Use of the Alabama rig restricted in New Hampshire’s fresh waters
Anglers should be aware that the "Alabama rig" (seen at right) as it was designed to be used, is illegal in New Hampshire fresh waters. This tackle generated national interest following a well-publicized win by a professional bass angler using it in a major bass tournament in another state in October of 2011.
Not a Lure: Technically, the Alabama rig is not a lure, but an apparatus that allows an angler to attach and fish up to five lures on a single line, with the possibility of catching more than one fish at a time. It is basically a castable "umbrella" rig, consisting of a hard body with a line-tie, followed by five wire strands in a fanned out design each with a snap swivel at the end. Anglers can attach a variety of lures to each swivel for a look that is meant to mimic a school of baitfish.
Not allowed: Bass fishing websites and magazines have abounded with stories touting the Alabama rig, but anglers should be aware that the use of the Alabama rig, with multiple hooked baits attached, is not allowed in New Hampshire fresh waters.
That determination is based on the following New Hampshire regulations:
- RSA 207:1 I Angling: The taking of fish by line in hand, or rod in hand to which is attached a cast of artificial flies, or an artificial bait, or hooks or other devices for the attachment of bait. A person may have in use not more than 2 such lines at one time. Nothing in this title shall prohibit the use of a rod-holder in a boat
- Fis 401.011 “Artificial bait” means any fishing bait constructed by humans as an imitation or substitute for natural bait or fish forage and includes, but is not limited to spinners, spoons, poppers, plugs, jigs and plastic, rubber or other artificial imitations of natural bait. “Artificial bait” does not include “fly” as defined in RSA 207:1 VII.
The words “an artificial bait” contained in New Hampshire's statutory definition of “angling,” mean one artificial bait per line. An “artificial bait” may have multiple hooks. Attaching additional hookless attractors such as spinners, spoons, poppers, plugs, jigs and plastic, rubber or other artificial imitations of natural bait to an Alabama rig would be legal to use in New Hampshire’s fresh waters.