in 4 VAC 20-670-20 of this chapter shall report annually, on forms provided by the Commission, the weight and species harvested, location of harvest, days fished, and amount of gear used.

    4 VAC 20-670-60. PENALTY.

    As set forth in §28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
     
  18. Moon Cat

    Moon Cat New Member

    Messages:
    70
    State:
    Upper Marlboro, Maryland
    I tried using gill net for the first time last week on the Rapp. DNR stopped to check me out. Officer checked all my safety equip. I had the gill net in the water with floats no rods out yet.I asked the Officer if he wanted to see my gill net licence he said sure then he asked me where I got it like he never saw one before. He didnt ask any questions about the net. This was a older man also not some young gun .I have never seen DNR on the James.
     
  19. Rapp-Catter-06

    Rapp-Catter-06 New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Virginia
    Following the regulations on the Rappahanock is something to pay attention to. I got checked out there last saturday during the tournament. The game warden told us about a boat that was vandalized across from whites marsh and said there was a $1000.00 reward for information on the punks that did it. I have been checked by both Vmp and the game warden on the same day. I asked one of the vmp officers about the gillnet regs and he said as long as it's marked with an orange float and the mesh and length size are in regulation they would not ticket some one. This time of year mesh size must be no greater than 3 3/4" stretched. They will bust you for being over.
     
  20. Moon Cat

    Moon Cat New Member

    Messages:
    70
    State:
    Upper Marlboro, Maryland
    I went fishing on the James on 3-19-06. I had never seen any law enforcement on the James. I came off the water and was putting all my gear in my truck,when I was aproached by DNR officer. He checked all my fishing licences and saftey equip. Actualy boarded my boat on land. Im not from Virginia so I guess they wanted to check me extra closely.Had no problems and the officer was very polite and answered some of my questions.I was at the Deep Bottom ramp.