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mamba

Cast Nets?

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Hey Everybody!

As I'm sure you're all aware, it's almost that time of year again--finally. I was going through my gear earlier this evening and realized that a visit to the good ol' CC is in order. Before replenishing my supplies, I was curious to get some input on a couple of things.

1. Cast nets

-Have any of you guys had good luck with these? I'm hoping to shift toward using indigenous bait this season and figured this would be this best way of going about it. If so, what size of a net would be best for catching bait on-site?

2. Hooks

-Has anybody tried using the Mustad circle hooks before? I was looking through the CC catalog, and noticed the Gamakatsu hooks aren't very economical once you get into the 8-10/0 range.

Again, any input would be greatly appreciated!

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Cast nets are NOT Legal in Minnesota.

check out Bottomdeweller tackle for your hooks. their brand hook is basically the same as a gamakatsu plus they are cheaper.

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I don't see why Mn outlaws cast nets for bait. Every other state I have lived in allows it and the only people I have ever seen doing it were: A. catfishermen usually catching shad for bait,

B. shrimp catchers on the beach.

Cast nets should be regulated as a bait gathering device just as seine nets. If you happen to get a game species it must be released, and all bait gathering rules apply.

heck ill write the reg for them here lol:

Cast nets are allowed to for the gathering of baitfish. The purposeful targeting of game-fish species is prohibited. Any game-fish species accidently caught in a cast net must be immediately released. Nets may be no wider that _inches with a mesh width of no greater than _inches.

There now the dnr just needs to fill in the blanks wink

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Harvesting bait is a main topic at the start of every catfishing season. The do's and don'ts of what is legal and what is illegal can be a bit confusing. The biggest issue in today's fishing environment regarding bait harvest is where did the bait come from. If the harvest waters are non-infested waters then you can harvest bait minnows with hook and line, dip nets, traps, or seines according to the regulations on page 86 of the 2013 MN Fishing Regulations. To determine if your waters are infested check the list of Infested Waters on pages 20 - 33 of the 2013 MN Fishing Regulations.

The bait harvest challenges come from harvesting bait from infested waters. Almost all good cat rivers except for the Minnesota and Red Rivers are infested waters so how you take bait from those waters is restricted. It is legal to harvest bait from infested waters provided you follow the regulations. Reference page 15 of the 2013 MN Fishing Regulation: Bullheads, suckers, mooneyes, goldeyes, and sheepshead (freshwater drum)may be caught by hook and line from designated infested rivers for personal use as bait while on that same river. The bait may not be transported live from or off the river where taken as bait. All of the fish listed are excellent bait both alive and cut - you just have to catch them with hook and line - all other methods of harvesting bait on infested waters are illegal. So if you fish the Mississippi River and the St Croix River they are infested waters. If you fish the Minnesota or the Red River they are not infested waters - at least right now.

I harvest bait from the St Croix just prior to each cat trip. I enjoy catching bait by hook and line. In 30 minutes to an hour I always have a live well with enough sheepshead, suckers, or mooneyes for the night. I also maintain my own bait tank at my home where I keep a supply of bullheads I harvest from non-infested ponds so I always have bullheads on hand for flatheads. Keeping bait or catching bait is half the fun of catfishing.

full-8403-31721-1238429536_bullietank.jp

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Why we cannot catch shad by hook and use them on the same river (St Croix) is beyond my comprehension. It's the most abundant forage in that river.

A guy shouldn't have to hide his shad like he's hiding illegal drugs...It's just a minnow!

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Why we cannot catch shad by hook and use them on the same river (St Croix) is beyond my comprehension. It's the most abundant forage in that river.

A guy shouldn't have to hide his shad like he's hiding illegal drugs...It's just a minnow!

From Wikipedia: American gizzard shad begin life feeding on zooplankton, using their teeth to catch them. At about 1 inch in length, they lose the teeth, become deeper-bodied, develop the muscular gizzard, and become filter feeders, consuming both small invertebrates and phytoplankton, as well as some sand for the gizzard.

Unfortunately, shad are not readily caught using hook and line methods. Unless you snag them which is also illegal.

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I don't see why Mn outlaws cast nets for bait. Every other state I have lived in allows it and the only people I have ever seen doing it were: A. catfishermen usually catching shad for bait,

B. shrimp catchers on the beach.

Cast nets should be regulated as a bait gathering device just as seine nets. If you happen to get a game species it must be released, and all bait gathering rules apply.

heck ill write the reg for them here lol:

Cast nets are allowed to for the gathering of baitfish. The purposeful targeting of game-fish species is prohibited. Any game-fish species accidently caught in a cast net must be immediately released. Nets may be no wider that _inches with a mesh width of no greater than _inches.

There now the dnr just needs to fill in the blanks wink

If only it were that easy.

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Cast nets were and are a big part of the direction the Catfish Workgroup that a bunch of us were involved in.  In fact I think it was priority #1 for a lot of us.

 

In fact Steve D put together a very good proposal/presentation as a solid base for our request.

 

Unfortunately the AIS monster here in MN eats everything in its path and the decision makers are driven mostly by politics and finances

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From Wikipedia: American gizzard shad begin life feeding on zooplankton, using their teeth to catch them. At about 1 inch in length, they lose the teeth, become deeper-bodied, develop the muscular gizzard, and become filter feeders, consuming both small invertebrates and phytoplankton, as well as some sand for the gizzard.

Unfortunately, shad are not readily caught using hook and line methods. Unless you snag them which is also illegal.

smile

Now i know i can't use that excuse

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so is it not legal to use shad on the croix??

Your question is not very well framed.

The correct answer to your question is: It is not legal to harvest shad from the St Croix and use them as bait.

You need to understand that the St Croix is infested waters and it is not legal to harvest shad from those infested waters. The Mississippi River is also infested waters and you cannot harvest shad from those infested waters either. To be honest with you, shad are not recognized as a rough fish or a game fish - they are just not recognized in MN as anything because until now nobody was interested in them as bait or rough fish. Only recently have catfishermen and sturgeon fishermen been interested in shad as bait. So the whole shad as bait thing is a bit of a conundrum.

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and add in the fact they are a VHS susceptible species and now you have a party.

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I think if you can figure out how to throw the doggone things...they should be legal. I need a lot more practice grin

I can however work the seine purdy good.

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Steve,

I thought that changed this year. I thought the reg is now you can catch bait in infested water but you can only use it on the water where you caught it from and it has to be caught on rod and reel. if this is the case could shad be caught with a rod & reel.

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Steve,

I thought that changed this year. I thought the reg is now you can catch bait in infested water but you can only use it on the water where you caught it from and it has to be caught on rod and reel. if this is the case could shad be caught with a rod & reel.

Brad - The bait harvest from infested waters change was a result of a lot of work from the DNR Catfish Work Group. That change took about a year of effort. Here is exactly what the regulation states: Reference page 15 of the 2013 MN Fishing Regulation: Bullheads, suckers, mooneyes, goldeyes, and sheepshead (freshwater drum)may be caught by hook and line from designated infested rivers for personal use as bait while on that same river. The bait may not be transported live from or off the river where taken as bait.

Point #1: You can only harvest the fish identified (Bullheads, suckers, mooneyes, goldeyes, and sheepshead (freshwater drum) from infested waters using hook and line. Shad are not listed as one of the fish that can be taken from infested waters using hook and line.

Point #2: I helped draft that proposal and we deliberatly did not list shad because they are plankton eaters and are not readily caught using hook and line. Listing shad in the regulation did not make any sense. The way to harvest shad is with nets, seines or traps which cannot be used in infested waters so they were not added to the list. We did not want to cloud the bait harvest from infested waters issue with a fight about shad when you couldn't catch them with hook and line anyway so we left them off the list.

Point #3: At the time that hook and line proposal was submitted we did not have any legal way of harvesting bait from infested waters (period). Harvesting bait for personal use from infested waters was unlawful. We struck a compromise which gave us legal harvest of bullheads, suckers, mooneyes, goldeyes, and sheepshead from infested waters. We won some of the bait harvest battle but not all of it. That regulation change was a HUGE positive step forward - we at least now can harvest bait legally from some prime catfishing water that unfortunately is infested waters.

Point #4: Last year the Catfish Work Group worked on a proposal to allow the use of cast nets on infested waters. This proposal was primarily geared toward the harvest of shad for bait. We presented ways that would allow the use of cast nets and still prevent the spread of AIS. The proposal created some excellent discussion but needed additional work and we were not able to bring it to any final decision making position. It is kind of an open action pending additional consideration by the Work Group. The use of cast nets is still alive and we have some supporters to that effort - we need to continue to work the issue. If you are a good catfisherman you have patience. We all need to exercise some patience as the cast net issue is worked through the DNR Catfish Work Group.

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not to hijack the thread but, side from the nets issue, I think another bait issue we need to work with is the use of bluegills. The science for growing better and bigger gills is behind a bait harvest, especially just for personal use. In many, if not most states(im not 100%) The use of bluegills for catfish and bass is pretty common. In Mn go to any lake within 100miles of the metro and look at the size structure of those fish. The top end predators(namely bass) eating the 3-6inch gills are harvested pretty good and thus the gills overpopulate and stunt. Keeping the babies may alleviate some the stunting issues.

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not to hijack the thread but, side from the nets issue, I think another bait issue we need to work with is the use of bluegills. The science for growing better and bigger gills is behind a bait harvest, especially just for personal use. In many, if not most states(im not 100%) The use of bluegills for catfish and bass is pretty common. In Mn go to any lake within 100miles of the metro and look at the size structure of those fish. The top end predators(namely bass) eating the 3-6inch gills are harvested pretty good and thus the gills overpopulate and stunt. Keeping the babies may alleviate some the stunting issues.

The use of sunfish for bait was a prime discussion point at the DNR Catfish Work Group. You run into some roadblocks as you work the issue. The only bait that is allowed to be transported alive must come from non-infested waters and is limited to minnows and bullheads up to 10 inches. No live bait or live fish are allowed to be transported from infested waters. So if we want to use sunfish for bait we would have to catch them and use them for bait on the same body of water we caught them - just like we can do now with bullheads, suckers, mooneyes and sheepshead. To be allowed we would have to seek a change to the current regulation to add sunfish to the list. The ink isn't even dry on the new regulation so I'm not sure we want to start changing it quite yet. There are a lot of panfishermen out there that would oppose this change so it would take some selling to get it through.

davidbigreelz - Something you may not be aware of. The use of gamefish for bait is legal in Wisconsin as long as they meet size and length restrictions for that species. On the St Croix you can legally use sunfish for bait as long as you are in Wisconsin territorial waters when you are using them. You have to catch them from the St Croix and use them there. I use sunfish all the time for catfish - great bait both cut and alive. Get a good GPS and make sure you are on the WI side of the river. Good luck.

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i did not even think about the border waters haha thanks.

Also, a big thanks to you guys who have been taking the time and getting these discussions going!

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Quote:
The correct answer to your question is: It is not legal to harvest shad from the St Croix and use them as bait.

ok cool thanks for the clarification

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Cast net should be legal but you have to buy a license to use it, just my opinion

Whatever it takes to get make this legal. I'd pay for the license, take a class, whatever....Let us collect some bait!!!!!

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