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Can you shoot a fish caught with rod and reel?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jiggle, Apr 25, 2008.

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  1. Jiggle

    Jiggle Member

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    I recently acquired a small boat that I have been using to do some fishing in the intracoastal. I was wondering if I catch a fish that is simply too big or violent to bring into the boat alive (eg: a shark), can I shoot it to kill it? As long as I am sure that the fish is legal to keep and I am fully confident that there is no way my actions could injure another party, would I be justified in using a firearm to prevent any harm to myself or my vessel?

    There is a story in this month's Florida Sportsman about a man who fought a 600 pound mako for 3 hours on light tackle before he called in two more boats to help out. They shot it with a 12 gauge shotgun and a .40 caliber handgun. Just got me thinking.

    There are laws in Florida that criminalize the "taking" of fish with a firearm. But what if the fish is taken with rod and reel, and the firearm is only used to finish the fight? I suppose it would be legal as long as I'm not breaking any other laws concerning discharging the firearm?

    TIA
     
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    You'd have to ask your state F&G department. Up here it's pretty routine to kill large halibut and salmon shark with a snake charmer .410. If brought onboard alive they're powerful enough to knock people right off the side.

    It's not generally legal to go fishing with a firearm as your tool for a number of reasons.
     
  3. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    Check your local fishing regulations. But besides that, you also have to realize that a bullet can "skip" across water, just like a stone, if the angle is right, so shooting at something that's in the water isn't always the safest thing to do.
     
  4. theken206

    theken206 Member

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    ^yup, water can deflect rounds and make em skip
     
  5. Dksimon

    Dksimon Member

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    get yourself a basebal bat and forget the gun. IMO you would/could get into alot of trouble with a firearm.

    Also, what if you get stopped by G&F and they ask to see you take?
    How are you going to prove that you hooked it and then shot it?
     
  6. johnnyonthespot

    johnnyonthespot Member

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    a buddy i grew up with was fishing in alaska with friends when somebody hooked a big BIG flounder...

    after a huge fight the line almost broke and BANG!

    my buddy rick was standing there with a smoking .45 and there was one HUGE limp flounder to flop in the boat...

    rick is notorious for doing things that go down in legend...
     
  7. Buzztail

    Buzztail Member

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    Dealing with large fish is part of offshore fishing- a part that needs to be learned. If you don't have someone that can teach/help you, your better off fighting it to the boat and cutting it off.
    Getting hurt offshore is not something to take lightly!
     
  8. SDC

    SDC Member

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    To reiterate, this HAS happened in the past; a woman in Florida was killed under just these circumstances, by a bullet that had skipped inshore from a shark-fishing boat. They would hook the sharks and bring them to the boat and then shoot them to hoist them onboard, and this woman was driving on a highway parallel to the beach several miles from the boat, but one shot skipped shorebound and managed to hit this woman in the head, killing her. Not a one in a million shot, but a one in a BILLION shot.
     
  9. HOME DEPOT GEORGE

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Member

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    If you choose to use a gun to subdue a fish the best advice I can give you is to use a bang stick this way you have no chance of missing your target and hitting something you will regret. They use them for gators if I'm correct and I know people who use them for grouper while diving.
     
  10. Travis Lee

    Travis Lee Member

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    You CAN use a gun on a fish, but ONLY if he pulls a knife on you first.

    :D

    --Travis--
     
  11. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

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    there's a lot of debate about this.

    there are/were some jurisdictions (such as vermont) where you can actually shoot fish in the water (muskie hunting with a 12 ga - you don't shoot the fish, you blow the swim bladder by shooting near the fish).

    saltwater pelagics along the left and east costs require some extra care. the whippy tail of a large thresher shark, for example, can kill you if you're not careful.

    if you're going to keep a large shark or tuna for the table - you're going to have to bleed it to prevent the meat from going bad. this is because these fish lack kidneys and as soon as the animal dies, there is going to be ammonia build-up in the meat (which is horrible from a dining perspective).

    i think you'll accomplish bleeding better by NOT shooting the fish. tail-rope it, and slice the gills. the beating heart of a live fish will exsanguinate it, whereas a dead fish won't bleed as readily.

    having said that, it is common for boaters to use 12 gauge (00 buck) bang sticks or shotguns to dispatch large quarry such as barndoor halibut (in the several hundred pound class).

    but extra care is required on a slippery boat deck and rolling seas!
     
  12. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    From the Florida fishing regulations:

    That includes bangsticks by the way.

    Why do you need to shoot a fish you caught with rod and reel? My buddy just set the IGFA world record on hammerhead and he didn't see the need to shoot the thing...If he can bring in a 1000+ lb hammerhead on a rod and reel NOBODY needs to shoot fish.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  13. HOME DEPOT GEORGE

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Member

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    State waters only extend 3 miles and to be honest I would be more afraid of a 60 pound green cobia (dont ask) than a 1000# shark.
     
  14. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    Iirc

    Vermont has (or had) a firearms season for pike.
    In the spring the gravid females swim into shallow water to spawn, accompanied by multiple males.
    They are shot from trees and stands and the concussion kills them.
     
  15. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    Cobias go in my belly.
     
  16. K3

    K3 Member

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    My grandfather and uncle talked of guys in NW Wisconsin using a bat to knock a big muskie upside the head once they got it into the boat. They said a few guys would use a .22.

    Since the biggest muskie I ever caught was under 30", it wasn't really an issue. :eek:
     
  17. K3

    K3 Member

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    This is interesting:

    http://toothycritters.com/malo.html

     
  18. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    on the other coast, (in WA anyway) the only fish legal to shoot while fighting/landing the fish is Halibut. they can weigh hundreds of pounds and cause serious injury to people and damage to boats if they are brought into the gunwale while still alive and kickin.

    Bobby
     
  19. ghostsix

    ghostsix Member

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    Shooting fish

    Sure you can. If it has big teeth, you had better.
     
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The law probably varies by state. Caught on a line, shooting the fish is not "taking" by shooting, at least not in the regulatory sense.

    Whether or not to shoot instead of using a fish-billy and the safety aspect as to ricochets are different issues from the legal.

    Art
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    California law allows for unlicensed concealed carry by licensed fishermen while engaged in fishing, or going to or coming from said fishing.

    So, presumably, there's some legal situation where you would shoot fish.:)
     
  22. Bob R

    Bob R Member

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    IIRC, what would have been a sport fishing world record Alaskan Halibut was disallowed because it was shot with a 410 prior to landing.

    They figured there was now way to get it in the boat while alive.

    The biggest Alaskan Halibult landed, that I can recall, was a little over 500 pounds. It was caught by a longliner.

    bob
     
  23. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Geez!

    What would you do with all the meat?
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Just to reiterate, that has NOTHING to do with Alaska F&G laws. It's not illegal to cap off a halibut, I've personally seen it done many times. But there are separate rules established by the self-appointed jerks who decide the "world records." They're a bunch of upper crust dingles who don't like guns. I'd like to see one jump in the frigid water and deal with a 500 lb. salmon shark or barn door halibut bare handed. They put absurd ideals of "sportsmanship" over safety and humane slaughter. If you get knocked off in those waters even with the boat right there you stand a good chance of freezing to death or dying of sudden cardiac arrest. Lower 48 jerks have no idea how cold it is in there. None whatsoever.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/halibut.cfm
     
  25. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    Even the one I gave directions to a local gun show?
     
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