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Using sunfish as bait for cats

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was out fishing today when I saw a dead green sunfish floating at my feet...it looked to be a day or so old and had parts bitten off of it. I sliced a piece off and used it for bait. The person standing a few yards down from me said that using game fish as bait in NC was illegal....which is the first I've heard of that. I called Fisheries, the guy I needed to talk to was out.

Anyway, is this illegal where you're at? I surf fished for quite a few years and we always caught a spot to use as bait for blues.
post #2 of 20
Well first off I don't think sunfish are considered gamefish.
post #3 of 20
Here in Jersey, if it aint a "baitfish" (and sunnys certainly aint), it's illeagle to use as bait.
But then, some people dont care

Edit- this info is totally inaccurate. Read on for correct info
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lippen View Post
Here in Jersey, if it aint a "baitfish" (and sunnys certainly aint), it's illeagle to use as bait.
But then, some people dont care


In the grand scheme of things, everything is bait as long as there is something larger out there.

No word from the fisheries people. I'll use dough when I go out in the am.
post #5 of 20
my son hooked a nice channel cat on a sunny tail. try hot dogs and chicken livers
post #6 of 20
I Slice em for bulls...
post #7 of 20
It's not illegal in Florida.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by True Fisherman View Post
It's not illegal in Florida.


NC has some really arcane rules, I swear. And no one knows 1/2 of them. I know one thing...as soon as that strip of sun hit the bottom that cat was on it like white on rice. To me using that as bait is better than using dough or the commercial baits.
post #9 of 20
Of course each state could have different rules and you need to check. I have never heard of sunfish or bream being a gamefish and I have fished in half a dozen states. They make great bait for anything big enough to eat them. 50 years ago my grandfather caught 2 to 3 inch bream for bass bait. Best live bait you could use. Catfish like live bait also.
post #10 of 20
In South Carolina, a sunfish is a gamefish. It also says in the regs that a gamefish may be used as bait to catch another gamefish. So is SC it is legal, just can't exceed 30 in one day. As for NC, the regs only say that "It is unlawful to destroy unnecessarily any inland game fish taken from public fishing waters." I don't think this means that it can't be done, but you might only want to kill them one or two at a time to avoid having leftovers go to waste.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'll do that...cull one from the herd and use it. What I don't use for bait the cat will eat. Saw a few cats and a bunch of tilapia today, I caught 4 small sunfish that weren't big enough to eat (for me anyway, the guy next to me kept everything).

A fine day out in western NC today, I got 5 hours of fishing in, my daughter lasted 30 min before she decided to play in the shallows, hunting freshwater clams and looking for the bass that lurk in the shadows.
post #12 of 20
When I was younger I was fishing a farm pond in TN. It was just full of sunnies but it had some big cats in it, too. It was very hard to get a nightcrawler down to the cats with all these seemingly starving sunnies. I did manage to catch a few cats but out of frustration I put one of the sunnies I caught on a hook live and cast it to the other side of the pond. Not much later I had a run off and landed another nice cat. Couldn't tell you if it was legal but it was effective.
post #13 of 20
Here in Georgia if you caught it on rod and reel you can use it however you see fit. I am pretty sure the laws are the same in NC
post #14 of 20
I am pretty sure in PA that a sunny is considered a game fish and the only way you are legally allowed to use it for bait is if it was large enough to keep in the first place.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by True Fisherman View Post
It's not illegal in Florida.


Are you sure? I was told that you couldn't use bluegills or other sunfish as bait.
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