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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinHow many rods, baits or lures can I use?

The regulation governing this part of Wisconsin fishing is not written in terms of the number or poles/rods/lines. It reads, "No person may do any of the following ... fish with more than three (3) hooks, baits or lures."

Therefore, it is the number of objects capable of catching a single fish (e.g., a baited hook, a fly, a plug or a lure) which are of concern. You can use three (3) baits each with up to three (3) hooks as long as each is only capable of catching one (1) fish. Each bulleted example below represents a legal scenario:

  • 1 pole with 2 baits and 1 pole with 1 bait, or
  • 1 pole with 3 baits, or
  • 3 poles with 1 bait each.

Hooks, baits and lures all count toward the total of three (3). As a result, the maximum number of poles/rods/lines is three (3) as long as you have only one (1) bait on each pole/rod/line. More than one bait per line will require you use fewer than three (3) poles/rods/lines.

Multiple hooks on a single artifical lure do not count toward the total of three (3), only the lure itself. For example, an artificial minnow imitating lure with three (3) treble hooks, counts as one hook/bait/lure, not as three (3) hooks/baits/lures.

Frequently asked questions

For additional information on Wisconsin fishing, (e.g., maps, fish consumption advisories), please see our list of frequently asked questions.

Last revised: Saturday September 01 2012