Legalities of Bead Fishing in MT
Every spring and fall we have people asking about the legalities of using beads in Montana. This effective method of fishing an egg, made popular in Alaska, IS illegal here in Montana under the current Regulations. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the technique, or know it by a different name, a colored plastic bead is secured to the line several inches above a bare hook. The idea is the hook is close enough to the bead that the fish is flossed and hooked on the outside of the mouth. They are also known as trout beads. Under Montana law the fish needs to voluntarily take the hook.
Montana Snagging Definition:
A technique of angling in which a hook or hooks are cast, trolled or lowered into the water and manipulated to embed the hook or hooks into the body of the fish. You have snagged a fish if: (a) you are fishing in a manner that the fish does not voluntarily take the hook in its mouth, or (b) if you accidentally hook the fish in a part of the body other than the mouth.
While lots of us here at the shop don’t personally have a problem with beads, we just want to let people know that it is technically illegal, and you can be ticketed for it