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Thread: Another halibut bait question

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    Default Another halibut bait question

    I save all the salmon bellies now, I don't know why because I never end up eating them. How about halibut bait? I used them once and nailed the halibut pretty good. Extremely oily and they really stay on, and due to the shape they hook the fish well. I have an idea they are probably illegal to use and the regs are not out at wal mart yet, so is it illegal to use some freezer burned last-years salmon bellies? If so, I'll be saving them for some lucky person that cherishes smoked salmon bellies...
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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Use of sport-caught fish as bait: (1) Whitefish, herring, and other species for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in 5 AAC 47 - 5 AAC 75, as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used for bait or other purposes. (2) Herring and other species of fish for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified in 5 AAC 47 - 5 AAC 75 may be used as live bait, except that live fish may not be used as bait for sport fishing in fresh water. (3) Live bait may be possessed, transported, or released only in the salt waters or the regulatory area in which it was taken.

    I assumed the bellies were waste and therefore could be used as bait. I have never seen anyone ticketed for not salvaging the belly but as the reg. is written it doesn't appear to make them legal as bait. I know it was previously discussed that in order to fish using a whole salmon for sharks you would have had to purchase the fish so it wouldn't be considered sport caught. How would they know the difference?

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default NO

    I would not use the bellies as bait from sport caught fish. Same with freezer burnt fish.

    I gaff fish from the scrap bin at the fish cleaning table in Valdez for shrimp bait. Almost got ticketed two years ago because someone left one side on a pink. I did not see it and of course my pots got pulled for inspection. Luckly, the harbor master was a witness to my scrounging activitiy and could verify that I had pulled the fish from the scraps. They let that one go.

    If I used commercial caught salmon for bait I would keep the reciept and have it with me. Otherwise you are going to have a tough time proving your innocenct.
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 03-02-2007 at 07:47. Reason: added

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    bellies can be used, but becarful. If a trooper thinks there is more then the belly there then you can get fined. I same the bellies and heads of all my reds.
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    Gary Keller
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I know that you can use bellies from personal use (i.e. dipnet) fish for bait. I talked at length with a trooper about this, and he verified that personal use fish fall under different regs. You can use personal use fish for whatever purpose you desire, including using the whole thing as bait. Sockeye bellies make fantastic halibut bait.

    -Brian

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Bellies are good bait. Much tougher then herring. I like to spray alittle bit of herring oil on it..

    Salmon heads work too... Through one in and grab a book and just wait for the poll to go wild.
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    I'm sure if a guy had a recipt for commmercially caught salmon, you could use it. I've fished the lakes boardering Canada and Minnesota. You can't use US live bait in Can. The bait shop I went to in Can. didn't have any bait but I bought a recipt for like $5. This is a slippery slope, I always thought salmo bellies and stuff, so long as it can't be considered wanton waste, was legal.
    Is there an Attorney out there?

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Herring works a ton better than salmon bellies IMO
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Herring works a ton better than salmon bellies IMO
    As a commercial longliner who has used plenty of commercially-bought chums for bait on the same set as herring-baited hooks, I strongly disagree. When we put both salmon bellies and herring on the same longline, the salmon outfishes the herring 5-1. The salmon also tends to catch larger fish than the herring. I have never, ever seen a set where herring did better or even equally as well as salmon when fished side-by-side. And yes, we did buy the salmon commercially - they were not sport-caught fish - and thus were legal to use as bait.

    -Brian

  10. #10

    Question I was not aware . . .

    Brian,

    I was not aware that 'personal use' fish (i.e. dipnetted) could be used any way I chose. I was under the impression that they fell under the same guidelines (concerning bait) as the sport caught ones, i.e. edible portions may NOT be used.

    So, if I understand this correctly; If I was using 'personal use' fish, which I had dipnetted, as bait, and was checked by a trooper, I would be ok? How would I go about proving that these were 'personal use' fish?

    Just curious how this would go over while out on the water . . .

    I keep toying with the idea of chasing Sharks out of Whittier/Valdez, and this may make the decision easier if I don't have to drop $100 for bait.

    -- Gambler

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how you could prove it. Hmmm.... Well, for starters all personal use fish must have the lobes of the tail cut off. Yeah, you could do that for sport caught fish as well, but it's a start. Maybe a call to F&G or the troopers is in order? We talked about the regulations, but didn't talk about how enforcement would factor into it.

    By the way, if you're trolling for sharks you may as well buy pinks for 10-15 cents/lb instead of throwing down serious money for silvers or reds. You could get a tote-load of pinks for next to nothing, and chums for just a little bit more.

    -Brian

  12. #12

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    I don't know if salmon bellies are legal or not for bait, but at least once while cleaning fish at the Seward tables I've had someone from a charter boat ask me if he could have them because they make good halibut bait.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Here we are trying to abide by the law and yet if we make a misjudgement on the rules I keep hearing that you will have to prove your innocence. I thought we were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, my how things change.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Herring works a ton better than salmon bellies IMO
    yes it does, but I add the bellies to the meal stays on the hook better
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    I've been challenged by the fast blue boat both while sport fishing and on charter. The first time we were using pink steaks (and heads, tails, etc.) for halibut bait, and I talked my way into a warning and out of a ticket. Our local processor gives whole pinks away during coho and red season, so I just bring my 5 gallon bucket by in the evening and pickup a bucketload of the slimy things the next morning.

    There's a proposal before the BOF to legalize using sport caught pinks and chums for bait. The ADF&G folks here in Juneau seem very optimistic that it will pass, and we'll get an EO in May or June to announce and legalize it this year... I'll just wait and see, and keep my receipts for free pinks in the boat's logbook...

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    Here we are trying to abide by the law and yet if we make a misjudgement on the rules I keep hearing that you will have to prove your innocence. I thought we were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, my how things change.
    Yes, but the often used phrase "ignorance of the law is no excuse" also applies. But first you have to determine what the "law" is, and it seems that there are so many gray areas (ways to interpret) when it comes to fishing that sometimes it's the luck of the draw where it comes to getting a ticket or not. I've had some success getting e-mail responses from Fish & Game when asking them about clarification on regs (e.g. can you fillet halibut on the boat - the answer is yes). When you get a response, especially the one that you want, print the e-mail and take it with you in case you're stopped.

  17. #17
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Ignorance of the law in this case is not an excuse or the point. If you have bellies which are legal if not from sport caught fish why should you have to prove anything period. The problem is how do they no where you got them and their interpretations of the law varies by who you talk to, if they can't prove where the bellies came from then their is no case or ticket. At least that's how it should be.

    As far as I understand the regulations pertaining to filleting halibut onboard, yes it is legal. However you may not disfigure/cut into small peices etc. so that it is not easy to tell how many fish you harvested. If you fillet them on the boat you will have 4 nice fillets for each fish and it is easy to see that. Unless I am sadly mistaken here you have to look at the whole picture not just the part you wanted to hear. A copy of part of the whole answer will not save you from ignorance of the law. You have to be more specific and cover the whole topic or you won't get the whole answer.
    Last edited by AKBighorn; 03-03-2007 at 13:48. Reason: additions

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_M View Post
    As a commercial longliner who has used plenty of commercially-bought chums for bait on the same set as herring-baited hooks, I strongly disagree. When we put both salmon bellies and herring on the same longline, the salmon outfishes the herring 5-1. The salmon also tends to catch larger fish than the herring. I have never, ever seen a set where herring did better or even equally as well as salmon when fished side-by-side. And yes, we did buy the salmon commercially - they were not sport-caught fish - and thus were legal to use as bait.

    -Brian

    So how much of the chum do you use? I've only used bellies and haven't had any luck (don't want to keep fish from the net for bait) I feel herring has more immediate stink too it. Could your success be from salmon staying on the hooks longer or realeasing their oils more slowly? I dunno how long an average set is for you so it might not matter but after about 30 minutes I find herring to be not stinky anymore and put on a new one.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    So how much of the chum do you use? I've only used bellies and haven't had any luck (don't want to keep fish from the net for bait) I feel herring has more immediate stink too it. Could your success be from salmon staying on the hooks longer or realeasing their oils more slowly? I dunno how long an average set is for you so it might not matter but after about 30 minutes I find herring to be not stinky anymore and put on a new one.
    Since they were bought for the purpose of being used for bait, we use the whole thing. Bellies work, but obviously so do the fillets and heads. I think the length of time has a big part to play. We leave sets down 3-6 hours, so the salmon is fishing much longer than the herring. Still, the salmon usually catches larger fish. Better than salmon, though, is gray cod. Gray cod is THE BEST halibut bait, hands down, no questions asked that we have ever used. Salmon, herring, and octopus are all great, but nothing catches as many or as large halibut than gray (pacific) cod.

    -Brian

  20. #20
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Cod I have not done to good off of.
    Herring
    Salomon bellies
    cod

    This is the order I use bait. Unless I'm going hog hunting I will through a salmon head on.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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