Illinois Fishing Hook Restrictions

Illinois Fishing Hook Restrictions
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has regulations in place that restrict the number of hooks an angler may employ in specific situations. These restrictions also address the placement of hooks on trotlines and the snagging of fish.

Number of Hooks

While ice fishing, an angler may deploy up to three devices known as tip-ups over holes cut in the ice. Each tip-up may not have more than two hooks. On open water, only one fishing pole, with no more than two hooks, can be used.

Distance Between Hooks

The hooks placed on trotlines and throw lines in Illinois must be at least 2 feet apart on the line. The exception to this rule is Lake Michigan; there are no restrictions for power lines and trolley lines.

Snagging With Hooks

Illinois restricts the use of snagging, in which an angler tries to hook a fish without the use of bait, to certain species, including the common carp, freshwater drum, buffalo, longnose gar, bowfin, sucker and gizzard shad.

The state restricts the size of any treble hooks used on the Mississippi River between the state of Iowa and Illinois to no larger than size 5/0.

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