Ask a CO: Are DIY jaw jackers that use mouse traps and other things as a trigger legal?

by Editorial Staff | January 8, 2024
A tension rod to aid in ice fishing

Q: I’m looking for more info regarding your Ask a CO, “Are Jaw Jackers legal?” posted on It seems the CO puts an emphasis on the spring mechanism rule. YouTube is full of DIY jaw jackers that use mouse traps and other things as a trigger. Are these illegal?

Andrew Foerster, Ottawa

A: There is emphasis on the manner in which a spring is used because possession of a spring gaff in or within 30 metres of any waters is prohibited. A spring gaff includes any device which uses a mechanical spring, other than the fishing rod under tension, to set the hook for an angler.

Devices that use a rod under tension to set the hook (e.g., “Jaw Jacker”), and not a spring gaff, are considered legal for use in Ontario. The use of a mouse trap to hold the rod under tension is permitted. Using a mouse trap to set the hook is against the law.

ANSWER BY: Brenda Koenig, Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF

Send your questions by clicking here

Originally published in the Jan.-Feb. 2023 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS Magazine

Ask a CO is also a regular feature in the print edition.

Please check the most recent Ontario hunting and fishing regulations summaries, as rules and regulations can change.

For more instalments of Ask a CO, click here

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