FISHING TICKETS!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: July 10, 2024

Most sportsmen and women do not intentionally break the law. Many are simply not aware or ignorant about the laws, regulations, and rules. In today’s fishing world, appropriate behavior is sometimes confusing and hard to tackle. 

Here are the most common fishing laws that get ticketed.

No License    Age means a license is required. Laws in various places require a license or permit. Kids can sometimes fish for free if their adult has a license. Check the laws in your fishing spot. 

Too many rods can change seasonally. Ice anglers may be able to use 6 rods on the ice but only 2 rods may be used when there is no ice. Check the regs. 

Over the limit    If the limit is five, then that’s the limit. There may also be a size limit. Once you have kept a legal limit, you are done fishing, for the day. You cannot swap fish off a stringer or from a live box in most states. Some areas have a catch limit. Others require all fish to be released. 

Wrong size/ slot limits   Too small or too big or not within the year class that is legal to keep. 

Using gamefish as bait/ goldfish   No exotics allowed for bait. Small gamefish are not legal baits. Only forage fish. Check the regs. 

Collecting and transporting live fish or bait   Bucket Biology has become a problem. People are contaminating fisheries with invasive species. Boat live wells don’t help. If the fish are part of your limit, they must be dead when transporting them. 

Wrong lures, hooks, barbless…   Some areas only allow flies, spinners, or no bait. Circle hooks or barbless hooks may be required. Spinners may be used with only a single hook, no trebles. 

Cleaning fish on the water    Fish guts attract scavengers and bugs. They look awful. If you clean the fish on the water, how can the warden know how big or what kind of fish you have? Wait until you get to a cleaning station. Some state laws require the skin to be left on and a tail to be kept. Cellphone pictures before cleaning could help if you must clean on the water. 

No Lead sinkers   Lead is not allowed in many places, Yellowstone Park, for example, allows no lead weights. 

Boating violations    This means no PFD’s, and other required equipment, lights, etc.

Ignorance of the law is not defensible. You need to be a” student of the sport” and regulations. Getting a ticket is embarrassing and preventable. 

Fish honestly and legally.

Montana Grant

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