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Is Fishing With Goldfish Illegal – Answered

Using goldfish as bait is a common topic many anglers wonder about. We went through each state’s rules & regulations and contacted their Department of Wildlife to create this resource.

Is it Legal to use Goldfish as Bait?

StateCan You Use Goldfish as Bait?
AlabamaIn Alabama it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
AlaskaIn Alaska it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
ArizonaIn Arizona it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
ArkansasIn Arkansas it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
CaliforniaIn California it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
ColoradoIn Colorado it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
ConnecticutIn Connecticut it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
DelawareIn Delaware it's legal to use goldfish as bait but is discouraged.
FloridaIn Florida it's illegal to use live goldfish as bait but legal to fish with dead goldfish.
GeorgiaIn Georgia it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
HawaiiIn Hawaii it's legal to use goldfish as bait but requires a baitfish license.
IdahoIn Idaho it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
IllinoisIn Illinois it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
IndianaIn Indiana it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
IowaIn Iowa it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
KansasIn Kansas it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
KentuckyIn Kentucky it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
LouisianaIn Louisiana it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
MaineIn Maine it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
MarylandIn Maryland it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
MassachusettsIn Massachusetts it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
MichiganIn Michigan it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
MinnesotaIn Minnesota it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
MississippiIn Mississippi it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
MissouriIn Missouri it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
MontanaIn Montana it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
NebraskaIn Nebraska it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
NevadaIn Nevada it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
New HampshireIn New Hampshire it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
New JerseyIn New Jersey it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
New MexicoIn New Mexico it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
New YorkIn New York it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
North CarolinaIn North Carolina it's illegal to use goldfish as bait. You are only allowed to use bait that you caught in the water you are fishing.
North DakotaIn North Dakota it's illegal to use live goldfish as bait but legal to fish with dead goldfish.
OhioIn Ohio it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
OklahomaIn Oklahoma it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
OregonIn Oregon it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
PennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
Rhode IslandIn Rhode Island it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
South CarolinaIn South Carolina it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
South DakotaIn South Dakota it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
TennesseeIn Tennessee it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
TexasIn Texas it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
UtahIn Utah it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
VermontIn Vermont it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
VirginiaIn Virginia it's legal to use goldfish as bait.
WashingtonIn Washington it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
West VirginiaIn West Virginia it's illegal to use live goldfish as bait but legal to fish with dead goldfish.
WisconsinIn Wisconsin it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.
WyomingIn Wyoming it's illegal to use goldfish as bait.

Why is Fishing With Goldfish Illegal in Some States?

Some states prohibit using goldfish as bait to prevent the introduction of invasive species. Goldfish are not native to the United States. Invasive species can cause harm to the ecosystem.

What kind of fish can you catch with goldfish?

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Gar
  • Muskie
  • Walleye

Do goldfish make good fish bait?

Goldfish can be good bait due to their hardiness. Goldfish can withstand a lot of stress and a wide range of temperatures and water quality. This allows goldfish to survive longer than other fish that are often used as bait.

What happens if you get caught with goldfish?

If you are caught using goldfish as bait in a state where their use is illegal you will be issued a fine. The fine varies state to state but many are in the $100 range.

Will bass eat goldfish?

Bass will eat goldfish if given the chance. Goldfish are often fed to bass in captivity.

Do catfish eat goldfish?

Catfish will eat goldfish if given the chance.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, ballot initiatives, rulings in courts, and other means. While we strive to provide the most up to date information available, please consult a lawyer or verify the state law(s) you are researching.

We strive to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. We routinely review and update our articles but don’t always make corrections as soon as they happen. If you see incorrect information please help us by submitting a correction form.