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Thread: Boat limit on halibut

  1. #1
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    Default Boat limit on halibut

    There's a thread on this BB that discusses a hefty fine dropped on a halibut charter guide for taking over the daily limit.

    I was in a similar situation a couple years ago when fishing out of Ninilchick. I was in six-pack boat launched from the beach. Halibut fishing was good - for me. Within the first hour, I landed a 65lb and a 40lb halibut. I immediately stopped fishing. However, the other five anglers only caught a couple chickens. The guide was getting nervous as the time was getting short. So he baited another rod and handed it to me. Within 30 minutes, I landed an 87lber. That fish was promptly deposited in the fish box (my third). Once again, I stopped fishing. But the other anglers still struggled to get fish. The guide again baited my rod and handed it to me. "Keep goin'" he said. This time I decided to change course. Once I felt a halibut pick up my bait, I promptly handed the rod to another angler who set the hook and landed the fish (a 40lber).

    As it was, we all landed halibut, although some folks only got a couple chickens. We ended up one fish short of a limit. And I only kept the two largest that I caught.

    I understand the pressure that guides are under to put fish in the boat. But I'm still not sure that landing three halibut was legal, even though I only kept two.

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    Pretty sure that's a violation..Standby for the internet police ..

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Not legal. For future reference and for those reading, the angler holding the rod when the fish is hooked is the one who can count that fish as part of his/her limit. Fishing for boat limits is not legal. Not knocking you here - just making sure that folks know this when they're on the water this summer.

    While we should expect guides to know and follow the laws, ultimately we need to know the regulations ourselves and insist on following them.

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    It's a pretty common tactic, the old "Party Limit" idea. Just fill the boat to the max limit given the number of people fishing.

    It is illegal, though, and the charter operator could have gotten into pretty hot water for that. Not to mention you, and you were more or less following orders.

  5. #5

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    I would personally like to see that particular law changed. I see no point in it.

    One way for a capt to avoid the "lucky rod syndrome" for halibut is for the anglers to put the rods in the rod holders when halibut fishing. When a rod doubles over, the person still needing a fish can grab it to avoid the dreaded hand off.

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    isnt there a law as well that only one rod per person??

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    isnt there a law as well that only one rod per person??
    yeah, but the other 5 people could be catch and release...
    no law says you have to quit at two, just that you can't keep more than two or hand off a hooked fish.
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    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    After your two halibut, you dropped down fishing for a shark anything but another halibut...wink, wink, knudge, knudge

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    Default Keep fishing

    If one person on the boat limits we still keep fishing with all rods. We just switch one to rockfish or ling gear as they often inhabit the same areas. You just never know what is down there. If the person that has limited out catches another halibut, NO, he shouldn't keep it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Not legal. Fishing for boat limits is not legal. Not knocking you here - just making sure that folks know this when they're on the water this summer.

    While we should expect guides to know and follow the laws, ultimately we need to know the regulations ourselves and insist on following them.
    I would bet that 99% of the private boats do this on a regular basis. Fishing for there wife, kids, grandma or whomever. How many here have caught 3 and there buddy caught one and you hit the docks with 4 fish? I would bet most, except me of course because that would be illegal. Now the charter has more to lose and easier to get caught just like the recent thread on that.

  11. #11

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    AS has been mentioned here, I'm sure "boat limits" for halibut undoubtedly happen every day out there. And is technically illegal.

    The problem with making it legal is if you did that and a charter captain wanted to he could take 16 people out on a big party boat, tell his people to get to it and as soon as there are 16 halibut aboard tell everyone they'd reached their limit and head for home. I know it's an unlikely scenario, but one person on that boat could catch all 16 of those halibut and no one else any. That wouldn't seem fair to me. Yeah, this is a pretty simplistic example, and there are many more, but I use it just to illustrate the point.

    I don't think in many circumstances it should be illegal either. If my brothers come to visit me from the lower-48 and we go out halibut fishing I don't see any problem fishing for a "boat limit" other than the fact that it is indeed illegal to do. And I don't really see a problem with a charter going out and doing it if everyone on the boat is OK with it (4 good friends having a nice fun day out on the water for example) other than the fact that it is indeed illegal to do.

    I think the problem would be trying to write an understandable and enforceable law that would allow people to do it in certain circumstances and not in others. A lot of the laws that exist right now are convoluted enough and I can't imagine trying to enact one that would work.

  12. #12

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    If you think about it, fishing for "the boat" is no different than if you were to go with a buddy fishing for reds on the Russian. Let's say the reds limit is 3/person. Then let's say you're the only one having any luck and you catch and keep 6 reds and your buddy catches nothing. Then you both leave and split up the fish. This may seem more "wrong" than doing it with a boat and talking about halibut, but it's really the same thing. Only difference is that you're more likely to get caught doing this when you're on the shore and not out on a boat where nobody can see what you're doing.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    If you think about it, fishing for "the boat" is no different than if you were to go with a buddy fishing for reds on the Russian. Let's say the reds limit is 3/person. Then let's say you're the only one having any luck and you catch and keep 6 reds and your buddy catches nothing. Then you both leave and split up the fish. This may seem more "wrong" than doing it with a boat and talking about halibut, but it's really the same thing. Only difference is that you're more likely to get caught doing this when you're on the shore and not out on a boat where nobody can see what you're doing.
    The point is it's illegal to catch and retain more than your limit. Once you catch those fish you can give them to anyone you feel like giving them to. But if you're on the Russian and the limit or on the area around the Russian and you catch 6 reds yourself you are breaking the law unless they issue an emergency order upping the limit to 6. Once you've caught and retained 3 that's all you can keep and retain. You can't say, "Oh, I'm giving them to my buddy who didn't catch anything."

    So if you're out on a boat halibut fishing and you catch 2 halibut, that's all you can catch and retain for that day according to the law. You can give those two fish to a friend that's on the boat, but that's all you can catch and retain for the day.

  14. #14

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    I know someone, who on occasion, has done a "boat limit", especially if there are friends on board who don't get to fish a lot. The one thing he does though is limit the number of rods fishing to the number of fish left to catch. He realizes it's still illegal, (but only slightly).

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    I know someone, who on occasion, has done a "boat limit", especially if there are friends on board who don't get to fish a lot. The one thing he does though is limit the number of rods fishing to the number of fish left to catch. He realizes it's still illegal, (but only slightly).
    Great. Are you trying to day that since it's illegal" but only "slightly" so, it's OK to do? Is "slightly illegal" like "slightly dead" or "slightly pregnant"? Illegal is illegal.

    He doesn't even have to limit the number of rods. People that have caught their limit can still fish, they just can't keep any more fish.

  16. #16

    Default HA!

    Slightly pregnant!?

    heh heh....like that one Muttley.

  17. #17
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    I was on a 12 pak a few years ago,, the water was pretty ruff so there was about 10 of us
    that spent the whole time pukeing.
    So that left the two deck hands and two fisherman standing.
    The two fisherman got there limit pretty quick,so the rest of us thought thank goodness now we can head for land.
    But the capt. had his deck hands and the two fisherman keep fishing, when they would hook up, one of us pukers would have to go tug on the line and then that person would go back to dealing with the dry heaves the guy that hooked it would reel it on in..
    We did that until the boat had it's limit.
    The capt. said that when we would tug on the line that was considered setting the hook
    and then it was ok for the other guy to reel it on in.
    The capt. said it was perfectly legal..

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Not legal. For future reference and for those reading, the angler holding the rod when the fish is hooked is the one who can count that fish as part of his/her limit. Fishing for boat limits is not legal. Not knocking you here - just making sure that folks know this when they're on the water this summer.

    While we should expect guides to know and follow the laws, ultimately we need to know the regulations ourselves and insist on following them.
    my .02 is that the law oughta be changed to the person that LANDED the fish.....technically you are breaking the law if you hand off a fish to a 5 year old. Is that really where they want to go with this? Seriously, there are better things to worry about. Also, if you don't set the hook, it's not hooked yet....the law is really sloppy about that, who is to determine who hooked it? Let it run, hand the rod off, let the other guy crank up on the slack and he's "hooked" it now. I don't see a definition in the laws about what constitutes "hooking" a fish, but I think everyone is in pretty clear agreement as to what "landing" a fish is.

    Some guys that are excellent fisherman obviously would never want to be handed a rod with a fish on it because it insults them...but little kids, inexperienced fisherman etc, just want to feel a tug on the line and land a big fish...they don't know that it's kind of lame to be handed a rod, so let them have their fun...that's really what it's all about anyway. I think the law as written is questionably enforceable and quasi-nazi'ish.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    my .02 is that the law oughta be changed to the person that LANDED the fish.....technically you are breaking the law if you hand off a fish to a 5 year old. Is that really where they want to go with this? Seriously, there are better things to worry about. Also, if you don't set the hook, it's not hooked yet....the law is really sloppy about that, who is to determine who hooked it? Let it run, hand the rod off, let the other guy crank up on the slack and he's "hooked" it now. I don't see a definition in the laws about what constitutes "hooking" a fish, but I think everyone is in pretty clear agreement as to what "landing" a fish is.

    Some guys that are excellent fisherman obviously would never want to be handed a rod with a fish on it because it insults them...but little kids, inexperienced fisherman etc, just want to feel a tug on the line and land a big fish...they don't know that it's kind of lame to be handed a rod, so let them have their fun...that's really what it's all about anyway. I think the law as written is questionably enforceable and quasi-nazi'ish.
    I disagree. I think the entire process, from hooking to landing is part of the act of fishing and thus should be considered as one action. Why would you hook something and hand it to a 5 year old? I was casting, hooking, and landing silvers at age 3 (limited out on the Little Su). If they are going to be counted as a person for limits on fish, they should be doing the entire process, not just one minor aspect of it. If you want to teach them how to fight a fish and how to land it, more power to you, but don't expect to count them as an extra limit that you can keep.

    Just my opinion.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    I disagree. I think the entire process, from hooking to landing is part of the act of fishing and thus should be considered as one action. Why would you hook something and hand it to a 5 year old? I was casting, hooking, and landing silvers at age 3 (limited out on the Little Su). If they are going to be counted as a person for limits on fish, they should be doing the entire process, not just one minor aspect of it. If you want to teach them how to fight a fish and how to land it, more power to you, but don't expect to count them as an extra limit that you can keep.

    Just my opinion.
    the guy counting a 3 year old as "an extra limit" isn't handing off rods either. And for every guy that hands one off or counts the little kid as an extra limit, there's one that just wants the kids to have fun. Personally I'm willing to forgo the first guy if it means the second guy and his family has a more positive experience on the water, because again, that's what it's all really about. You are shrinking everyone down to the lowest common denominator and just deciding that the guy handing a rod off is just a game hog, and my point is that he's generally not...the vast vast vast majority of the time it's just an effort to make sure everyone has a little fun.

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