Illinois DNR clarifies Alabama Umbrella Rig Regulations

The new Alabama rig is sweeping the nation, raising questions by anglers regarding its legality. The Illinois DNR legal staff, working with the Divisions of Fisheries and Law Enforcement, have determined that the Alabama rig IS legal in those waters in the state that do NOT have the “2 poles only with no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole regulation.” Examples of those lakes where the Alabama rig is legal are the three Corps of Engineer lakes (Carlyle, Rend and Shelbyville), the Lake of Egypt and Kinkaid Lake.

The Alabama rig is also legal on most rivers and streams, including the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri, but NOT between Illinois and Iowa. It is also legal on the Ohio River, including Smithland pool. In addition, the rig is legal on all private waters in the state.

There are many water bodies in the state that have a regulation allowing for “2 poles only with no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole.” On these water bodies the Alabama rig is NOT legal since it has 5 hooks. The rig could be made legal by wire clipping three of the hooks, making them “dummies,” or by replacing three of the hooks with spinner blades, making it so the rig would have only 2 hooks and therefore fall within that regulation.

To determine which water body permits the Alabama rig, check the Fishing Regulations Booklet under Site Specific Regulations. The Site Specific Regulations will state directly under the lake name “2 pole and line only.” As stated, on those lakes the Alabama rig is NOT legal unless modified as described above.

AboveĀ from

Illinois Department of Natural Resources main website

* 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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Dan Kimmel is the editor of