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Rods per angler regs

6421 Views 37 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  DoctorFish
I saw a comment on a posted report from yesterday (5/21) stating that there is a regulation on the number of rods that can be used by one angler on a boat. Is it really two rods per angler? I guess if you're fishing more than that, you need a commerical license. Is that the thinking behind this reg?
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There is a law but it only applies to FRESHWATER fishing in New York state. It's no more than two rods per angler. It has nothing to do with Saltwater.
Here's the link to the law;

Angling means taking fish by hook and line. This includes bait and fly fishing, casting, trolling and the use of landing nets to complete the catch. Anglers must be in immediate attendance when their lines are in the water. An angler may operate no more than two lines with or without a rod, and each line is limited to not more than five lures or baits or a combination of both, and in addition, each line shall have not exceeding fifteen hook points in any combination of single, double, or treble hooks, provided the total number of hook points does not exceed fifteen. Snatching, lifting, hooking and the use of tip-ups are not angling.
Hey Doc - are you sure on that? Thhis has come up before & George was also quoting regulations that were applying the 2-rod-rule to both Fresh & Saltwater.

Don't see any mention of salt or freshwater in your quote.

Thread went on quite a bit regarding this when it last appeared on the board.
The link and quote is from the New York State Freshwater Fishing License and regulations rulebook. I'll dig around and see what I can find that might apply to saltwater angling. Keep in mind, outside of the usual size limits/season regulations, New York state has not spent a great deal of time emphasizing Saltwater angling laws.
That prior discussion on this board isn't coming up in the search.

I took a look at the DEC laws again and I still believe that the two rod per person "angling" definition only applies to freshwater.

Chapter 43-B does define "Angling" as not using more than two lines per person. However, Article 11, Title 13 specifically states that it "excludes migratory food fish of the sea in the Marine and Coastal district".

Article 13 contains specific laws that apply to the Marine District. None of them state that recreational fisherman can only take fish via the "angling" definition.

On a side note, if the State did indeed apply the "angling" definition to Saltwater fishing, then it would actually be illegal to keep a foul-hooked or snagged fish too!

As best as I can see, if you were standing on the shore minding your own business and a 40lb striper decided to leap into your arms, you could legally keep that fish as long as it was in season and met the minimum size limits. If a similiar thing happened on the shore of a freshwater lake or stream, you would have to return the fish to the water.
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You go boy..........

Don't recall what the actual topic name was but I do recall seeing it. Most where pretty surprised by George's response.

HEY GEORGE - you out there? Perhaps you can lend a hand on this.

Unless I am trolling in the ocean, I can not handle more than two rods. Maybe I am inept. Anyway the weakfish tournament this passed weekend only allowed us to use two rods per angler, according to NYS law. Who's right... Who's wrong? I don't know.
I asked because I remember last year the DEC guys approached my boat and took specific note of the number of rods that I had on board. I was bluefishing earlier in the day and had two rods for chunking/live-linging, a rod for snagging bunker and two rods for fluking (I only fluke with one rod, but have a backup). I figured they were interested for a reason, but didn't cite me for anything.
The law is two rods per person within the NYS marine district.
George - & that means saltwater?


Once your off shore in Federal waters you can troll or use as many rods as you can handle.(ex. tuna trolling,12 rods/2 fisherman)
Hi George.

I can't seem to find that exact part of the consveration law anywhere. Everything that refers to angling and to the two line limit seems to exclude the marine district. Not that I'm out fluking with six rods, but many times I troll three rods for bass.

Did you ever actually see the exact wording in the marine district guidelines?

I can't remeber where I saw it, but the rod limit regulations are for both fresh and salt water. It doesn't specify fresh water, so it includes both. I spoke to ECO Sincebaugh about it recently and he confirmed that the two rod per angler regulations apply to saltwater fishing as well. Which includes trolling multiple rods. He said the ECO's were directed to enforce this for saltwater fishing about five years ago, however, to his knowledge not one violation for it had been cited yet. Once you are three miles offshore, however these rules don't apply.

Thanks. That still doesn't answer my question; How do we know that there really is a law that applies to saltwater? If it exists, why can't anyone tell me what paragraph in what chapter/article/section, etc... of the NY state conservation law it is written??

Just because everyone assumes that there is a law, doesn't mean that it actually exists. Here is a link to a copy of Chapter 43-B (the New York State Conservation Laws). You tell me where it is written in here that specifically states that no more than two lines may be fished per angler in the marine District. Maybe it's right in front of me and I'm just blind. Or maybe there simply is no law.
ECL Article 11-0103 12(b)

Is the definition of angling. The definition of angling includes the restriction of two rods per person. It is not specific to salt or fresh water because it applies to BOTH. Angling is angling, in fresh or salt. I cannot find a link now, but I will search later on.

on feb 14,02 . i ask mr. steve Hein; what is the statelaw or were can i find out,how many poles can you have went you fishing the beach . i was told it is 2 per fishman is this right,or were can i find it in black and white. thank you fro any informantion you can supply.

re: fishing the surf:

steve Heins has referred your question to me for the answer.
[mr.richie Otterstedt]
I am the Chief Env. Cons. Offcer for long lsland.
section 11-0103-12b ECL .defines angling as taking fish by hook and line,
with no more than two lines.
if you fish with more than two lines, you are by law,
[ Section 13-0335-1 ECL]
no longer angling,but rather presumed to be taking fish for commercial purposes and must have a commercial foodfish license.
So ,in summary, recreational marine district fisherman may only fish with two lines, unless they have a commercial foodfish licence,
and than,they are required to comply
with all the commercial fishing regulation while exercising the privaledges of the foodfish license.

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Thanks for clearing that up sandman!


The ECO was correct about the law, but I'm sure people have been cited before, because I actually had an angler call our office a few years ago that was. That's how I found out about it.
Rods per angler

ON the Hudson River when fishing for Striped Bass you may only fish with two rods per angler and once you have a fish in possision you must stop fishing. I watch the sheriff's dept send a fishermen back to land as he had one fish in possision and was fishing 3 rods. I don't believe he was cited.
Phi Kozak
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