Yes, the Alabama Rig is Legal on Champlain, BUT…

The Alabama rig has been the hot topic of bass fishing conversation since October 2011 when professional angler Paul Elias used it to win $100,000 at an FLW Tour Open on Lake Guntersville.  In essence, the A-rig is a castable umbrella rig that allows fishermen to attach five or more lures to a single line.  Since Elias’ much publicized win, bass anglers around the country have been debating the ethics and legality of using a device designed to catch, or at least capable of catching, more than one bass at a time.

On January 9, 2012 the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a statement regarding the use of the Alabama rig in Vermont waters.   According to the Department, “The Alabama Rig does not constitute a ‘lure’ in and of itself, since it is hookless. As such, it can be construed as nothing more than terminal tackle, such as a wire leader, except with 5 strands of wire instead of one. The Alabama Rig does not become a lure intended to catch fish until hooks are added.  As such, the Alabama Rig is legal to use in Vermont provided no more than two lures with hooks intended to catch fish are attached to it.  Additionally, if an angler were to attach hookless attractors to the remaining 3 wire strands, such as rotating blades (i.e. spinnerbait blades), or hookless soft plastic baits, it would also be legal to fish in this manner.”

 New York special regulations for Lake Champlain provide, “Each fishing line may have no more than two baited hooks or artificial lures with or without added natural bait.” 

You can check the New York and Vermont fishing regulations for Lake Champlain on our Regulations page.

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