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Scott R. Decker: 603-271-2501
Lt. Robert Bryant: 603-271-3127 
February 9, 2012

Use of the “Alabama Rig” Illegal in New Hampshire’s Fresh Waters

CONCORD, N.H. – Anglers should be aware that the "Alabama rig," a type of tackle gaining popularity in the bass fishing world, is illegal to use in New Hampshire's fresh waters, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials said today.

The Alabama rig generated national interest following a well-publicized win by a professional bass angler in a major bass tournament last fall.

Alabama rig

Source: www.alabamarig.com

Technically, the 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. 

Following the tournament win using the Alabama rig, bass fishing websites, forums, and magazines abounded with stories touting the fish-catching abilities of the new tackle. The buzz has generated many inquiries to Fish and Game about the legal status of using the Alabama rig, or similar fishing rigs, in New Hampshire freshwaters.

The bottom line is that the rig's use in New Hampshire fresh waters is not allowed. 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.  Attaching additional spinners, spoons, poppers, plugs, jigs and plastic, rubber or other artificial imitations of natural bait is not allowed. Therefore, an Alabama rig is illegal to use in New Hampshire’s fresh waters.

For more information on fishing in New Hampshire, visit www.fishnh.com.

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