Yes, treble hooks are normally permissible for fishing in the California Ocean, with the exception that salmon fishing needs at least two barbless hooks [Section 27.80(a)], which rules out treble hooks. The use of a treble hook for live bait is prohibited.
In addition, while it is not illegal to use treble hooks if you are fishing offshore, it is recommended that you use single hooks for catching fish.
The reason for this recommendation is that if you catch a big fish and it tries to shake off the treble hook, it could possibly hurt itself or get tangled up in its own line. This could result in the fish being lost. With single hooks, if a fish tries to escape from your bait, it can simply be reeled in again.
Some fishermen also choose to use treble hooks because it allows them to work their baits at a deeper depth than would be possible with single hooks. However, if you go deep-sea fishing and want to use treble hooks, make sure that you only use barbed hooks so that you don't cut yourself when you pull your catches aboard.
California law requires a person fishing for salmon to have two separate hooks attached to one bobber. A treble hook violates this requirement unless it has been modified by filing down the barbs on both hooks.
When used in conjunction with live or dead natural bait, a treble hook is termed a "multiple hook" and is forbidden in Florida for regulated and catch-and-release saltwater species. Many fishermen avoid using treble hooks with bait because you never know what sort of fish may eat. Fish that eat bait tend to be indigestible by larger predators so they pass the treble hook through their body unharmed. This is called "silent fishing".
The multiple hook regulation was put into place to protect predatory fish such as bass from being caught by mistake. If a fish takes the bait on a treble hook, it cannot remove the hook without being injured. The only way to remove the hook is for the fish to swallow it whole which prevents any harm to its predator-resistant design.
Saltwater fishermen should be aware that illegal gillnets can be found in state waters during raids conducted by conservation officers. These nets are not permitted in Florida because they are indiscriminate and can cause serious injury or death to marine animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles, and fish.
Treble hooks are also illegal in national parks and wildlife refuges. Some fish, including salmon and trout, are protected under federal law so even if you are fishing in a state park your hook could still be detected by rangers conducting patrols.
Treble hooks can, in fact, be used on lures. However, treble hooks are not permitted when using fish, crabs, or worms as bait or when using processed baits, and they are also not permitted while live-lining or chumming.
The use of treble hooks is prohibited in some states for certain types of fish. In these cases, it is important to understand the law in your state. For example, in Maryland, it is illegal to use a treble hook when fishing for salmon or steelhead because doing so causes them pain. However, if you are only fishing for trout then a treble hook is acceptable.
The main reason why people are asked not to use treble hooks is because they can seriously injure or kill fish if not used properly. If you are ever questioned about the presence of treble hooks in your area, then you should call ahead to make sure that they are allowed. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a fine.
In North Carolina, several rivers and streams mandate the use of a single barbless hook. Furthermore, certain streams and rivers only allow a "single hook." North Carolina defines "single hook" as "a fish hook with only one point" in its rules. Treble hooks would thus be prohibited. However, many fishermen do use treble hooks because they say it increases their chances of catching more bass.
The only river in North Carolina that bans double hooks is the French Broad. The other rivers and streams that prohibit specific types of hooks are listed below:
Bass Anglers Needed - South Carolina (S.C.)
Blackwater River and Tributaries - Virginia (Va.) and West Virginia (W.V.)
Bragg Creek - North Carolina (N.C.)
Catawba River - South Carolina (S.C.)
Cherokee River - Georgia (Ga.) and Oklahoma (Okla.)
Clinch River - Tennessee (Tenn.) and Virginia (Va.)
Columbia River - Washington (Wash.)
Conococheague River - Pennsylvania (Pa.)
Dan River - North Carolina (N.C.)
According to California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 1.19, a barbless hook is one "from which the barb or barbs have been removed or entirely bent closed, or which is produced without barbs." If there is no snag, you most likely have a barbless hook. However, even if it does not have any snags, it can still be problematic in certain situations.
California law requires that all fishing hooks used in the state be barbless. This is so that if a fish makes a catch on a barbous hook, then it can be released unharmed. The only time when barbed hooks are acceptable under California law is when using them for bait purposes. When using barbed hooks as bait, the barbs must be removed or bent close before putting in the water.
The reason for this law is because many non-barbless hooks have points that stay sharp after being bent off of their shafts. These sharp points can cause serious injuries to people who are not paying attention while fishing. Even if you do not suffer from arthritic hands, it is still recommended to always wear protective gloves while working with hooks because they will prevent you from feeling what you are doing.
Barbed hooks are common because they make it easier to pull up your catch once it has been caught. This is especially true for larger fish like trout and salmon.