Modified Two-Hook Alabama Rig Meets Iowa Fishing Laws

Iowa DNR Press Release 3/13/2012*

A new fishing lure may be catching more anglers than fish and is generating quite a buzz on message boards and sports shows across Iowa. The Alabama Rig, as it is called, is an umbrella-type rig and consists of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind. Each wire leader can be used to attach lures which when pulled through the water will simulate a school of baitfish.

This new rig has been featured on competitive fishing shows, in magazines and fishing seminars for the past year. It is now sold in major outdoor sports stores in various states which brings the question of, is it legal?

“There has been a lot of confusion over this rig and how it fits or doesn’t fit in our laws,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. “In Iowa our anglers are limited to two hooks per line so the fully-rigged Alabama Rig would be illegal to fish with in Iowa. However, anglers may use a two-hook version of the Alabama Rig in which five baits are attached to the rig but only two of these baits have hooks.

“The Alabama Rig is used primarily for largemouth bass and some bass tournaments have already banned the use of it during their tournaments,” he said. “Our officers are aware of the rig and just as they do with all of our fish and game laws, they will be checking for compliance.”

* 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