Colorado – Rules Clarification for use of Packbait’s in Carp Fishing
Updated: 8/9/2017 by John Finney.
Colorado is a NO chumming state.
from the Colorado Fishing Regulations Handbook it clearly states:
PROHIBITED FISHING METHODS INCLUDE —
Chumming, using toxicants or poisons, stupefying substances, electrofishing
The definition of chumming is as follows:
» CHUMMING is placing fish, parts of fish or other feeding material in the waters for the purpose of attracting fish to a particular area in order that they might be taken. This does not include fishing with baited hooks or live traps.
From the carp angling perspective, you may not use a spod, catapult, throwing stick, bait boat, bait spoon or any other mechanism to place “free offerings” of food for the carp in the water.
The definition of what is considered as bait:
» BAIT means any hand-moldable material designed to attract fish by the sense of taste or smell; those devices to which scents or smell attractants have been added or externally applied (regardless if the scent is added in the manufacturing process or applied afterward); scented manufactured fish eggs and traditional organic baits, including but not limited to worms, grubs, crickets, leeches, dough baits or stink baits, insects, crayfish, human food, fish, fish parts or fish eggs.
So, for us carp anglers, what does this mean ? how does this apply to Packbaits ?
Packbaits are a hand-moldable material that meets the definitions of bait (above). Packbaits are thus an allowable bait to use.
It is how you are using them that matters.
If you are using a packbait, you MUST ensure that your hook is attached and thus inside of the packbait.
Over the past few years, with the growing popularity of carp fishing in Colorado, more anglers are now starting to use method feeders to mold their packbait around, to aid in casting and help prevent the bait flying off on the cast. I have most often seen this done with the feeder/weight up the line and a hook link below, with the actual hook being up to foot or more away from the packbait itself.
This type of setup is considered chumming by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The Future of Carp Angling in Colorado
The popularity of catch & release carp fishing has grown quickly in Colorado. The modern tackle, tactics, baits and rigs we use are advanced, being developed over the past 50 years in Countries where carp are considered the “World’s Greatest Sportfish”.
Our local fishing regulations do not take into account the growing popularity of carp as a species and the tactics used by the modern carp angler. Colorado is actually near the top of the list of States in the country with the most strict regulations that apply to the methods we use for carp fishing.
It is my hope, that as the sport of carp fishing continues to grow in our state, these regulations will be reviewed and updated to meet the needs of both the state, the angler and the benefit the species as a whole.
Thus we as carp anglers should all strive to meet the spirit of the current regulations here in Colorado. If carp anglers are caught deliberately circumventing the intent of the rules they face a ticket and fine. Their behaviors reflect badly upon our carp angling community as a whole. Attempts to have regulations changed in favor of carp anglers could be negatively impacted. The future use of packbaits may come into question, potentially banned entirely, if we cannot use them responsibly.