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Report: Went out to Ft. Pickens and got 3 nice size flounder about 7:00 on Monday night. Clear water, no wind, fisherman's dream. Here is one of the doormats (and yes I know I am holding him upside down):



Now the Rant: Call me dumb or blind but we were cited by the FFWC last night. Evidently you can not transport filleted fish in a boat. The background of the story: we put in at Bayou Texar - ran to Gulf Breeze and picked up 2 more anglers - went flounderin'- returned to Gulf Breeze - filleted the fish and let the anglers off - the anglers didn't want' the fish so we threw them in the cooler - went to Bayou Texar - got a ticket. We were told that we "possesed fish not in whole condition". My thoughts (however naive they are) were that the fish were already landed (in Gulf Breeze). As witnessed by the picture above - all the fillets (3)were longer than the required 12" total fish length. No good, ticket anyway.

Anyway this causes a little grief for me. Is this really what the FWCC does all day? Find technicalities and punishpeoplefor obvious oversights? Are 3 fillets (that are obviously legal) what they fight for? Sorry to rant but there should be better descretion by the FWCC.

A little more background: I have fought to protect these fish my whole adult life. I have been the president of CCA Pensacola, received 2 conservation awards, andreceiveda FWCC pin fromthe Commission. Heck - I even helped provide pictures for the FWCC "fish identification book".
 

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You obviously don't know what your talking about. How are they supposed to know what kind of fish and how big it was if all you have is filets? What if they are Red Snapper? undersized Grouper? They are just doing their job-making sure we take care of the wildlife.
 

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I don't know, maybe look in the boat and see if there was anything in there except 4 gigs?
 

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wishiniwasfishin07 (11/20/2007)You obviously don't know what your talking about. How are they supposed to know what kind of fish and how big it was if all you have is filets? What if they are Red Snapper? undersized Grouper? They are just doing their job-making sure we take care of the wildlife.
I'm assuming the fillets had the skin on. Either way, common sense should still apply. I often will clean fish at a friends dock, divy up the fish and head to the house by boat. I think discretion has to be applied by both parties. In this case it doesnt sound like the guy deserved a ticket. JMO.
 

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wishiniwasfishin07 (11/20/2007)You obviously don't know what your talking about. How are they supposed to know what kind of fish and how big it was if all you have is filets? What if they are Red Snapper? undersized Grouper? They are just doing their job-making sure we take care of the wildlife.
+1

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Suck it up as a lesson learned. A fish filet could be any meat based on a simple visual inspection. You knew it was flounder, but they didn't. That is why the rule of "whole condition" exists. The rule is possesion based, so you were in posession of fish not in whole condition. They were perfectly right to give you a ticket. Could he have let you off, sure. But just because he didn't does not make him wrong for giving you a ticket.
 

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here's another way to look at it. If you were going to keep under sized flounder and wanted to try to get it by FWC if they stopped you, what would you do? You could try and hide it, but that can be difficult in a boat. So, you could fillet it and keep the fillets and chunk the rest. Then claim you cleaned the fish at a friends house when you dropped him off at the dock and swear they were legal. Would you buy that if you were a FWC officer?

In fact, I bet that's how most people try to keep their undersized fish, simply fillet them. Which is a bigger fine, undersized fish or having fillets?
 

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ul412al (11/20/2007)A little more background: I have fought to protect these fish my whole adult life. I have been the president of CCA Pensacola, received 2 conservation awards, andreceiveda FWCC pin fromthe Commission. Heck - I even helped provide pictures for the FWCC "fish identification book".
Based on that quote you should have known better. Don't blame the FWC guy for enforcing the law. If you dont like it call your lawmakers....
 

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Gotcha AUradar. I am sure the law is there to prevent that from happening. Not sure which fine is bigger but it doesn't really matter. My thought process was based on "intent" which it obviously was not my intent to break the rules - just a mistake.

Sorry waterhazard, smart as I am - I don't know everything.

Just to clarify the post - I wasn't trying to "get away with anything" or "bashing a FWC guy". I was simply ranting (maybe too strong a word)about making an unintentional mistake. I am not arguing over paying a ticket, just the principle. As you can see 401 Cay has had a similar experience with taking fillets on a boat as have many people. So it's not necessarily common knowledge and I wanted to share my experience for the betterment of the forum.
 

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<P class=MsoNormal style="BACKGROUND: white; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Allen, <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> Feel for you on this one. Understand your argument that the fish had already been landed, cleaned/filleted when you dropped the anglers off in Gulf Breeze. You were then in the process of transporting the fillets by boat (water taxi) backto your residencewhen ticketed.<o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> Believe that the law is on the books to ensure that fisherman don't catch undersized fish, fillet them and transport them back to the dock as part of a legal catch. Keeping the fish whole ensures that the catch can be identified and limits verified.<o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> Unfortunately (I think)you won't find much sympathy from a lot of PFF'rs. There are some good men and women out there working hard who areFFWC officers.However, my experience with FFWC is that they are a ticket writing machine. I like the story from the old PFF site where FFWC gave the guy a ticket because he was fishing with a 5 year old andhad a two person limit of King Mackerel on board. FFWC reasoning for ticketing was that the 5 year old could not have caught his limit by himself. AsI remember the guy thought about fighting it, but did not because of the time and money involved. <o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Life is hard enough as it is. Sorry to hear that law enforcement wouldn't give you a deserved break on this one.<o:p></o:p><P style="BACKGROUND: white"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #1f5080; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Mark W
 

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Sounds like to me that you and the flounder got the shaft on this one. I think common sense should have prevailed. They must have not met there quota this month. I bet they were hiding behind the dumpster when you pulled up to the dock. Sounds like intrapment to me. They dont really need boats.
 

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Tough one on this case. Judgement call and the call was not your favor. I've had good and bad experiences, mostly good with FWC. I did get boarded in the Keys and was followed back to the dock, back to the truck and showed him my fishing license. He gave me a $88 ticket for not having it on me. I was in the wrong, and I now aways carry it and my FLDL on me at all times when I'm even close to the water or have a rod in my car.

I did have a FWC officer once tell me "Remember the spirit of the law." What the &%#@?
 

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Yep, nice looking fish.



Tough break with the ticket. Can't ping on the LEO, they are just doing their job.



Comments and cracks like the "hiding behind a dumpster" are unnecessary, I've seen these folks scrambling there ass's off to get on the water and on scene to help recreational boaters in emergency situations. We are lucky to have em out there, even though at times they do "slow" the process of getting back to the dock and home. They help all of us to stay on our toes and do the right thing re the habitat also help to make the potentially hazardous environment a bit safer.



Chalk it up as a lesson learned, and again great looking flattie. Thanks for sharing. (thumbs up)
 

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Sorry to hear about your misfortune, but, just curious, how much was the ticket? The land based theory doesn't always work either. A few years ago I was going to clean some mullet on the land by Bob Sikes when our friends pulled up. They informed me I needed to take them home to clean 'em and not to do it where I was, otherwise I would be ticketed. The same thing happened at Pickens. I was on the wall where you park and was told in no uncertain terms to take 'em to the house. Just can't have any fun now a days.
 

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CPOUSNRET (11/20/2007)This situation has been discussed before on this forum.Any fish that has a length and/or bag limit must be landed before cleaning. Note (401Cay) in particular, they are not landed until they are on solid land. If you pull up to a pier in your boat, even though connected to land, and clean fish, you are still illegal. Sorry this happened, but as sportsmen, we are obligated to understand and comply with the laws governing our sports. I agree that it is becoming necessary to have a lawyer with you at all times when on the water or in the woods, butviolations of the governing laws/regs can be expected to produce citations. There is also too much room for LEO discretion/interpretation in many of the details of the regs.

The days of "dont do it again" from the LEO's are over. Know the regs, follow them, and enjoy your sport.
Well if the definition of landing as you describe here is true, then you are gonna have to ticket the entire Destin charter boat fleet who clean their fish on the docks! In addition to that.. does existance of this law mean that I cant take fish to cook on my grill if I'm spending the day at Crab Island or Ft Mccree? While laws and their enforcement do get my respect, I think common sense applies here also guys. He stated that the fillets themselves were over 12 inches which is legal size.. if they were skinned i could see it being disfficult to ID the species of fish. I often take fish out with me to gill as stated above.. should i get a ticket for doing so then so be it, i just hope that whoever the officer who stops me is a rational guy and doesnt issue a ticket.
 

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They have to do there job its not like they can give tickets when they feel like it so quit bashing fwc because there might not be red snapper or other fish if they werent there to enforce the game laws
 

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wishiniwasfishin07 (11/20/2007)You obviously don't know what your talking about. How are they supposed to know what kind of fish and how big it was if all you have is filets? What if they are Red Snapper? undersized Grouper? They are just doing their job-making sure we take care of the wildlife.
You don't know what you are talking about! Nothing else looks like a flounder filet. You must not fish much if you can can't tell a snapper or grouper filet from a flounder filet.
 

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Death From Above (11/22/2007)
wishiniwasfishin07 (11/20/2007)You obviously don't know what your talking about. How are they supposed to know what kind of fish and how big it was if all you have is filets? What if they are Red Snapper? undersized Grouper? They are just doing their job-making sure we take care of the wildlife.


You don't know what you are talking about! Nothing else looks like a flounder filet. You must not fish much if you can can't tell a snapper or grouper filet from a flounder filet.


No, actually I do know what I'm talking about. Nobody in the world can look at a fillet and make a 100% positive identification of the species and size of fish it came from. You must not fish much if you don't know its a rule that a fish must be kept in whole condition until it's brought ashore. Go look on myFWC.com, and search it up- it's a Basic Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulation. Maybe you should go back to the basics. How does FWC know it has already been ashore? they don't hence the ticket.





EDIT: attached is the regulations. Read the sentence just after the chart.
 

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