ST. PAUL (AP) -- A new law designed to allow tiny lighted jigs to be used to lure fish in Minnesota waterways might have accidentally opened the door to allow the equivalent of massive underwater flood lights, officials said Monday.
An advertisement in a local newspaper got some lawmakers wondering what exactly they had allowed by passing the bill.
The ad for ''SeaLite Fish Magnet'' touted ''1 million candle power of pure bait attracting light. We guarantee you will have all the live bait you want and it brings in the big ones day or night. The secret is to have the light under the water.'' The 130-watt halogen light sells for $59.95.
''Is this what you intended with the lighted lure bill?'' Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, DFL-Erskine, wrote on the ad, which he photocopied and circulated to lawmakers.
Using lights to lure fish has long been illegal in Minnesota, but Dan Foss of Apple Valley, inventor of the GloJig, got that changed this year.
The GloJig lure uses a small, watch battery-powered light to attract fish. Twist the jig's head and the lure glows like a bright firefly. Minnesota law generally prohibits the use of lights to attract fish, under the premise that it gives anglers an unfair advantage.
But legislators carved out what they thought was an exception for Foss's one-man business or something like it.
When they saw the ad, they asked the Department of Natural Resources to double-check the implications of the bill. DNR officials called the attorney general's office, where state attorneys said the new law's language was ''ambiguous.''
''The ambiguity comes in the word 'lure,''' said Steve Hirsch, DNR fisheries operations manager. ''We're going to have to find some way to amend that.''
Rich McBride, president and CEO of SeaView Video Technology of Tierre Verde, Fla., which makes the SeaLite, said he wasn't aware of the Minnesota law until after the ad was placed.
''It's part of our national campaign, particularly for the fresh water fisherman,'' McBride said.
He said he's put on hold the shipment of any SeaLites to Minnesota until the questions are worked out.
The bill already has been signed into law, but lawmakers think they should be able to attach some language to another outdoors-related bill clarifying that a ''lure'' must be fastened to the end of fishing line on a rod and must include hooks.
The bill's House sponsor, Rep. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, said he would support clarifying the law.
''This wasn't our intent,'' he said of the SeaLite. ''I don't see any problem in taking care of this.''
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