Indiana DNR Allows Three Hooks on Umbrella Rigs

Indiana Fishing Hook Restrictions Relaxed and Clarified

Updated: 10/21/2023: From the Indiana DNR 2023 fishing regulations guide, page 9: Umbrella Rigs РYou may use an umbrella rig (sometimes referred to as an Alabama rig), but hooks or lures can be attached to only three arms of the rig. Any additional arms must be left empty or can be fitted with a hookless attractor.

Previously, effective May 24, 2013, under a new Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) rule*, an umbrella rig, like the Alabama Rig for example, can now have up to three hooks and unlimited hookless attractors. When artificial lures are used on an umbrella rig or similar device, they are considered one hook, even if the lure has multiple hooks.

The previous temporary rule that made the original Alabama Rig (5 hooks) legal for 2012 expired on Jan. 1, 2013 causing additional action in the creation of this new temporary emergency rule. Anglers can now affix up to three hooks, three artificial lures, or a combination of hooks or lures not to exceed three per pole as of May 24, 2013.

Other changes in this new temporary rule define “artificial lure,” “bait,” “fly,” “hook,” “pole” and “line.” “These changes were needed to clarify Indiana’s fishing regulations so that everyone can more easily determine what fishing tackle can be used,” said DNR director Cameron Clark. “New devices are always coming onto the market and in the past, it has not always been clear if they were permissible.”

The long-standing permanent rule allowed just two hooks per pole. Under the old permanent rule, it was uncertain how many hooks could be used on umbrella rigs. A temporary rule that allowed five hooks on umbrella rigs expired January 1, 2013 after a one-year trial.

As in the past, anglers are still allowed to fish with up to three fishing poles or lines at a time. The full text of the emergency rule is no longer available online. Indiana DNR Fishing Guide

There are exceptions in Indiana to the above hook allowances. From the new rule: “An individual must not fish the waterways described in 312IAC9-7-2(j) or from the St. Joseph River and its tributary streams from the Twin Branch downstream to the Michigan state line (St. Joseph County) with more than one (1) single hook per line or one (1) artificial lure. Single hooks, including those on artificial lures, shall not exceed one-half (1/2) inch from point to shank. Double and treble hooks on artificial lures shall not exceed three-eighths (3/8) inch from point to shank.”

* Always make sure you get the latest fishing guide regulations directly from the state or province you plan to fish in as regulations are subject to change without notice on Though we attempt to get an official up-to-date response we cannot guaranty we have the latest correct and complete regulations including all exceptions.

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