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Fish Limits with a guide

5/22/22 @ 9:50 PM
Big Lake Hoosier
Big Lake Hoosier

Looking at all the fishing reports has me researching and unable to find the answer.   When fishing with a guide, do customers get to keep the guide‘s limit as well?  As if the guide may donate their portion of the total boat possession to the customer?


8/16/22 @ 3:31 PM
USER SINCE 7/20/09

So the original gripe was a guide said that he 'had to' give his limit to his clients or the client would not book with him.  People thought that was shady.  Seems like you guys proved that to be the case since he pretty clearly hinted at being compensated, but its long deleted from here now.

All this stuff is hard to really follow or prove if you really dig into it.  Like I said earlier, if I keep a limit every day and go over my possession, I'm a poacher.  But if I give them all away, then I'm either a guide or a really good fisherman.  End result of fish taken is the same, one gets shamed and the other glorified.  Its all perspective and that's because the law as is, allows it for one case and not the other.

8/16/22 @ 2:49 PM
Dead Dog
USER SINCE 4/14/21

Well.....this topic is as clear as MUD.  What happens if I'm fishin' under a Full Moon, Can i gift my catch to the Moon God?

8/16/22 @ 2:11 PM

correct, amaranthlost  took the time to contact the DNR and ask them the correct question and shared their reply with us... a big thank you to amaranthlost  !

8/16/22 @ 1:49 PM
Phat Walleyes
Phat Walleyes
USER SINCE 3/31/15

Amaranthlost got it exactly right... 

Daily and possession limits...

Gifting of fish and how it counts against those limits... 

Also keep track time of day / fish limits on specific body of water... 

I always check the rules before fishing AND check the launch, pier or entrance for updated posted bag limits / lake rules... 

( DNR makes changes after the fish regs. books being printed... You're responsible to know any updates prior to you fishing any waters )

Once I decided to keep crappie for dinner and a future meal to freeze... Had a fishing basket, I decided to recount my catch... Freaking out I was two over and couldn't get them back in the water fast enough... I was shaking and couldn't believe it!

8/16/22 @ 1:20 PM

hopefully, the DOJ doesn't get involved, lmao!!! I'm getting a headache, lol

8/16/22 @ 12:28 PM

Everyone has a possession limit, whether holding a fishing license or not.  The license just gives you the option of fishing for the fish, but there's nothing about keeping the fish if they're gifted to you.  And everyone has the same possession limits, even children.  Technically (and I DO say technically) a newborn also has a possession limit!

8/16/22 @ 9:58 AM

I agree, there is just so much grey area that is almost impossible to address.  If the guide isn't fishing, technically the clients are overbagging or fishing past their limits potentially.  Like on Green Bay, running a 9 or 12 line trolling spread.  Are the clients manipulating their own 3 rods and only reeling in fish on their own 3 rods?  Should it be legal for the guide to have his 3 lines out if he's not technically fishing?  The list could go on and on.  I take my daughters out slip bobber fishing for walleyes.  I very rarely every catch a fish, I let them do it.  I suppose that could be deemed illegal.  

8/16/22 @ 9:23 AM
USER SINCE 8/20/12

Doesn't that really bring us back to - is the guide doing the fishing and catching or not?

I doubt he is. 

8/16/22 @ 9:21 AM

Do possession limits apply to someone that hasn't purchased a license?  I know this doesn't directly correspond to the guide gifting, but here is a scenario.

Guy fishes with a guide two days in a row on multiple lakes and they each keep 5 Walleyes total each day.  The first day, the guide gifts the client his 5 fish in which the client turns around and gifts all 10 to his wife who doesn't possess a license.  The next day they do the same.  Now the guy has 20 Walleyes in his freezer, but technically has 0 in his possession.  Everything I have found in the regulations say it like (the angler this and that).  Technically the wife is not an angler and doesn't even carry a license.  Does she still have a possession limit or can the client now go out on say his 3rd day of vacation and keep more to give to his wife as he isn't in possession of any?  I totally get this is a way crazy scenario, but not really if you think in terms of someone that may be on their once a year fishing trip in early June.  

8/15/22 @ 3:03 PM
USER SINCE 5/31/10

From the DNR it appears as though it is legal for the guide (or any licensed angler) to gift their fish to another on the same day, even if that person receiving the fish has their total daily bag already that day. 

Basically as long as the guide has not exceeded their total daily bag and gifted amount would not put the receiver over their possession limit, it is a legal practice, provided compensation is not explicitly exchanged for the fish.

"I have a question regarding possession limits and daily bag. NR 20.03(8)(8) states daily bag means the maximum number of fish that may be reduced to a person's possession from a specified waterbody or portion of a waterbody in one day.  

If I am with a guide and catch and keep my daily limit, can I legally accept fish from the guide on the same day? I.e., I am walleye fishing and keep 5 walleye, can the guide gift me his 5 on the same day to total the 10 fish possession limit (2x daily bag)?

Hi Aaron, thanks for your questions.

Assuming a daily bag limit of 5 walleyes for the waterbody and a total daily bag limit of 5 (number of walleyes that a person can take in a single day from all waterbodies fished), another person could only gift additional fish to the angler if the person gifting the fish is still under the daily bag limit and total daily bag limit, only if the fish are gifted away from the water, bank or shore of the waterbody and only if the angler has not yet reached the possession limit of 10 for walleye (the possession limit includes all fish in the angler’s possession regardless of where the fish are being stored). Additionally, no type of compensation may be exchanged in return for the gifted fish.

Hope this helps!"

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