Getting 'Gills for Flats - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 08-15-2002, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lately when my Buddy and I have hit the Fox for big flatheads, we have run into one problem: we couldn't catch a bluegill for bait to save our lives. This fish that we caught by the hundreds as kids had found a way to elude us now. When my friend came back from the store with a cast-net, I scoffed him. But, After using it once (and catching plenty of 'gills on only a few casts) I owed him an apology. A cast-net is an excellent way to catch your baitfish easily, and without eating into your other fishing time.

After reading Mr. Bill's post, I checked out the regulations for using a cast-net to catch baitfish and sportfish.

This is what I found...

1) Bluegill can be used as bait as long as they are taken by a licensed sport fisherman using legal sportfishing devices.
2) A sport fishing license permits the use of cast nets for bait fishing. Specifically, "A sport fishing license permits the use of legal-sized cast nets...to obtain shad, alewife, minnows and crayfish to use as bait..." Bluegills were not mentioned here.
3) Finally, bluegills are listed as a sportfish.

Basically, though it worked great, I guess it is not legal to use a cast net to catch bluegills for bait.

Even though this saddens me, I guess I can keep laughing at my friend for buying the net like I did before we used it.
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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You should check on the legality of catching gills with a net. I beleve they are classed as sport fish, not bait fish. I don't think any sport fish can be taken by net without a commercial fishing license. Check the IL state fishing regulation booklet they handout everywhere. I know there is a section on netting, I just don't recall the specs. I'd hate to see you get in trouble for simply obtaining some quality flathead bait. Best of luck.
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I just use a long shank size 8 hook with a worm. Not under a bobber either - just with the hook and worm.

Try it out,
Dave
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice, I'll have to check that out before my next trip out.
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Old 08-15-2002, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Dave,Check out the link at the top of the page for Conservation,one page 3 it clearly states you may catch bluegill and transport as bait.Its in the highlighted area in the middle of the page.All fish must be legaly caught in regards to current rules and regs. where you take them,and where you use them.
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Old 08-17-2002, 05:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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all I use to catch my gill's is a small ice fishing jig...The jig's I use are no bigger than a size 8 & normally use a size 10..Dress that with a waxie under an ultra sensitive thill float on 2# test & your in business..
Cast net's are illegal to use for catching Gill's,Sunfish,Warmouth's,etc,etc,etc..
You can also use Bullhead's for those cat's..
all you need there is a bullhead pond a small # 8 snell hook,piece of nightcrawler & a rubber center sinker..I'll normally catch 4-5 bullhead's for every little piece of crawler used...3-6 inch bullhead's with work fine...
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Old 08-17-2002, 09:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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To translate the legal mumbo jumbo, 1)yes you can catch and transport bluegills as bait. 2) bluegills are listed as sportfish, so they must be taken by legal sportfishing means (no netting)If you read HD's post closely, this is exactly what was first posted. I still use casting nets for chubs shiners and the occasional bonus crawdad. Saves mucho denaro on bait.
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Old 08-17-2002, 11:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Catching bait is all part of the flathead fishing experience for me. Pick a good steady pond, get a battery, a cooler set-up with a modified 12v. bilge pump and spray bar, and you're ready to catch bait. I normally use tiny ice jigs and waxies under a small float, and 2 doz. baits are in the bucket in no time. Then I transfer them to the cooler from the minnow bucket for transport. It's a time consuming process, but the day long preperation for that night's flathead fishing is almost as enjoyable as the actual catching. And, like skeithr said, IT IS LEGAL TO TRANSPORT BLUEGILLS AND SUNFISH TO BE USED AS BAIT! We was were in Riverside Sports the other day and picked up a few things we needed. The clerk asked us if we were flathead fishing and told us to watch out if we were using 'gills and sunfish for bait, that the night before a couple of guys had been caught below the dam by the CPO and fined for using them. I don't know who is telling who what story, but it's obviously a load of crap. The regs are very clear about this subject, and I can't believe for a minute that the CPO would not know what they are. A cast net will get you in trouble, but sportfishing is fine.
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Old 08-17-2002, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Catching bait is all part of the flathead fishing experience for me. Pick a good steady pond, get a battery, a cooler set-up with a modified 12v. bilge pump and spray bar, and you're ready to catch bait. I normally use tiny ice jigs and waxies under a small float, and 2 doz. baits are in the bucket in no time. Then I transfer them to the cooler from the minnow bucket for transport. It's a time consuming process, but the day long preperation for that night's flathead fishing is almost as enjoyable as the actual catching. And, like skeithr said, IT IS LEGAL TO TRANSPORT BLUEGILLS AND SUNFISH TO BE USED AS BAIT! We was were in Riverside Sports the other day and picked up a few things we needed. The clerk asked us if we were flathead fishing and told us to watch out if we were using 'gills and sunfish for bait, that the night before a couple of guys had been caught below the dam by the CPO and fined for using them. I don't know who is telling who what story, but it's obviously a load of crap. The regs are very clear about this subject, and I can't believe for a minute that the CPO would not know what they are. A cast net will get you in trouble, but sportfishing is fine.
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