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Is it legal to catch snapper for a friend on the same boat?

  • Yes, it is legal

    Votes: 39 61.9%
  • No, it is illegal

    Votes: 25 39.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I went out on the new Capt. John http://www.galveston.com/captjohn/ yesterday and man did we put it on them. The overall catch was quite impressive. I caught 3 limits of Red Snapper (gave 8 fish to some folks that were seasick), 2 limits of Kingfish and one Barracuda. Check out the fishing report for the entire boat: http://www.galveston.com/captjohn/report.shtml

Anyway, the seas were perfect (2-3's) and the day couldn't have been any nicer.

Here is a pictorial account of our trip.

At the first stop we made the snapper bite was kind of slow so I started fishing for Kings. Within just a little while I had decked 4 kings. After that I went back to snapper fishing. I managed to pluck one keeper snapper from our fist spot. It went about 8 or 9 lbs. I weigh 200 lbs. so hopefully you can get an idea of how big the snapper were that I'm holding in the picture below.



At the second stop the Snapper fishing really turned on. The snapper were suspended in the water column and I caught 3 limits on Pink/Chartruse 3 oz. Snapper Slappers. Again, I gave my extra snapper to the fellow and his son who were sick.

Also, I lost a huge (hardest pulling fish of the day!) snapper due to the stinger hook pulling out of the Snapper Slapper. I heard of another guy on the trip that had the same thing happen to him. Anyway, I have figured out a way to fix that problem. I'm getting rid of the coastal snap swivel that they come with and I'm going to crimp the stinger hooks on myself. I won't let that happen to me again.

Here is another picture of my catch. I caught a very small barracuda when the kings turned on as you can see in this picture.



Here is a picture of the overall catch on Sunday. It was quite impressive. There were several ling decked on Sunday along with several kings and some chicken dolphin.



I must say that the new Capt. John is quite impressive as it is new, fast, well crewed and it finds the fish! Capt. Langston once again put us on some incredible fish.

Here is a picture of a buddy of mine and his catch. It's hard to show you the size of these fish without laying them down on a ruler and taking a picture. However, this guy is about 6' 3" at the least so hopefully that will tell you how big these sows were. The funny this about this trip was most of the snapper we caught were legal. Very few fish juvenille fish were caught and thrown back on Sunday. Also, the average fish was around 6 to 8 lbs. Read the fishing report on the Texsun II website if you want to know more.



Anyway, thanks for letting me share a little bit about our trip with you.

Good fishing to all.

Lumberjack93
 

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Was that an overnight trip?

I see you have eight snapper in your picture and your buddy has seven or eight also.

regardless, those are some nice sized snapper, especially for a party boat trip.

what do they charge for a ride on that new boat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KevinA said:
Was that an overnight trip?

I see you have eight snapper in your picture and your buddy has seven or eight also.

regardless, those are some nice sized snapper, especially for a party boat trip.

what do they charge for a ride on that new boat?
Actually, that was on their day trip last Sunday! I gave away my extra snapper to the folks who got seasick and couldn't fish. But, I wanted them in the picture.

The new Capt. John (Replaced the Texsun II which now does bay and jetty trips) goes out 60 - 70 miles and gets there in a hurry. The price is $70.00 for a weekday trip and $80.00 for weekend trips. I posted a link to their website in my original post. It has their phone number and rates.

I can't wait for Capt. Williams to schedule some more tuna trips. They are going to do 36 hr and 60 hr tuna trips this fall !!!! Those are a ball. Double limits of snapper, all the tuna you can reel in and AJ's, Kings, Ling, Grouper, big sharks, etc.

Later,

Lumberjack93
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Zebra Mussel said:
Geez, awesome catch, esp. for a party boat.

Care to share any tricks with a newbie? I posted a similar question over at

http://2coolfishing.net/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=3036

Perhaps I should consider going out of Galveston instead of Freeport. What's the hotel situation like nearby?

Thanks for the report & pics.

Geoff
The Texsun II / Capt. John is a first class operation and I would recommend them to anyone. They are also family oriented and I haven't had any problems when I take my kids on the boat. They love it. The Capt. makes an announcement before the boat leaves that goes something like this: " If you came out today to get drunk then please get off of the boat, go back to the office and ask for a refund. There are several bars in the Galveston area that would be glad to accomodate you. "

They do sell beer on the boat but ask that people keep it in moderation, which I really like as the last thing I want to do is spend a day with a bunch of drunk fisherman.

Tips for Partyboat fishing.

Golden Rule: Listen to the captain. If your fishing in 130 ft. of water and he says the fish are suspended off of the bottom and are really thick at 70 ft. then you need to fish at 70 ft. If he says that they are on the bottom then fish on the bottom.

Buy a couple of boxes of cigar minnows or sardines and some snapper slappers. The 3 oz model is my favorite. I caught 3 limits of snapper Sunday on a 3 oz Pink/Chartruse snapper slapper that was sardine tipped.

If the snapper fishing slows down start kingfishing. Ask one of the deckhands to set you up with a kingfish leader if you don't have your own tackle like I do. When the snapper action heats back up then switch back to snapper fishing. The key to catching fish on a party boat is to work your butt off while you are fishing. Try to make your time as productive as possible. Don't stop and eat lunch while the snapper bite is red hot. Wait and eat on the way back home. You'll be glad that you did.

If you have never used a large trolling reel (Penn 4/0 or Shimano TLD) spend a few minutes (before you get to the first spot) to get accustomed to the reel. Also, check your drag tension with your hand before you put it to the test while fishing.

Do you have your own tackle (rods & reels)? If not the Capt. John has good tackle to handle anything that you would get into. They have Shimano TLD 25's mounted on custom rods.

Be nice and treat the deck hands like you would want to be treated. Don't yell at them and tell them that you need to have a fish gaffed this instant while you can see that they are busy trying to gaff another fish and deal with a tangle. Just be patient. Don't get me wrong, you need to let them know what you need, just do it in a courtious mannor. I have seen people be real jerks to them and guess what? They will treat you just like you treat them. Also, don't ask to have a 5 lb. snapper gaffed ;-) Just pull him up.

Tip well: I have been going out for a while with the Texsun II and I never tip the deckhands less than $20.00 when they pass the bucket. They all know me by name now and I never have to ask for anything. They are also some really great guys if you spend a little time and get to know them.

Be ready to take advantage of an opportunity. If a school of chicken dolphin show up have a lightweight rig ready to cast at them. Ask the Capt. how far out he plans to go that day and what you may encounter. If he says that he's going to hit a rig in deep water and that they get AJ's out there all the time then you better have your drag set tight and be ready for them.

Another thing. If you see a big ling hit the deck stay out of the way and let the deckhands do their job. I see guys stop fishing and for some reason think that their presence is required when a big fish hits the deck. They will walk over and try to get right in the middle of all the action that is going on. They only get in the way. A ling can do some real dammage so stay out of their way. Look at the 6 or 7 fins on their back and you will know what I'm talking about.

If a guy fishing next to you hooks a good fish, reel up and give him some room. He'll appreciate it and do the same for you when it's your turn.

Bring a small bucket (not 5 gallon) to put your cigar minnows in. If you leave them in the box that they come in they will get stepped on and will be mush by 1:30 in the afternoon.

Hotels: Tons in Galveston. Go to http://www.galveston.com for a list.

Good luck. Be sure and post some pics of your trip here when you get back.

Lumberjack93
 

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That was probably the best description of what to expect and how to fish on a party boat that has ever been written, Lumberjack. I may print it out and post it in big letters in the Capt. Elliott's Party Boats office, if you don't mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Help yourself

James Howell said:
That was probably the best description of what to expect and how to fish on a party boat that has ever been written, Lumberjack. I may print it out and post it in big letters in the Capt. Elliott's Party Boats office, if you don't mind.
Help yourself. It's public domain now ;-)

The funny thing is most of it is just plain old common sense.

Lumberjack93
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How to dress ;-)

I've got a question. How does one go about editing his posts once they have been made???? I don't have an edit button anymore. At one time this was present but not anymore.

Any help on this would be appreciated.

I wanted to edit my earlier post about Party Boat tips.

I need to add the following:

Don't dress like you are modeling for a cover page on the new Orvis fly fishing catalog. Wear old grubby clothes. You can be assured that you will get hot, sweaty and have squid juice and ink all over you by the end of the day. If you not dirty then you didn't fish hard enough ;-)

Here is how you don't want to look when you show up at the dock. You know, wearing a $50.00 pink or yellow Orvis fly fishing shirt and some kind of overpriced slacks from Orvis ;-)



Here is a picture of how your shirt should look after you get off of the boat. Notice the stains on the shorts. Those could be considered multi-functional shorts. They serve as both shorts and a towel ;-)

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Zebra Mussel said:
Geez, awesome catch, esp. for a party boat.

Care to share any tricks with a newbie? I posted a similar question over at

http://2coolfishing.net/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=3036

Perhaps I should consider going out of Galveston instead of Freeport. What's the hotel situation like nearby?

Thanks for the report & pics.

Geoff
So, did you decide to go out of Galveston? If so, make sure and post some pictures here when you get back.

Hope you guys knock em dead.

Lumberjack93
 

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Still waffling between Galveston and Freeport. Might end up doing both if my boy can stand two days of fishing.

Freeport has an advantage because I've done it before and there's a realatively inexpensive hotel across the street.

Galveston - well, heck, just look at those pictures. Not to mention the new boat.

Regardless, I'll post once we get back with pics and lessons learned.

Thanks again

Geoff

PS - I hear you on how to dress. My wife got me a nice Columbia shirt for fishing. It hasn't been near the water. Old T Shirts, disposable if possible, are the way to go.

Then again, there was a trip out of Tampa where my group was watching a little old lady who was very nicely dressed touching up her lipstick on the way out. 'Course, she ended up with two keeper grouper, and all we got were grunts. Ya never know.
 

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I caught 3 limits of Red Snapper (gave 8 fish to some folks that were seasick), 2 limits of Kingfish and one Barracuda.
Since when is it legal to catch the limits for others on board?

You should have stopped fishing when you caught your limit of Snaps and Kings and gone inside and enjoyed the AC and ordered something from the short order grill.

That is no different than if I took my wife and two kids fishing and boxed 40 trout just because they were with me and didnt want to fish or got sick, I cant its illegal.

Its also no different than shooting your buddys limit of doves or ducks. Again illegal.

I'm highly surprised that none of the Captains that responded to this post have said anything. Am I to assume this practice is acceptable?

I assure you if a Game Warden was watching the hunt and he saw me shoot more than my limit and give them to my buddy to carry out of the field I would be fined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Show me

TexasDux said:
Since when is it legal to catch the limits for others on board?

You should have stopped fishing when you caught your limit of Snaps and Kings and gone inside and enjoyed the AC and ordered something from the short order grill.

That is no different than if I took my wife and two kids fishing and boxed 40 trout just because they were with me and didnt want to fish or got sick, I cant its illegal.

Its also no different than shooting your buddys limit of doves or ducks. Again illegal.

I'm highly surprised that none of the Captains that responded to this post have said anything. Am I to assume this practice is acceptable?

I assure you if a Game Warden was watching the hunt and he saw me shoot more than my limit and give them to my buddy to carry out of the field I would be fined.
I called the GOM Fishery management Council and they said that it wasn't illegal. Also, the regs make no mention of who must catch the fish!!! Here is a copy of the current rules and limits.

http://www.gulfcouncil.org/fishrules.htm

Additionally, the person that I spoke to made mention that if a boat was checked the current procedure is to check the number of people on board and multiply that by 4. 6 people on board x 4 = 24 allowable snapper. They don't care who caught the fish. However, Snapper must be a minimum of 16 inches as you are aware.

Now, you say that this is an illegal practice. Can you show me the source of your information?

Lumberjack93
 

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Out of curiousity, did you research this now or before your trip? Sound like you just made the call and got clarification.



Well it may be legal and it appears the law should be more precise, but it's still pretty $hitty. You sure can't shoot your whole parties limit of birds if a Game Warden is watching so I don't understand why this law is so liberal.

Legal or not, its the right thing to do, but I'm not one to preach or push ethics on anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
TexasDux said:
Out of curiousity, did you research this now or before your trip? Sound like you just made the call and got clarification.

Well it may be legal and it appears the law should be more precise, but it's still pretty $hitty. You sure can't shoot your whole parties limit of birds if a Game Warden is watching so I don't understand why this law is so liberal.

Legal or not, its the right thing to do, but I'm not one to preach or push ethics on anyone.
Question? Do release your doves and ducks after you shoot them ;-)

BTW, I also called the GOM Fishery Management Council enforcement office in Galveston (409) 770-0812 and was told the same thing.

Why would it be "pretty $hitty" in your opinion to catch fish for a friend if it is clearly within the bounds of the law?

Here is an example of that mindset. Lots of people take tax deductions. Using your logic I could say that all people that take tax deductions are hurting their kids future because they are putting a strain on a fragile system. (Social Security may not be there because they are taking legal tax deductions now). You could apply any federal program to this illustration. Even our beloved GOM Fishery Management Council which protects our fish ;-)

I hear this same argument everytime someone keeps a billfish. If you keep that fish then they won't be there for your kids.

My take is that if the Federal Govt. says that I can keep a fish then there are plenty to keep. If the Govt. for one minute thought that there was a problem then you would see strict regulations put in place. Just look at grouper and snapper kingfish.

Lumberjack93
 

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I can't see knocking someone for doing something not illegal. If I paid for my girlfriend and I to go out fishing and she got sick and couldn't fish, I'd have no problem with catching her limit as well as mine since I've already paid for the trip. No reason to go out and not bring back what you're legally allowed to do. It would be a waste of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
TexasDux said:
Thats why limits state "per person" and not per boat.
But it doesn't state who must catch the fish. So, if you catch fish for your wife or for a sick buddy then you are clearly within the bounds of the law.

Also, it couldn't state "per boat" in the regs as they wouldn't know how many people would be on any one particular boat.

Lumberjack93
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Barnacle Bill said:
I can't see knocking someone for doing something not illegal. If I paid for my girlfriend and I to go out fishing and she got sick and couldn't fish, I'd have no problem with catching her limit as well as mine since I've already paid for the trip. No reason to go out and not bring back what you're legally allowed to do. It would be a waste of money.
Exactly. What is the difference between a 6 pack charter that catches a limit of snapper with each angler taking 4 snapper as opposed to a 6 pack charter that catches a limit of snapper with 5 guys and 1 seven year old kid (Dad helped the kid catch the fish). Or say a guy was sick. You still have 24 legal red snapper being harvested by each vessel in any case.

Lumberjack93
 

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It don't matter what they say over the phone. Unless you are talking to a Judge or the Attorney General, the person has absolutely no authority to interpret the law for you.

The "cop said it was legal" is never a defense. Its your obligation to understand the law. Might as well be telling a Judge that you did not know that bank robbery was against the law.

Not taking sides here.
 
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