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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I'm sure this is common knowledge but I just want to make sure I am staying legal.

Coming down in June for a week and staying in Perdido (Florida). Will be going out of Perdido Pass which is obviously Alabama waters.

What do I do when catching snapper offshore in federal waters where they are legal but then having to pass through Alabama waters to get back to where I am staying in Florida waters?

Is there some way I can call it in? Or can I just not transport through Alabama waters at all when out of season in Alabama?
 

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I would say make sure your track is working on entire trip. And dont stop or touch alabama property. You should be legal. Noone owns the water. Just the property below it is under there juristiction. If stopped just be polite and explain the facts. Remember an anchor or sinker touching bottom is all thats needed.
 

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Everyone entering into Alabama with Snapper and landing them there are Required to report to the state through Snapper Check on outdoor Alabama web site..you also have to abide by the state season.. Not Federal.. Gulf State have their own seasons , no federal season on snapper
 

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Everyone entering into Alabama with Snapper and landing them there are Required to report to the state through Snapper Check on outdoor Alabama web site..you also have to abide by the state season.. Not Federal.. Gulf State have their own seasons , no federal season on snapper
Yes but he isn't landing, taking fish or stopping in alabama just taking the best route over alabama property. Back to florida.
 

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I would say make sure your track is working on entire trip. And dont stop or touch alabama property. You should be legal. Noone owns the water. Just the property below it is under there juristiction. If stopped just be polite and explain the facts. Remember an anchor or sinker touching bottom is all thats needed.
That has been the convention, although if you stop, what's in your box must be legal where you stop. There is a Marine Patrol office at the west end of the Perdito Pass Bridge on the north side- you might want to drop in and ask them before you go out. I live in Al right on the Florida line, and I'm not sure you would a consistent answer from any 2 Marine Patrol officers you ask. It's definitely confusing.

I think you're confusing riparian rights with fishing regs, however, which address private versus state property. The states of Alabama and Florida control fishing rights for all state waters inshore and offshore to 9 miles. If you stop in those waters you are considered to be fishing, whether bottom fishing, trolling, jigging, or any other thing that could be interpreted as fishing. This is from the Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources website:
All Anglers:
  • Must have a valid Alabama saltwater fishing license, as required, when in possession of any saltwater fish species in Alabama waters.
  • Harvested red snapper must be reported on one Snapper Check report per vessel trip before fish are landed in Alabama.
  • Free Saltwater Angler Registration is required for all residents 16 and over who take, catch, kill, or possess fish or attempt to catch, kill or possess fish in the saltwater jurisdiction of Alabama. This includes residents who are not required to purchase an annual saltwater license such as those over the age of 64, have a lifetime saltwater license or fish exclusively on a pier that has purchased a pier fishing license.
  • A Reef Fish Endorsement is required for all resident and non-resident anglers 16 years of age and older, and includes disabled, veterans appreciation, 65 and older, lifetime license holders, pier licenses, annual saltwater licenses, trip licenses, commercial fishermen, and charter boats.
  • Possession of red snapper in state waters while the Alabama season is closed is prohibited. Anglers fishing under another state’s season must abide by that state’s rules and land fish in that state. Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed.
 

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You better ask a maritime lawyer or the coast guard.
Example, I leave from florida go fish and catch legal fish on the Dutch bank that's in florida and legal. The winds come up from east or any reason I choose to go through alabama waters without stopping and proceed to florida and get checked in alabama. If I got ticketted I would take it to court. I have been stopped several times coming in alabama point and orange beach coming down the intercoastal waterway with only florida registered everything required licenses. Was checked for licenses and told sorry for the inconviences and told to have a good day. They asked if I caught anything never checked sizes just looked.
 

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Yup, lots of situations similar to that. I live in Orange Beach on the water, and keep my boat on a lift. If I hunt in Pensacola Bay, with a valid Florida license, I'm legal as long as I meet the bag and size requirements for any fish I have. When I get to the Alabama state line, or enter Alabama offshore state waters, I'm legal if I have an Alabama license, meet the requirements for size and bag limits (which are the same for Florida for reef fish). But if the Alabama season for that fish is closed, I'm not legal. Historically, you were ok as long as you didn't stop and fish, but that's not what the new regs seem to say. I hate to depend on the friendliness or generosity of a marine patrol officer, but it seems like that's where we are. I think you could probably get the ticket thrown out in court, as you said, but that's a pain, especially if you're from out of town. I've had mostly positive experiences with both Florida and Alabama Marine Patrol Officers, but everyone has a bad day once in a while, and I'd prefer not being on the receiving end of the s**t flowing downhill.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You better ask a maritime lawyer or the coast guard.
Example, I leave from florida go fish and catch legal fish on the Dutch bank that's in florida and legal. The winds come up from east or any reason I choose to go through alabama waters without stopping and proceed to florida and get checked in alabama. If I got ticketted I would take it to court. I have been stopped several times coming in alabama point and orange beach coming down the intercoastal waterway with only florida registered everything required licenses. Was checked for licenses and told sorry for the inconviences and told to have a good day. They asked if I caught anything never checked sizes just looked.
I finally got someone on the phone who was with Law Enforcement down there and they stated very clearly that if you are stopped with fish that are not in season in Alabama then you WILL get a ticket. So I guess that's that. Stupid but its the way it is
 

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Wood guy they will never change the water is nuetral. And yes if some one gets exited and start holloring they can just site you for that. As long as you are legal for where you caught fish and haven't fished and preferably
moving. Most likely they will be helpful and send you on your way.
 

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They started regulating it different ever since the states took control of the seasons. I am not sure why they changed, but you don’t want to come in perdido pass Tuesday through Thursday with snapper even if you are going to Florida. It used to be your home port for the regulations you fell under.
 

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I thought it was legal to transit as long as you're landing in another state, but the alabama state site clearly says "A Saltwater Fishing License is required for all persons fishing or possessing fish in saltwater areas of Alabama. (Saltwater Areas Map)". Now maybe you might get lucky and find a LEO with common sense to let you off with a warning, but as an out of stater on the wrong side of the letter of the law you're probably going to get hosed.

 

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No, they changed the rules when the states started to regulate federal waters. That and Alabama season will end on July 3rd now. Email was just sent out. You can still snapper fish on one of the exempted charter boats out of Alabama after that.
 

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Ok they own the land under the water. Dont stop and fish or anchor on alabama property. Some of that water was over another states property at high tide. Have your gps running and tracking without any stopping.
 

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You can not transport fish caught under Florida rules through Alabama waters if out of season in Alabama. It clearly states that in the rules.
 
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