Methods of Taking Bait

Methods of Taking Bait

Freshwater shrimp and golden shiners of any size, or other freshwater nongame fish, including catfish, less than 8-inches total length may be taken for bait, unless specifically prohibited, by the following methods:

  • Cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch in fresh waters of the state unless specifically prohibited.

  • Minnow dip nets not more than 4 feet in diameter.

  • Minnow seines having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch, a length not more than 20 feet, and a depth not more than 4 feet.

  • Minnow traps not more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter, with a funnel entrance not more than 1 inch in spread.

  • Any game fish taken by these methods must be released immediately.

  • Taking of bait for the purpose of sale requires a commercial fishing license.

Use of Fish for Bait

  • Black bass, peacock bass or any part thereof may not be used as bait.

  • Live non-native fishes (including goldfish and carp) may not be used as bait, except for variable platys and fathead minnows.

  • Whole pickerel or panfish (e.g., bluegill, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, warmouth) or parts thereof may be used as bait for sportfishing by the angler who caught them. Whole pickerel or bream or parts thereof may not be used as bait for trotlines or bush hooks or any method other than by rod and reel or pole and line.

  • Panfish less than 4 inches in total length raised by a licensed aquaculture facility may be purchased and used for bait.



FWC Facts:
Pacu are often confused for piranha and can be differentiated by their flat teeth, which are designed for grinding nuts and berries.

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