Uhh have I been breaking the law?

Discussion in 'LOCAL TENNESSEE TALK' started by RIP, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Is it illegal to use bream for bait in tennessee? I hope not because I've been doing it for years and never thought a thing about it. I was in the bait shop the other day and said something about catching some bream for catfish bait, and this guy said hope you don't get caught. When I ask him what he was talking about he said that they were game fish and it is illegal to use them for bait. Is this true? Am I going to jail? Am I now just a common criminal? Don't tell Arlington he mite turn me in. Really this is not true is it?
     
  2. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the rigth to an attorney. LMAO
     

  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Just tell the warden you are fishing for them and when he makes you pull in your rods say "See, I just foul hooked that one"
     
  4. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Tennessee
    Long story short, if you harvest it legally and it meets the size requirement, you can fish with it as long as you don't alter it to the point that it can't be determined a legal catch. example: don't take a 12" crappie, cut it in half, and fish with it.

    Bream can be used as bait as long as you caught it on rod and reel and there are no size limits for the water you're fising on. Any bream caught cast netting must be returned to the water immediately.
     
  5. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    I catch them out of my pond with a trap and use them in the Hatchie river. The ones I use are about 4" long. Is this illegal?
     
  6. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    If in doubt check your local DNR manual for Ten.
     
  7. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    I did find your regulations at http://www.state.tn.us/twra/06fishgd_web2.pdf

    The place to look is page 18, REGULATIONS FOR METHODS OTHER THAN ROD AND REEL
    subsection SLAT BASKETS or MINNOW TRAPS AND SEINES

    GRABBLING, GIGGING, GRAB HOOKS, SNAGGING, TUBBING, ARCHERY, SPEAR-GUN, DIPPING AND CAST NETTING
    This section states where you can only use these methods for non-game fish.

    Lot of good info in your regs. Wish ours was as informative.
     
  8. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Thanks for the info guys, guess I got to start catching them on rod and reel.
     
  9. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    From what I read in there you can use a trap, but the openings have to be according to reg too. I'm not sure how big a 'gill you can get with a 1 1/2" opening, but I think a 4" would fit through there.

    Is this a commercially bought minnow trap? If so you should be able to use it.
     
  10. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Thanks Curtis, so trapping them on my own pond and useing them in the river for bait is okay right?
     
  11. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Like I said....You have the right to remain silent....start using it. LMAO
     
  12. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,229
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    one other thing to take in consideration as far as being legal, is if you can transport them from one body of water and fish with them in a different body of water. Some states this is illegal.
     
  13. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Doesn't say anything about that:

    A legal minnow trap shall not have a mouth opening or
    openings that exceeds 1-1/2 inches in diameter. A legal
    minnow seine is a net having mesh size no greater than
    three-eights inch on the square and no longer than 10 feet.
    The catching of minnows for the purpose of sale in Cannon,
    Lincoln, Macon, Moore, Smith, Sumner, and
    Trousdale counties is prohibited. The possession limit on
    minnows is 250 per person in Lincoln and Moore counties
    and 150 per person in Cannon, Macon, Smith, Sumner,
    and Trousdale counties.
    It is unlawful to sell, take for sale or offer for sale,
    Horneyhead (Stoneroller) minnows in Carter, Unicoi,
    Washington, Johnson, Morgan, and Sullivan counties."

    Every other method specifically states whether game fish or non-game fish may be taken by that method, and in the case of shad trawling the specific species that may be taken. There are a couple of methods that disallow the fish taken to be sold, and they state that also.

    Another section states: "Can I use gamefish as bait? Yes, you can use gamefish as bait provided the fish were legally harvested and you obey the daily creel and length limits. Trout purchased for use as bait should be accompanied by a dated and signed receipt showing where the fish were purchased and the number of fish purchased."
    However, another section states:"Can I release fish back into a different waterbody after locking through? Yes, although TWRA does not recommend transfer of any fish by anglers from one waterbody to another. It is illegal to transfer fish over land from one waterbody to another."

    Looks like you will have to get your bait from the waters you are fishing at. :confused2:
     
  14. AllenM

    AllenM Guest

    David told me when we were at the lake that using gills in California was illegal too. Anyone know where I can find out for sure one way or the other? I catch them on rod and reel at the same place I use them for cat bait.
     
  15. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    It states as long as it counted toward your daily creel limit you can even use a bass or crappie or bream. Also legal length limit.
    And as bream are for most parts wide open any size and amount. Theres no problem with it.
    I asked that question, And a warden showed me where it stated you could use them.
    http://tennessee.gov/twra/06fishgd_web2.pdf
    Page 4 questions and answers left side.
    Pete
     
  16. rsimms

    rsimms New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Tennessee
    This is getting too complicated... I'm a former TN Game Warden (FYI). What Matt Smith said is perfectly accurate. Any fish legally caught can be used as bait. But since game fish (bluegill) cannot be taken legally by net or trap, you would be in violation of the law to do so in PUBLIC WATERS.

    Technically you can use your trap in your private pond, HOWEVER there is another law that says it is illegal to transport fish from one body of water to another overland (to prevent potential spread of parasites or disease) .... so you would be violation of that law, but not for use of the trap.

    But forget all the legal mumbo jumbo... let's talk real world here. Game wardens are smart and they understand the true intent of the law, and they understand the needs of fishermen. I defy you to find a game warden in the world who has, or will, write you a ticket for "transporting bluegill overland." Unless there was some other mitigating factor, or you somehow really pissed the warden off, a judge would probably laugh him out of court. Plus the warden would have to be able to prove that's what you did. That's tough and probably isn't going to happen. It is quite routine for rockfish anglers to travel to one spot to catch shad... load them up in a bait tank or livewell and then drive them "overland" to use as rockfish bait elsewhere. In my 30 years of following such things, I've never heard of a citation being issued for such.

    Now if you were catching your bluegills, taking them to the lake and selling them to other anglers, that would be different story. Or if you're throwing a castnet at the dam with a dozen witnesses around and catching bluegill, he'd be backed in a corner and forced to take action.

    But provided you're simply grabbing up a few 'gills out of the private pond to throw in a cooler or livewell for catfish bait... no game warden worth wearing the badge is going to write you up.
    Of course they can't tell you that... it's their duty to "toe the line" and tell you what the law says... just like a trooper will tell you it is illegal to drive 66 miles per hour on the interstate.

    See what I mean Vern.
     
  17. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Just use a rod and reel to bring in your trap. LOL. They won't throw you in jail RIP, heck just pled insanity! I'm sure they will believe you on that one! LMAO:lol:
     
  18. AllenM

    AllenM Guest

    Only if he's naked and singing show tunes when he does it, LOL!
     
  19. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    Thanks Richard, like I said I've been doing this for years and never thought anything about it. Glad to know first hand from a warden one of those we can't tell you it's okay, but go ahead we didn't see it law's. thanks
     
  20. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    I did that on a speeding ticket once, and it worked. True story I was in the court room waiting for my name to be called just watching and listening, the judge seem to be in a good mood. So they get around to me I walked up and he ask how I plead I said temp. Insanity. He said Mr. Carter it's a speeding ticket, I said I know and I drive that road every day and know better than to speed on that road so I must have been insane that day. He laughed and dismissed the ticket.