How Many Fishing Rods Per Person in NY?

The state of New York has some of the best fisheries in the country. Various warm water and coldwater fish species inhabit the New York State’s waterways creating fantastic fishing opportunities for experienced and novice anglers.

But how many fishing rods per person are allowed to use in NY? An angler may use no more than three fishing rods in New York State waters. Anglers may operate up to three fishing lines with or without a fishing rod. Each line can’t have more than five lures or baits, or a combination of both, and shouldn’t exceed 15 hook points. Snatching fish is prohibited. 

Read on to learn more about fishing regulations in New York State, fishing rod sizes, and gear restrictions. 

New York Fishing Rules and Regulations

New York Fishing Rules and Regulations

Most people fishing in New York need a current New York State fishing license. All persons age 16 and older, fishing for freshwater fish species by angling, spearing, longbow, hooking, or tip-ups need a valid fishing license.

A New York State fishing license is also required for catching frog species with hands, spearing, or when using a club or hook. A valid license is needed for taking baitfish for personal use. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation states that anglers need a marine fish registration if they are fishing for migratory fish of the sea and saltwater fish species. 

Fish Sizes

The New York State has strict freshwater fishing regulations for bag and length limits of certain fish species. A person can’t fish for a species, not even to catch and release, outside of the open season for that fish species. 

Lake Trout

The minimum length limit for lake trout is 21 inches, and the daily bag limit is three trout.

Atlantic Salmon (Landlocked)

The fishing season for Atlantic salmon is open all year round. The daily bag limit for Atlantic salmon is three, and the minimum length limit is 15 inches.

Black Bass

From June 15th till November 30th, the minimum length limit for smallmouth and largemouth bass is 12 inches, and the daily bag limit is five. For the remaining part of the year, smallmouth and largemouth bass can only be caught and released using artificial lures. 


Anglers fishing in New York State waters can bag only one muskellunge per day. The minimal length limit for muskellunge is 40 inches. 

Northern Pike

The open season for northern pike starts on May 1st and lasts till March 15th. The minimal length limit for the northern pike is 18 inches, and the daily bag limit is five.


The minimal length limit for pickerel is 15 inches, and anglers can’t bag more than five fish per day. 

Tiger Muskellunge

Anglers targeting tiger muskellunge can bag only one fish per day. The minimal length limit for tiger muskellunge is 30 inches.


The walleye is subjected to a daily bag limit of five for fish at least 15 inches long.

Gear Restrictions

According to New York State freshwater fishing regulations, angling means catching fish by hook and line. This includes fly and bait-fishing, trolling, casting, and using the landing nets to land the catch. 

Here’s everything you need to know about general regulations for fishing in New York:

Rod and Line

Anglers may use no more than three lines, with or without a rod, to catch fish in NY waters. All anglers must be in the immediate vicinity when their lines are in the water. Using a set of lines when the angler isn’t present is prohibited and punishable by law.

Ice Shanties

All ice shanties must be marked outside with the owner’s name and address in letters that are at least 3 inches high. Anglers must remove all shanties from the water by March 15th to prevent them from falling through the ice. 

Portable shelters, placed and removed from the ice daily, aren’t considered ice shanties. 


Using a longbow is permitted for catching carp from any water where fishing and discharge of the bow are permitted. No other fish species can be taken with a bow. 

A person needs to have a fishing or hunting license to catch carp using a longbow. Targeting fish with a crossbow is prohibited at all times. 


Using a spear or spear gun to take fish is prohibited at all times. Possessing spears on any water in the Adirondack Park, Lake George, or within 200 of these waters is not permitted.

Dip Net

Anglers with a valid fishing license can use one dip net to catch smelt, suckers, alewives, and blueback herring. Suckers can be taken in a dip net not exceeding 14 inches in diameter in Cayuga Lake, Canandaigua Lake, and Hudson River upstream to Troy Dam.

How Many Fishing Rods Can You Use in New York?

Anglers fishing in New York State waters can use three rods per person. To fish in New York waters, all persons age 16 and older must have a current New York State fishing license. 

How Many Hooks Can You Have on a Rod and Reel in New York?

When fishing in freshwater, anglers may have 15 hook points on each line. This refers to any combination of single, double, or treble hooks. 


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation determines how many fishing rods anglers can use while fishing in state waters. Any person intending to take fish in New York waters can’t use more than three fishing rods. 

The state also enforces minimum length and bag limits to prevent overfishing. If you plan to fish in New York, you need to be aware of all freshwater fishing rules and regulations and also possess a current New York State fishing license. Otherwise, you risk being ticketed for any unlawful behavior.