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Dan From NJ

You can never use Fluke skin for bait?

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From the Asbury Park Presd today:

 

On the downside, Haluska related an unfortunate incident whereby conservation officers from the Division of Fish & Wildlife came upon a bay angler using fluke belly strips as bait. He had 37 such pieces and received 37 citations.

 

Be advised that filleting "at sea," which means anywhere on the water, is prohibited even if the racks are on board. And using strips from fish such as fluke caught on previous trips is also a no-no because they can be interpreted as coming from discarded and, presumably, short fish.

 

The first thing that comes to mind is whether he would have been issued a summons if he had a couple pieces of stip bait the looked like they came from keeper fluke vs 37 when there is a 5 or 6 fish limit(whatever it is) The statement fileting at seas is prohibited is a scary statement. Does that meal fileting anything searobin belly? Hickory shad strips? or does it only apply to fluke?

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The most recent NJDFGW marine compendium states that the fileting of any species with a size limit while "at sea" is prohibited. Oddly enough, stripers are exempt so long as the fillets are at least 24 inches in length. Feel free to fillet them spiny searobins for fluke bait...one of my all time favorite strip baits, that skin is really tough and the rattier and more ragged it gets the more the flatties like it(try livelining a little robin if ya catch one, just keep dropping it back in freespool everytime ya get a hit until a solid hookset occurs-has accounted for some big fluke for me)

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WHat BS. 37 pieces of belly, normally each fish produces 4 white strips, so he should've only recieved 9 tickets. If he had brown strips, only 4.5 tickets.

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I find the fluke belly thing as rather insane...but I tried last year to figure out a way that fishing fluke belly could be legal. I couldn't frown.gif You can't fillet them at sea - so you can't have fresh fluke belly. I think it's going too far to not allow you to bring frozen fluke belly with you - I would even think in court you could challenge such a citation. You don't have to prove that the frozen fluke belly was taken from legally landed, legal sized fluke - in court, they would have to prove that it was taken from illegally landed or short fluke. Right? Aren't we still living under the presumed innocent until proven guilty thing?

 

I can understand the fillet at sea law - which is what the angler in the article is guilty of - I don't believe he was issued 37 citations, one for each piece of fluke belly - possession of fluke belly is not a crime - it's the filleting of the fluke at sea which is illegal. If he filleted one fluke at sea and got 37 pieces of fluke belly for bait from that fish, it's still just one count of illegal filleting at sea - right? The 37 citations sounds like the beginning of an urban legend wink.gif Unless they assume that he got 1 piece from 37 fluke to make the 37 pieces? cwm13.gif

 

Bottom line is - I can understand why filleting at sea is illegal - before I ever cared...and as I had seen other do for decades, it was customary to whack up the first fluke caught for bait - it's just what yah did. I have been very, very temped in the past few years to fillet a fluke for bait on the water - I've even threatened to do it smile.gif But I have not done so...which is tough when you know you're 6 miles from the nearest boat and there's no way you'll get caught - and you have no strip baits and you know they'd work. It's very tough not to start shaving up the fluke in the cooler for strips. I just won't do it. Then again, I'd never keep a short fluke either - which would mean any fluke I would fillet would be legal - so why again can't I fillet them for bait? cwm13.gif Weird.

 

I'd like to get more clarification on the why can't yah bring frozen fluke belly with you - isn't the burden of proof still the prosecution's? Is it illegal to possess fluke flesh? Then how come I can keep 8 each day? Once they are landed and in my cooler at my house - can't I then legally make fluke belly strips? If that is legal in my house - once I make those legal fluke belly strips - what law then prevents me from bringing those legally made fluke belly strips with me next time I go fishing? I'd really like to understand that one cwm13.gif

 

TimS

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normally each fish produces 4 white strips, so he should've only recieved 9 tickets. If he had brown strips, only 4.5 tickets.

 

Billy, either yah need to sharpen yer knife or fillet bigger fluke wink.gif The entire white side of a 17-18" fluke can make a dozen good sized baits if you do it right - long thin ones, a couple shorter ones. Same thing from the dark side. I'm thinking someone using 3-4" strips could easily get 37 baits from one decent sized fluke - I like 6-8" strips - each one of them could make 2 smaller baits smile.gif

 

Instead of fluke belly, I've been using sea robbers, sundials, hickory shad, dogfish and even skates - but there's times when I wish I had fluke belly cause there's times when that's what the fish want. Although nothing stays on the hook like a nice 10" strip of dogfish smile.gif

 

TimS

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once I make those legal fluke belly strips - what law then prevents me from bringing those legally made fluke belly strips with me next time I go fishing? I'd really like to understand that one

 

Because when on the water ya can't prove that they didn't come from an undersized fish whose rack you discarded while on that particular trip. The law is kinda antithetical to our system of laws and justice in that the angler has to prove that he hasn't commited a crime as opposed to the law having to prove the opposite. Here's a question that I can't seem to answer...how do the game wardens know what kind of fish the strip bait comes from? How do they prove it...DNA test? White fluke belly kinda looks like white belly from alot of "legally" strippable(is that a word?) fish.

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Because when on the water ya can't prove that they didn't come from an undersized fish whose rack you discarded while on that particular trip.

 

Even a brand new game warden can tell fluke belly that's fresh versus fluke belly that was frozen solid from a previous trip - the only similarity is they are both from fluke. There's a different look and a different feel to thawed fluke belly versus frozen - so I'm not sure that's the reason at all.

 

I also don't believe that an angler is guilty until they prove themselves innocent - that is contrary to our constitution smile.gif As to other white strip baits - again, even a new game warden would be able to easily distinguish fluke from sea robbin, sundial, skate, dogfish, hickory shad, etc. I'm not sure if 4-spot white belly is different that fluke white belly, but I imagine that it probably is...and yah don't generally run into enough 4-spots summertime fluking for that to be a realistic bait anyway smile.gif

 

TimS

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Tim, us party boat guys just use the "ribbons" around the edge of the fillets. Hence, Billy's observation that you can only get 4 strips. We think more of a fluke's tender and delicious meat than to use it for bait. wink.gif

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... I don't believe he was issued 37 citations, one for each piece of fluke belly - possession of fluke belly is not a crime - it's the filleting of the fluke at sea which is illegal. If he filleted one fluke at sea and got 37 pieces of fluke belly for bait from that fish, it's still just one count of illegal filleting at sea - right? The 37 citations sounds like the beginning of an urban legend wink.gif Unless they assume that he got 1 piece from 37 fluke to make the 37 pieces? cwm13.gif

 

TimS

 

Wasn't there, so I can't attest to it but the story making the rounds is that the officer was issuing a single citation until our hero explained to the officer what he could do with his farging citation. Just goes to show if ya don't have something positive to say, keep quiet. Now he's stuck with fighting just to get it cut back to a smaller number of citations.

 

Jack

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This is the 3erd time I've read about this story. The first time it was 17 tickets, next it jumped to 34 and now 37.

 

By the time it hits the Fisherman rag it will be way over a hundred icon14.gifcwm27.gif .

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From another thread:

 

Direct from a NJ Conservation officer (Via Email this morning):

 

"YEs you can use fluke belly as long as the rest of the rack (remains) are still onboard and this counts as your catch (bag limit). If you fish the next day you have to either start with one fish in the bag or start with a different bait until you catch a flounder."

 

This question is not uncommon- it comes up from time to time.

 

 

confused.gif

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This seems pretty clear to me- see last ppg:

 

2004 Summary of Marine Fish & Shellfish Regulations

This is not the full law. Consult the Division of Fish and Wildlife for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities. Red text in regulations indicates a change for this year.

Vol. 17, No. 3 May 2004 REGULATIONS 2004 Marine Issue

Resource Information

Anyone who takes fisheries resources may be required to provide information on the species, number, weight or other information pertinent to management of resources.

Methods of Fishing

No person shall take, catch, kill or attempt to take, catch or kill any fish within the marine waters of the State by any means except in the manner commonly known as angling with hand line or rod and nd line unless specifically provided for by statute or regulation.

Wanton Waste Prohibited

Fish of any species which are purposely killed shall become part of the angler's daily possession limit and shall not be returned to the water from which they were taken. This does not apply to fish which are released alive and subsequently die.

Spear Fishing

Spear fishing can be conducted by means of a spear, harpoon or other missile while completely submerged in the marine waters of the state for any purposes, except lobster.

Persons who fish with a spear for species with size limits are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure the fish meets the minimum size limits before being killed or injured.

Prohibited Species

It is illegal to take, possess, land, purchase, or sell any of the following species:

Atlantic Sturgeon

Basking Shark

Big eye Sand Tiger Shark

Sand Tiger Shark

Shortnosed Sturgeon

Whale Shark

White Shark

Sea Turtles and Marine Mammals

It is illegal to intentionally molest, kill or possess sea turtles or marine mammals, or to possess any part thereof.

Finfish

Filleting

The filleting at sea of all fish with a size limit is prohibited. Party boats may fillet fish at sea if the obtain a Special Fillet Permit. Applications may be obtained from the Marine Fisheries Administration.

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Direct from a NJ Conservation officer (Via Email this morning):

 

"YEs you can use fluke belly as long as the rest of the rack (remains) are still onboard and this counts as your catch (bag limit). If you fish the next day you have to either start with one fish in the bag or start with a different bait until you catch a flounder."

 

So the NJ conservation officer says you can fillet at sea and save the rack - the NJ F&G laws say, implicitly, do not fillet anything with a size limit while at sea. So is it illegal to fillet at sea - unless you are making bait? Or is it just one of those things they'll overlook 100% of the time? I'd really like to know smile.gif I'd really like to use fluke belly for bait again smile.gif

 

Gamakatsu, that's makes more sense about the 4 pieces per fluke smile.gif Normally, back when it was clearly legal to use fluke belly for bait, I'd whack up the white side and make a couple dozen baits outta one fluke's thinner side. I didn't it had anything to do with being on a party boat or not, thought it was just the efficient thing to do - and maximized the amount of bait from one fish instead of bringing illegal fluke belly onto a boat the next trip out wink.gif

 

TimS

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What is to stop you from buying a Fluke at a fish market and getting them to cut it up in strips, keeping the receipt, wrapper, bag etc. and and taking it all along on a fishing trip. How about taking Fluke sandwiches along fishing is that illegal too. Since when is what you "could" have done but didn't do illegal.

tnbr

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Since when is what you "could" have done but didn't do illegal.

tnbr

 

icon14.gif I agree entirely. Innocent until proven guilty - having frozen fluke pieces on the water would be something I'd go to court to fight a citation for - and next time I'm filleting (on shore )) legally caught fluke, I'm gonna make up a bag of fluke belly to freeze for a following trip smile.gif

 

It's not about what you could have done illegally, it's about could you have come legally into possession of those fluke belly strips? And if they are fresh, not frozen, it's much less likely that you legally obtained them - not entirely impossible mind you, just less likely. Still, being ticketed for having fresh fluke strips on a boat should not be common - as TNBR stated, you could have purchased the fluke - or you could have caught the fluke from shore and then cleaned it bringing the strips with you. Unlikely? Yes. Could it happen - yess. As such, I don't see how just having fluke strips on the boat while fishing is definitely illegal. I really can't see how having frozen fluke strips could be illegal. Anyone?

 

TimS

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