Looking back on 2011 and the many great stories that came out of that year, one stands out a bit to me.
It isn’t often that a fishing technique can be so polarizing—causing debates about legality and fairness, and even prompting a few states to take legal action.
But that is exactly what the Alabama rig has done, and will probably continue to do. This rig is actually nothing really new, but it rose to prominence on Lake Guntersville.
The Alabama Rig And The $100,000 Payday
Paul Elias took home a nice payday on Lake Guntersville at a FLW open event using the Alabama rig.
Actually, that description doesn’t do the victory justice.
Elias caught 20 bass, eclipsed the 100 pound mark for his total, and beat 2nd place by more than 17 pounds. He didn’t just win…he dominated.
Doing a little easy math and he averaged just a touch over 5 lbs. per fish weighed in. Not a bad tourney!
So, What Is The Alabama Rig?
Maybe you haven’t heard of the Alabama rig before today, and you want to know what it is all about.
Well, imagine a mobile for a baby’s crib, except with fish hooks.
It’s a wire set up, tied in the middle. The arms emanate out, and have snaps on the ends. You can attach any type of bait you like, but most people stick with soft plastic swimbaits, jigs, or grubs.
The set up itself is really nothing new—on my local Lake Lanier people can often be found trolling for striped bass with an umbrella type rig, and it is also very popular in the saltwater fishing community.
It’s rise to prominence has been the application to bass fishing, specifically for attacking suspended fish. When fish are suspending, this bait can be deadly.
You also have to be very aware of foul hooking your fish. Pulling five baits along at a time can make it very easy to hook a fish in their side or tail, which of course in most states is not legal at all.
Before you go fishing with an Alabama rig, make sure to check with your states regulations. As I mentioned before, I have no issues here in Georgia, but a short trip north to Tennessee and this bait is absolutely off-limits.
Ready To Try One Out?
OK, you’ve read a little background, have a basic idea of how the bait works, and have probably made up your mind if it is fair or foul. Ready to try one out?
If you are, Bass Pro offers a good one at a good price.
Whatever you decide, there is not doubt that the Alabama rig made quite a mark, and sparked a lot of debate in 2011, and is here to stay of 2012.
See ya on the water…