Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere? Laws and Regulations by State


For the most part, you are free to magnet fish anywhere. The only problem is when you start trespassing. If you attempt to throw your magnet into somebody else’s pond, you will be outside of your rights.

However, magnet fishing in public areas is absolutely legal. The only state that has put a ban on magnet fishing is South Carolina at the time of writing this article.

Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere Laws and Regulations by State
Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere? Laws and Regulations by State

Table of all 50 States

The following is a table of all 50 states and whether or not it is legal to magnet fish. I will do my best to keep it updated, but always double-check if you are uncertain.

StateLegal to Magnet Fish?Summary
AlabamaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Alabama. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
AlaskaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Alaska. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
ArizonaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Arizona. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
ArkansasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Arkansas. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
CaliforniaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in California. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
ColoradoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Colorado. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
ConnecticutYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Connecticut. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
DelawareYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Delaware. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
FloridaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Florida. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
GeorgiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Georgia. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
HawaiiYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Hawaii. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
IdahoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Idaho. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
IlliniosYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Illinios. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
IndianaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Iniana. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
IowaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Iowa. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
KansasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Kansas. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
KentuckyYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Kentucky. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
LousianaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Lousiana. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MaineYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Maine. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MarylandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Maryland. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MassachusettsYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Massachusetts. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MichiganYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Michigan. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MinnesotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Minnesota. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MississippiYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Mississippi. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MissouriYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Missouri. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
MontanaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Montana. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
NebraskaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Nebraska. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
NevadaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Nevada. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
New HampshireYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Hampshire. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
New JerseyYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Jersey. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
New MexicoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Mexico. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
New YorkYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New York. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
North CarolinaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in North Carolina. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
North DakotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in North Dakota. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
OhioYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Ohio. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
OklahomaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Oklahoma. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
OregonYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Oregon. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
PennsylvaniaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Pennsylvania. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
Rhode IslandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Rhode Island. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
South CarolinaNoIt is now illegal to magnet fish in South Carolina.
South DakotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in South Dakota. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
TennesseeYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Tennesse. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
TexasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Texas. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
UtahYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Utah. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
VermontYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Vermont. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
VirginiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Virgina. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
WashingtonYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Washington. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
West VirginiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in West Virginia. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
WisconsinYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Wisconsin. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.
WyomingYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Wyoming. Make sure it’s public property and you will be within your rights.

Related Article: Top 5 Best knots for Magnet Fishing


Do I need a license to magnet fish?

You do not need any sort of license to go magnet fishing as you would for regular fishing. If it’s public property and your state has not regulated the sport then you are free to do so. However, if it’s private property you must ask for permission before tossing in your magnet.

Laws for Rare Finds

Wreck and Salvage Laws

This probably will never happen but if it does, make sure you check your stats wreck and salvage laws. You may be required to report this or turn in any items found at a wreckage site.

What to do if you Find a Weapon

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to magnet fishing is, what do I do if I find a weapon? It’s true that this is pretty rare, but if you do happen to stumble upon a knife or a gun, don’t freak out. It’s not a big deal, and the steps to take are simple.

Finding knives

For knives, it’s pretty simple. Most states allow you to own any type of knife, however, some are more strict. For example, Michigan does not allow spring-loaded knives. It is important to look up your state laws just to make sure your okay.

Most hunting knives should be fine. If it’s just a standard utility knife feel free to take it home with you. However, if you ever have any doubt just leave it alone.

See also  6 Ways to Restore Rusted Magnet Fishing Finds that Actually Work

Also, please make sure to wear gloves while magnet fishing, especially with the risk of knives or other sharp objects being retrieved from the water.

Finding guns

This is a very serious matter. If you find a gun you are going to want to contact the police. The gun could be used in a crime and may help solve a case. On top of that, all guns have serial numbers. This is to know who the gun belongs to. It is illegal to own a gun that is not issued to you, so trying to take this home could lead to some problems down the line.

This situation is pretty rare, and likely won’t happen to you. However, if it does just take it seriously and you will be fine.

When in doubt

If you find a weapon and you are unsure whether it’s okay to have or not, the safest thing to do is just throw it away. Either that or don’t even touch it. Just knock it off the magnet and allow it to return where it came from.

Conclusion

As you can see, you are pretty much free to magnet fish anywhere you want with the main concern making sure to stay off private property (obviously). The only state that has banned magnet fishing is South Carolina. I’m not sure why. I will have to dig more into that later.

While you are free to magnet fish in most places, in 49 states, it’s important to remember you aren’t free to keep everything you find. Certain items have restrictions, such as weapons and wreckage. Make sure to check your state’s laws regarding these items before you take them home with you.

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