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Fishing Prohibitions

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing

  • More than two hooks for fishing open water or more than five hooks when ice fishing. A hook is defined as an angling device attached to a fishing line that is designed to take one fish at a time but is not limited to devices commonly called spinners, spoons, bait harnesses, jigs, or plugs.
  • The taking of any fish from the inland waters of the Commonwealth for the purposes of sale.
  • Lead Sinkers, Lead Weights, and Lead Jigs Weighing Less Than an Ounce. Any sinker or weight made from lead that weighs less than 1 ounce, and any lead jig (meaning any lead-weighted hook) that weighs less than 1 ounce, is prohibited for use in all inland waters of the Commonwealth. The term lead sinker shall not include any other sinkers, weights, fishing lures or fishing tackle including, but not limited to, artificial lures, hooks, weighted flies, and lead-core or other weighted fishing lines.
  • Possession of: Sturgeon (all species), American Brook Lamprey, Atlantic (sea-run) Salmon, Bridle Shiner, Burbot, Eastern Silvery Minnow, Lake Chub, Longnose Sucker, and Northern Redbelly Dace is illegal! If caught, release immediately. This means remove hook or cut line and return fish to water immediately — do not pose for photographs, place on a stringer, hold in a net, or delay in any way the immediate return and release of the fish to the water.
  • Releasing fish or spawn into inland waters, except by permit.
  • Transporting live fish (except bait for personal use) without a permit.
  • Jug, toggle, or trot line fishing.
  • Snagging
  • Poisons, explosives
  • Littering in inland waters.