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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, now suckers and chubs are not classified as gamefish and baitstores can sell them. They also sell small catfish(R&R on Front). Why can't/don't they sell bluegill? They aren't in a gamefish classification.
 

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bluegills and catfish are classified as "sportfish",same as bass,walleye,etc.
if legally caught(i.e.,rod&reel),you can use them for bait.

i know your question was about the dealers selling them,just trying to get an understanding myself :confused: i can't find anything in the dealer regulations stating they can sell either one,legally.but then i don't see where it specifically is forbidden.
my opinion is that it should be illegal to sell either based on the "sportfish" classification.but maybe there is a loophole(such as raising them in their own private hatchery) somewhere which enables dealers to get around this.
 

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Talking to a ranger (that was checking lic.) he told me that bluegill are sportfish and even said I couldn't catch them in my casting net ...Opps:eek: also had to catch them legally with a line and hook to keep them for bait. Can you believe it?
 

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cast nets

are for "forage" fish ONLY...a blue gill caught in your cast net can fetch you a $65+ ticket(per bluegill)!

It says what you can use cast nets for in the Regs. every year!
 

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$65 per......Ouch.

I only use bluegill for bait 4-5 times a year, all caught on rod/reel so I have no worries. Hope the netters are reading their regs or it could be costly.
 

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you got that right Dave...

But i bet most guys that read on these message boards about those of us using cast nets to catch our bait...run out to wally world , grab one and set out to catch thier bait NOT knowing fully the regs on them.

I have used a cast net over 12+ yrs now...i have used it all over the state and abroad..EXCEPT where illegal, which if you would read the regs. is ONLY inland lakes, streams, rivers in Ohio..NO cast nets allowed in Erie!

I found at Lee's live bait and tackle(rt665 & rt62) they had an illegal sized net for sale..and didnt know it til i pointed it out to them(i had to show them in the regs. )..it was like 2ft over the size limit(10 ft dia. is the limit or = 5 ft rad. is the limit).
How i found out about the blue gill FINE was when i was fishing the Scioto r. one afternoon waiting til dark to catch flatheads & channel cats...i was in a back water area catching lots of shad in my cast net for channel cats...i was catching them and just dumping them in my 5 gal bucket that was filled with water....i DIDNT know a ranger was eyeing me hard(this was long ago way before anyone else used cast nets) so it was probably the first time he had seen one in use...he walks up and asks what i was catching..i said shad and told him what for...as he stands there talking to me amazed at this net..he happend to spot ONE 3" blue gill that had been with those shad that i dumped in my bucket..now in my defence if i would have seen it i would have throw it back for sure..but there was no way to see it with the 4 dozen shad swimming around just then...well HE spots it and catches it out of my bucket...i explain that when i got back to my spot..i would have found it then..and would have for sure released it..he knew i didnt see that gill until then and wasnt trying to keep it for bait...BUT he began to explain that if i WAS trying to catch blue gills for bait it would be a $65 fine per blue gill(this was atleast 9-10 yrs ago...so its probably a lot higher fine NOW!
Luckly he was nice and just checked my license and went on his way....

The basic regs. are what you find in those small hand out at your sporting goods store..they just cover an over-view..the full detailed regs. can be found at the head ODNR office...i have read through them...there is a lot on them i bet most dont even know about, which isnt thier fault..but all i can say is find out 100% what is LEGAL and ILLEGAL before you head out to catch bait...also KNOW exactly what your catching..some species of fish are protected in local streams like certain Darters, stonecats, madtoms and minnows...also im sure Sculpins are protected too...just make sure you know whats what BEFORE that old ranger / warden stops to see what your doing!!

Now stop and think if a small pan fish like a gill can get ya a $65+ fine...what would a LG bass get ya....OUCH!
 

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I just take the kids out before I go catt'in. They will fill up the live well with gills and I cast the net a few times for some shad and suckers and I'm off. All legal. ;)
 

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all the "sportfish" that i use

are caught on rod and reels..all forage fish are caught by cast net, plus i dont keep anything that i dont know exactly what specie it is!

LOL Desperado, i thought my boys would do the same for me..but they always want to catch bass instead of old bluegills..lol
Thank goodness i dont use gills much at all and when i do i head to my relatives private lake and catch monster hybrid gills and big green ears.

Speaking of collection bait..anyone else use minnow & crayfish traps in here but me?
 

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I use them both and set them the night before I got out. Keep all the large minnows and crayfish and turn the rest loose. Mostly on the days I take the kids out fishing.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I worked at Gander I brought to their attention that they carried seines that were too long. They didn't know the difference and really didn't care.
I have two cast nets and a long handled minnow net, haven't bought a trap yet.............I might have to this year, craws get pricey. I think I only bought them one time last year.

Hey FM when the softies come out you should go up to Alum with me........smallies all day and cats during the night! It's a blast:cool:
 

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Thanks for the info boys. I carry a small seine in my pack and I was unaware of some of the regs that Scott noted. Appreciate the heads up.
 

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thanks guys

And Andy..your welcome.

BB buddy i spend a lot of time catching quality bait..cause good bait = quality catches on hook and line!

Yea last i remember soft craws were like $5.25 a dozen....and hellgies were like $3.85....insane.. no way id pay that when i can get all that i want for free..well up to the allowed limits that is..lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I catch nearly all of my softies in areas with few rocks, just enough to provide a hiding spot. It's easy picking because there are not other rocks around for them to dart into!
For general(don't know what you're gonna catch) fishing, softies have my vote as best live/natural bait.
 

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hmmm..interesting

i bet that would be a tie if you asked which bait catches the most SPECIES of fish...the crayfish(soft craw) or Earth Worm(night crawler)...bet that would be a hard call to make as most species will eat both!

There is a guy i work with and who is on this forum that was catching some really good smallies with softies..but of course was spending WAY to much for a bait that will catch EVERYTHING plus smallies...i put him on a alternative bait that help would weed out the unwated catches...and would help produce better smallies...and do this for a whole lot less than that dozen craws was costing him!
So what happend..?.. Well Smallie34 turned out the best number of smallies for ONE trip this fall out of about 4 of us that fish for smallies...he landed 29 in just a few hours...i came in 2nd with 27(but mine AVG. bigger..lol ;) sorry Jeff)

Before he was catching smallies thayts a fact....but after taking my advise he started catch MORE and BIGGER smallies from the same spot he had been hitting for awhile all season!

So yup softies will catch lots of different species, but arent always the "magic" bait for catching the best qualitys of fish!!;) :cool:
 

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Hellgies are the whole reason that I got the seine. I probably fish artificials 95% of the time, but boy do I have a soft spot in my heart for live hellgies. They are hard to find in a baitstore, so a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do. Of course I don't pass up the chance to kick over a couple of rocks looking for Mr Crawdad either. I guess I'm just too cheap to pay for softies. That only happens up at the big pond.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A lot of time baitstores will have those tiny craws.......what the hel is this? It's the size of my thumb nail! And they charge the same price:mad:
 

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Just noticed this thread today, I havent been on here a great deal and when I have been its been over in the hunting section, oddly enough I considered heading out today before my wife handed me the honey-do-list before she left for work this morning:( the temps are up around 40 and after the last few weeks it seems balmy outside, if we are talking smallies then I can say that I had great luck with bass minnows from about Mid August on this last year, lost a couple Titans who broke me off (very possible they were not smallies even though I like to think they were;) ) its been a LONG winter but spring is right around the corner:)
 

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I think the reason for the small craws is that what there supplier brings them and to make money that have to charge full price. I just catch my own. ;)
 
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