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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend who has a house in Forked River told me a neighbor got whacked with $300 in fines for possession of fluke belly strips. Says they (not sure who the authority was) regarded each strip as one undersized fish. So, word of caution.

Me, I'm gonna keep a ten-ounce weight tethered to mine. Kerchunk... "what was that?" Wow! Did you see that fish jump? What was it???? :eek:
 

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Your okay useing flounder bellies as long as you keep your racks(carcass)that they came from.Just show that they were from legal fish is all.
 

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The DEP says you can have NO parts of a gamefish, which has been regulated by size, on-board a vessel. I asked them about also having matching carcasses and they firmly said "No, this is not allowed."
Headboats MAY be an exception since they can fillet at sea. There is a gray area here. However, there may be NO at-sea filleting of regulated gamefish aboard a recreational vessel. You can call the DEP (Division of Fish and Wildlife) to have this confirmed.
Also, a sidelight to the story of the fellow fined over 30 times near the BI Buoy in Barnegat Bay: Enforcement was only going to give him ONE fine but he demanded he be cited for all the fluke belly strips to fight it in court. Enforcement granted him this demand. Hmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Striperholic, that ain't the way it goes. The bellies are stripped out when you get the day's catch back at the dock and the fish are filleted. They are then placed in a plastic container, usually with salt, and stored in the fridge for the next trip.

The point is, if they are fining under these conditions,, they are reversing the presumption of innocent until proven guilty. They are taking the position that you have done something wrong when you have not. That is bad law and bad law enforcement.

If having fluke belly bait is fine-able, then why do they not simply make possession of same illegal via the fish laws?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So it is law..... obviously intended for something other than stripping a piece out of a fish. This is the T.S. approach to enforcement, when they are too lazy or bureaucratic to exercise discretion. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wonder if the "BI Guy" really did that, or if this story has obtained a life of its own...? If he did, intending to "test" the law in an effort to have it dismissed and hoping for the establishing of precedent, I think he may lose.
The fact that he "tailored" the incident will not
impress the court, and, historically, the enforcement of fish and game laws have always been outside the constitutional box.....such as warrantless search for deer and deer parts in Pennsylvania of vehicles and homes. On top of that, Maritime law apparently renders constitutional rights moot. I wish him (and all of us) luck.
 

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Why can't these guys just use BACON?!!!.....LOL :D
 

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It is illegal to have a piece of any fish that is protected by a size limit when that piece does not meet the size limit. That being said the wardens have been reasonable and have allowed its use when the fish it came from is on board and being counted in the daily limit.They can charge you for every piece as if it is a short fish but dont do that to people who are cooperative and tell the truth. This guy from barnegat light obviously didnt want to be cooperative and demanded he get lots of paper. He will loose and doesnt have a leg to stand on,the law is clear. If you dump your bellies. That is consisdered interferance. This is a much bigger fine and problem than simply being caught with the bellies.
Barrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nope, DEP says it all. I've no interest in "talking" with them. They're liable to throw me off of my land for the kangaroo rat that "might" be living here.
 

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That's why I use bluefish strips. The little snappers all over the place are perfect.
 

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Originally posted by Fishin:
That's why I use bluefish strips. The little snappers all over the place are perfect.
Same here...sea robbin too..
 

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I almost got nailed last year with a quart size container full of ribbon strips from the previous outing, didn't have any carved keepers on the boat. Had my coolers checked while fishing and fortunately they opened the mackeral container instead of the flounder container cause that would have been one steep fine. Havent had any flounder belly on the boat since.
 

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Seems to me that if he can get the fine dropped it doesnt matter if its one charge or thirty. But if you can't get the charges dropped than he might of wished he stopped at one. He must be very confident he can get the charges dropped. This law is not perfect but it is obviously intended for the fisherman who cuts up an undersize flounder and uses the belly than tosses the carcus over to avoid being caught with it. We all know people who do this.
 

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I wish we could adopt a "dismemberment regulation" for certain species & times of the year. I believe Delaware or NY has a clause for the use of strip baits.
 

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You CAN NOT fillet a Fluke at Sea without having a Fillet Permit such as the party boats have!!
 

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DEP is real hot on this issue in Barnegat. Several boat have been stopped and searched for strip baits. It seems they stand off and check you out with glasses (big ones). If they suspect you are using fluke belly they will board you. They are also using a nondescript boat. Kind of blends in with the crowd.
 
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