Fishing with live bait is an extremely effective method of recording fish, but is regulated in different ways from state to state. As I personally favor fishing through live baitfish, ns did some comprehensive research on all the 50 claims in the U.S.

You are watching: Can you use bluegill as bait

Most states allow the use of live bait, but have particular restrictions and rules concerning the possession and use the baitfish. Only a handful of states fully prohibit the usage of live bait in their waters.

Read the write-up to find out whether or not live bait is legitimate in your house state.

Pro Tip: If you desire to enhance your fishing, check out this helpful expert guide on how to catch and also fish with live bait top top Amazon here.


Certain fish types can it is in legally supplied as live bait in the state of Alabama.

Minnows, shads and details sucker fish can legally be provided as live bait in particular waters in Alabama. They shall be acquired by the use of actors nets, minnow jugs, minnow baskets, dip nets, or minnow seines.

It is illegal to usage any varieties of game fish as bait, with the exception of bream.

All types of bream might be supplied as live bait, as long as they space harvested legally and are no exceeding the day-to-day creel limit.

For more detailed information, please visit Alabama Hunting and Fishing Digest.


All use of live bait in freshwater is prohibition in Alaska, but legal in saltwater.

Herring, whitefish, and also other species that carry out not have any type of seasonal or harvest borders may be supplied as live baitfish because that saltwater fishing.

Such bait might be possessed, transported, and released only in the saltwater locations in which it to be taken.

For much more information, you re welcome visit the Alaska department of Fish and also Game.


It is legitimate to use live bait in specific areas in the state of Arizona.

Fathead minnow, threadfin shad, mosquitofish, gold shiner, and goldfish might be provided as live bait in every waters the the legal locations where fishing through live bait is allowed. It is legit to deliver these types to the waters that the legitimate areas.

Sunfish species, tilapia, carp, and also gizzard shad might only be provided on-site in the identified legal areas and also waters. That is illegal to deliver these species to or from these waters.

For more detailed info on legitimate areas and also the corresponding waters, please check the Arizona Game and Fish Fishing Regulations.


It is legal to usage live bait in the state the Arkansas if that is captured in the very same body of water where it is used.

Purchased farmed baitfish native a certified dealer may also be supplied as bait in any kind of water the the state.

For more information, please visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


The state of California has actually approved several varieties of fish come be supplied as live or dead bait. However, regulations different vastly from ar to district.

For detailed information on district regulations and also approved fish for use as bait, you re welcome visit California Freshwater Sportfishing Regulations.


Fishing with live bait is legit in Colorado but minimal to certain species and areas.

The adhering to species, if legally recorded by fishing, netting, seining, trapping, or dipping, have the right to be offered as both live and also dead bait:

Minnows, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, carp, sunfish, gizzard shad, sculpin, white and longnose suckers, yellow perch, and rainbow smelt.

Statewide bag limits use to the following varieties used as bait:

Sunfish, bluegill, hybrid bluegills, and also yellow perch.

Possession and also use of live bait space legal only in the adhering to areas:

In every waters eastern of the continental Divide and also below 7,000 feet elevation, Live baitfish might only be supplied in the same body that water native which they to be collected.

For much more detailed information on bag limits and area regulations, please read the directory Colorado Fishing 2020.


Possession and an individual use the live bait are legit in the state the Connecticut.

The following types are legitimate to usage as live or dead bait:

Common shiner, golden shiner, fallfish, creek chub, spottail shiner, bridle shiner, black sleep dace, longnose dace, pearl dace, bluntnose minnow, fathead minnow, cutlip minnow, chub sucker, white sucker, killifish, mummichog, Atlantic, and tidewater silverside, sand lance, frogs (except northern leopard frog), crayfish, perch bugs, hellgrammites, and mayfly nymphs.

Legal methods of obtaining bait encompass the following:

Angling, seining, bait trapping, and scoop netting.

For more detailed information, you re welcome visit the Connecticut room of Energy and Environmental Protection.


It is legal to fish v live minnows in the state of Delaware.

For an ext information, please check out the Delaware Fishing Guide.



Florida has a partial ban on fishing with live bait. The adhering to fish are enabled as bait:

Whole pickerel or panfish, such as bluegill, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, warmouth or components thereof may be supplied as bait because that sportfishing by the angler who recorded them entirety pickerel or bream or components thereof may not be provided as bait because that trotlines or shrub hooks or any method other 보다 by rod and reel or pole and line.Panfish less than 4 customs in total length increased by a license is granted aquaculture facility might be purchased and used for bait

The complying with fish are not enabled as bait in the state of Florida:

Black bass, peacock bass or any part thereof may not be supplied as baitNo live non-native fish, except variable platys and also fathead minnows, may be transported to or in between waters for use as bait Live goldfish and carp may not be offered as bait

For more detailed information, visit the Florida Fish and also Wildlife Conservation Commission.


It is legitimate to usage certain species as live bait in the state the Georgia.

The following varieties are legit to usage as live bait:

Minnows, threadfin shad, gizzard shad, and also blueback herring.

Game fish are likewise legal to use as live bait (where live bait is legal), if lock are recorded legally and also do no exceed everyday creel and also possession limits.

Live bait might be derived by using the complying with gear:

Seines, actors nets, and also dip nets.

For an ext detailed information, please check out the Georgia sport Fishing Regulations.


The use of live bait is legitimate in the state of Hawaii however requires a baitfish license to both obtain, possess, and use baitfish because that fishing purposes.

For more detailed information, please read the Hawaii Fishing Regulations.


In Idaho, fishing through live swimming bait is no legal.

Baits such together worms, nightcrawlers, maggots, wax worms, etc. Are enabled to be used for fishing. Live crayfish can additionally be offered for bait, but only were caught from the water in i m sorry you are fishing.

For much more detailed information, please visit the Idaho department of Fish and also Game.


The use of shad, minnows and also crayfish for live bait is legit in the state of Illinois.

All fishermen with a valid license may acquire such fish via the use of actors nets, shad scoops, and minnow seines and use them together bait.

For an ext detailed info on gear and size limits, inspect the Illinois Fishing Information.


In Indiana, any legally captured fish might be provided as bait. This even includes live goldfish.

Fishermen who want to usage fish together live bait have to stay within the bag and size borders for the respective species.

It is however illegal to use the following fish together live bait:

carpgizzard shad (can yet be offered as bait in specific districts and waters)

Live baitfish shall not be relocated from one water human body to another!

For more detailed details on certain district and also water regulations, you re welcome visit the Indiana department of natural Resources.


In Iowa, the is legal come use certain fish together live bait.

The following types can be used as live bait:

Minnows, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, frogs, crayfish, salamanders, and mussels.

Gizzard shad might only be supplied as dead bait.

Fishermen with a valid fishing license may transport live minnow for an individual use. That is additionally legal to use legally caught game fish together live bait ~ above a hook and also line.

Unused baitfish may not be dumped into the water body, yet shall it is in disposed the instead.

For more information, visit the Iowa room of natural Resources.


In Kansas, baitfish may be provided as live bait for fishing.

The following species are legit to usage as bait:

Minnow or carp household (Cyprinidae), sucker household (Catostomidae), height minnows or killifish family (Cyprinodontidae), shad family (Clupeidae), as well as sunfish household (Centrarchidae). These types can be acquired with a fish trap, actors net, fishing line, or seine.

Black bass and crappie might only be caught with a hook and line if offered as live bait.

Baitfish size have to not exceed 12 inches and the day-to-day possession border is 500 fish every person.

For much more information, please visit Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.


Possession and also use of aboriginal live baitfish space legal in Kentucky.

Licensed Anglers are permitted to own a daily maximum that 500 baitfish, which need to be nongame types only (except for redear sunfish much less than 6 inch long). This limit consists of shad (except on lakes where possession or use of shad is prohibited) and also herring.

The following species may just be supplied in the exact same waters indigenous they to be collected:

Asian carp, herring, shad, mooneye, and goldeye.

The following gear chandelier be offered to obtain live bait:

Dip nets, minnow traps, and also cast nets.

For more detailed information, please visit the Kentucky room of Fish and also Wildlife Resources.


The state of Louisiana enables the use of certain varieties for live bait.

Legal varieties for live bait include the following:

Minnows, crawfish, and shrimp.

It is illegal to use any kind of game fish together bait.

The complying with gear chandelier be supplied to acquire live bait:

Cast nets, minnow traps, recreational trawls, dive nets, and also bait seines.

For more detailed information, please check out the Louisiana Fishing Regulations.


The state the Maine enables the use of the following species for bait:

Smelt, Lake chub, east silvery minnow, golden shiner, Emerald shiner, Bridle shiner, typical shiner, Blacknose shiner, Spottail shiner, northern redbelly dace, finscale dace, Fathead minnow, Blacknose dace, Longnose dace, Creek chub, Fallfish, Pearl dace, Banded death fish, Mummichog, Longnose sucker, White sucker, Creek chub sucker, American eel, Blackchain shiner.

However, the following types cannot be provided as either live or dead bait:

any pickerel, goldfish, yellow perch, white perch, bass, sunfish, crappie, hornpout, carp, alewife, or any kind of spiny-finned fish

For much more detailed information, you re welcome visit


Generally, the use of minnows for live bait is legit in the state that Maryland.

However, there room certain local restrictions to that law. Baitfish shall no be obtained in the following locations waters:

Put-and-Take Fishing locations Special Trout Fisheries administration Areas

Additionally, the possession and use that minnows for live bait space illegal in Deer and Swan Creek in Harford County.

For much more information, please visit Maryland Fishing and Crabbing.


The usage of specific live baitfish is legitimate in the state the Massachusetts.

Baitfish may be recorded by licensed anglers at any type of time for an individual use if lawful approaches for recording bait are applied.

The following types are legit to use as live or dead baitfish:

Banded Killifish, Fallfish, Fathead Minnow, golden Shiner, Mummichog, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow Smelt*, Yellow Perch, White Sucker

*Smelt might be take away only by hook and also line. Possession or use of scented as bait in inland waters during any kind of other time than the scented season is illegal.

For in-depth information on approaches for obtaining baitfish, scented season periods, and further regulations, visit Massachusetts Freshwater Fishing Regulations.


Any species, which has actually been caught legally, may be provided as bait, with the exception of lampreys, carp, and goldfish.

Caught baitfish have to only be provided in the inland stream, lake, or great Lake, or in a connecting waterway wherein the fish to be caught.

Commercial collection and sale of minnows, wigglers, and also crayfish native the wild require a DNR license and a monthly harvest reporting to the department.

For more information, please visit the Michigan department of herbal Resources.


Minnesota allows the usage of a range of live and also dead bait for fishing, including minnows.

For the usage of live minnows, a number of special regulations apply:

unused minnows cannot be exit in Minnesota waters, but must be killed and disposedminnows shall no be imported into Minnesotaonly a maximum of 12 dozen minnows shall it is in transported there is no a commercial minnow licensewith a valid fishing license, an countless amount of minnows can be acquired for personal use

It is illegal to use whole or parts of any type of game fish, goldfish, or carp because that bait in the state of Minnesota.

For more detailed information, please check out the Minnesota Fishing Regulations.


All game fish, nongame pistol fish, goldfish, and minnows room legal to usage for live bait in the state of Mississippi, as lengthy as day-to-day creel limits are kept and they were recorded legally.

Additionally, minnows, nongame gross fish, and also nongame fish can be harvest for an individual use together bait without the require for a valid commercial fishing license.

For much more information, please visit the Mississippi the end Digest.


Fishing with live bait is legitimate in the state of Missouri.

The following varieties may be used for live bait:

Crayfish, freshwater shrimp, southern leopard frogs, plains leopard frogs, cricket frogs, and nongame fish. Bullfrogs and also green frogs take away under season limits and also methods can additionally be provided as live bait.

The following varieties are illegal to use for live bait:

bighead carp and silver carp (can yet be offered as dead or cut bait)game fish or their parts

In stimulate to acquire live bait, traps, dip nets, cast nets, pole and also line, or seines may be used.

Live bait taken indigenous public waters in the state of Missouri may not be offered or transported to various other states or waters.

For much more detailed information, visit the Missouri department of Conservation.


The state the Montana has really strict regulations for the use of live bait. Through a few exceptions, that is illegal to use live fish for bait in this state.

In waters that allow the use of live bait, only nongame fish may be supplied for bait. Additionally, all import and export that live baitfish space prohibited.

On the other hand, every nongame fish can be supplied as dead bait, if their heads and also entrails have actually been removed, or if they space preserved and also frozen.

For much more detailed details on the legal use of baitfish in the main and east Districts that the state, you re welcome visit Montana Fish, Wildlife, and also Parks.


All sports fish may be used for bait if:

they have actually been purchased from a licensed bait dealer they were recorded with hook and also line and also are supplied in the same water castle were caught from

There are special regulations for the adhering to species:

it is illegal to sell, transport or market for sale as bait, any kind of live carp, carpsucker, bullhead, buffalo, gar, quillback, gizzard shad or alewife, live fish that those species can be offered for bait just in the same water they were legally captured init is legal to carry dead carp, carpsucker, bullhead, buffalo, gar, quillback, gizzard shad or alewife for usage as bait

The state the Nebraska also has a lengthy list that lakes that do not permit the use of live bait.

For thorough information, please review the Nebraska Fishing Regulations and also Information.


The state that Nevada mainly prohibits the usage of live bait. The does however list a couple of regional exceptions.

To obtain detailed local information, please visit the Nevada Fishing Guide.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire permits the following types to it is in possessed and also used together live fish because that bait, in any of the state’s freshwater venues:

Rainbow smelt, Longnose dace, Blacknose dace, northern redbelly dace, Lake chub, Creek chub, Fallfish, gold shiner, usual shiner, Emerald shiner, Spottail shiner, eastern silvery minnow, east creek chubsucker, Longnose sucker, White sucker, Killifish/tomcod

For much more detailed information, visit new Hampshire Fish and Game.

New Jersey

The state of brand-new Jersey permits the use of live bait in all freshwater areas of the state. Any person v a valid fishing license may use live baitfish.

The following types are legit to usage as baitfish:

American Eel, Banded Killifish, Creek Chub, Fallfish, Fathead Minnow, Gizzard Shad, gold Shiner, Margined Madtom, Mummichog, and Tadpole Madtom. Because that Herring, Alewife, and Blueback.

The state does yet have daily limits of the number of baitfish and some specific regional regulations.

For more detailed information, please visit brand-new Jersey Freshwater Fishing Digest.

New Mexico

In new Mexico, minnows may be bring away for an individual use by licensed anglers or youngsters of 11 year of age or younger. methods permitted for acquisition minnows include: angling, dip nets, cast nets, traps, and seines. However, the state has actually a wide variety of types and local restrictions and special regulations because that the usage of live bait.

In waters containing defended fish, the following varieties are illegal to use:

Live defended fish, gar, goldfish, usual carp, river carpsucker, smallmouth buffalo, and also bullfrogs or bullfrog tadpoles.

The following species are legal to usage as dead bait only:

Bluegills and also sunfish, usual carp, flow carpsucker, smallmouth buffalo, bullfrogs, or bullfrog tadpoles.

For much more detailed information, please visit the new Mexico room of Game and also Fish.

New York

New York State has strict regulations about the usage of live baitfish.

the usage of personally gathered baitfish is limited to the water they were accumulated fromit is banned to carry baitfish from such waters other than for baitfish marketed for usage on the exact same water castle were collected from, every baitfish must likewise be certified come be disease free

The following baitfish are the only varieties that deserve to be purchased and used in any water human body in new York where it is legal to usage fish together bait:

Golden shinerBlacknose dace
Emerald shinerLongnose dace
Common shinerWhite sucker
Spottail shinerNorthern hogsucker
Banded killifishCreek chub
Fathead minnowFallfish
Bluntnose minnowLogperch
Northernredbelly daceEastern silvery minnow
StonecatMargined madtom
Tadpole madtomBrindled madtom

For an ext detailed information, visit brand-new York Freshwater Fishing.

North Carolina

In north Carolina, inland video game fish and also nongame fish might be provided as bait, if they have been captured legally and also within the creel limits and size of the respective waters.

For more detailed information on day-to-day possession limits and also further regulations, you re welcome visit north Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting, and also Trapping.

North Dakota

It is legitimate to usage the following varieties for bait:

Leeches, native frog, salamander, and crayfish species, and the following fish species: fathead minnows, creek chubs, and sticklebacks.

Using game fish and parts thereof is illegal, other than for yellow perch eyes, and trout and salmon eggs.

The state has a long list of water areas, in i beg your pardon the usage of live bait is prohibited.

For an ext detailed info on those water areas and also further regulations, please visit phibìc Dakota Game and also Fish.


Except for license is granted bait dealers, anglers room prohibited indigenous possessing an ext than 100 crayfish, or in combination 500 crayfish, minnows, and also other baitfish. A bait dealer’s permit is forced of persons to buy or selling minnows, crayfish, and also hellgrammites.

The relax of baitfish or minnow right into waters lock did no originate from is additionally prohibited.

For much more detailed information, please visit Ohio Fishing Regulations.


Any nongame fish have the right to legally be supplied as bait in Oklahoma.

Fishermen deserve to possess a day-to-day maximum that 25 nongame fish because that bait, except for shad, which has actually a maximum daily possession border of 200 per.

The following gear shall be used to achieve live baitfish:

Seines, actors nets, trawls, and dip nets.

For an ext detailed information, visit the Oklahoma Fishing.


All use of live minnows or any other live bait is illegal in Oregon.

For more detailed information, visit the Oregon room of Fish & Wildlife.


In Pennsylvania, fishing v live bait is legal.

All develops of minnows, such together suckers, chubs, fallfish, lampreys, as well as all creates of darters, killifishes, and stonecats (except those provided as threatened or intimidated species) are figured out as baitfish and can hence be used for fishing. Gamefish that have been captured legally may additionally be provided as bait.

It is illegal to use as bait, or possess the adhering to species:

Round gobies, tubenose gobies, goldfish, comets, koi, and common carp.

For an ext information ~ above possession limits and ways of recording baitfish, visit Pennsylvania Fishing Laws and Regulations.

Rhode Island

It is legal come use all varieties of freshwater minnows as live bait. They shall only be caught using minnow traps, dive nets, and seines.

There are also special regulations because that the usage of alewife/blueback herring as bait.

The following activities are prohibition in Rhode Island:

releasing any live bait into any type of freshwater the the statethe use as bait that any selection of yellow fish

For detailed information, please visit Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing.

South Carolina

The following minnow species are legal to usage as bait in south Carolina:

Fathead minnows, golden shiners, and also goldfish, consisting of black salties.

Except for bream (excluding redbreast), no video game fish may be provided as bait. Trout might be supplied as bait only on specific lakes.

Any non-indigenous species is illegal to usage as bait uneven it is currently established in the respective water body. The is likewise illegal come release any kind of such varieties into the waters that this state.

For more information on daily creel borders and specific lake regulations for trout, visit south Carolina Hunting and Fishing.

South Dakota

In south Dakota, only bullhead and also cleanings that baitfish space legal to use as bait while hook and also line fishing.

The use of carp, goldfish, or any type of game fish for bait is illegal in this state.

For an ext detailed information, you re welcome visit south Dakota Game, Fish, and also Parks.


The following types are legitimate to usage as live bait through licensed sports anglers, as well as imported, exported or offered by license is granted bait dealers:

Minnow, golden Shiner, and Goldfish, Skipjack Herring, Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad, Fathead Minnow, golden Shiner, Goldfish, Sunfishes, Rainbow Trout, Stonerollers, Creek Chub, Bluntnose Minnow, Bullhead Minnow.

Additionally, licensed bait dealers may also harvest the following species to be marketed as dead bait:

Brook Silverside, Inland Silverside, silver Carp, Bighead Carp, black Carp, Grass Carp.

For detailed information top top legal equipment to acquire baitfish, as well as further regulations, you re welcome visit Tennessee Fishing Guide.


In Texas, all nongame fish are legal to usage as bait.

The use of any type of game fish or part of any type of game fish as bait is prohibited in Texas.

Furthermore, the transport of live nongame fish taken from the complying with waters is prohibited:

the Red River listed below Lake Texoma downstream to the Arkansas borderBig Cypress Bayou downstream that Ferrell’s bridge Dam ~ above Lake O’the Pines (including the Texas waters the Caddo Lake)the Sulphur flow downstream of the Lake light Patman dam

However, nongame fish recorded in the above-mentioned waters deserve to legally be supplied as live bait on the exact same water bodies wherein they to be caught.

See more: Who Sang The Green Green Grass Of Home Written By Curly Putman

For much more detailed information and special area restrictions, visit Outdoor annual – Hunting, Fishing and Boating Regulations.