IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Is Treble Hook ‘stinger’ Legal?


Treble Hook Stinger

For targeting finicky, wary tuna that are feeding on sauries or flying fish, we’ve found these ‘Yummy Flyers’ (www.CarolinaLures.com) to be very effective when trolled from kites, so the leader is held up in the air, out of sight. When done right, this often gets strikes when everything else is ignored.

When fished with a single hook, or even with two single hooks, the lures get a lot of hits, but we end up missing many hook-ups as the strikes are erratic and explosive, coming as the lure is skipping across the surface. To increase our success, I’ve started attaching an extra strong treble hook as a ‘stinger’ in the tail. The result is a much better hook-up ratio, but I’m wondering if this rig is IGFA-compliant?


While certainly effective, the particular rig in question is not IGFA-compliant for several reasons. First, under the Hooks and Lures section, IGFA’s International Angling Rules state that gang or treble hooks are “permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures that are specifically designed for this use.” The photo of your rig clearly shows a lure that has been altered from its original design.

Secondly, IGFA rules go on to say that “gang hooks must be free-swinging.” The treble hook on the lure at the top of this photo is clearly not free-swinging as it is firmly held in place by two zip-ties. An alternate rig, that would comply with IGFA rules, would be to use two single hooks set up as also shown in this image.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Is Treble Hook ‘stinger’ Legal?

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 120 of BlueWater magazine: NOV / DEC 2016

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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