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Is the Alabama rig the best bass fishing lure? Everglades bass fishing guides – John “King of the Everglades” Pate says why he thinks this lure is winning tournaments and catching so many bass right now. Plus a video of the Alabama rig catching three bass at once!!!
But first, let’s talk about what the Alabama rig is and why it is so hot right now…
According to bassfan.com:
Just about everybody who threw the newfangled Alabama Rig at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open had success with it. Nobody used it as effectively as Paul Elias, though.
The grizzled veteran, who won the Bassmaster Classic during Ronald Reagan’s first term as President, had been intrigued by the umbrella-style device’s potential since seeing it for the first time over the summer. The big G’ville bass, which had been playing hard-to-get for months, made him a believer during practice. The rest is now bass-fishing history, and there’s no telling what the future might hold.
Elias shocked everybody – fellow competitors and observers alike – with a 26-pound bag on day 1, and then came in 3 pounds heavier the following day for a 55-pound total at the midway point. Many had previously thought that would be a solid number for the entire event.
He just kept slamming them over the weekend to the tune of another 47 pounds and some change. His 102-08 final tally represented the second-highest mark in FLW Tour history and his margin of victory was a whopping 17 pounds.
Here are some particulars about how he did it.
Elias had tested the A-Rig on the small pond at his home and had come away impressed, but he nonetheless began the practice period at G’ville throwing conventional offerings. Those efforts resulted in very limited success.
The deep bite at G’ville had been off all summer and into the fall, and that kept a lot of the Open competitors in the shallows throughout practice. Ledge-fishing stalwarts such as Mark Rose were unable to get anything going offshore with standard tactics and even other A-Rig users were inclined to stay in water that wasn’t much deeper than they were tall.
Elias got the idea to try the A-Rig while passing beneath a bridge, and it quickly produced quality keepers where other baits had failed to entice a single strike. It was game-on from there: He began to use his electronics to find some of those deeper-dwelling, lock-jawed bruisers that had everyone stymied, and the A-Rig allowed him to make a personal connection with them.
With the confidence that he could catch fish anywhere on the lake, he went looking in the places where the 4-plus-pounders – the real difference-makers – were likely to be.
“I think I ended up fishing deeper than most people,” he said. “I figured out that a lot of those fish I was seeing on the depthfinder, suspended off of 20 feet out over 30 and 35 feet of water, were bass.”
One of the most amazing thing about this lure is that it can catch multiple bass at the same time…
It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction from the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Tour to this rig. Anglers who try it say they sometimes catch two and even three bass on the rig at once. None of the anglers in the FLW Tour event have admitted to catching multiple fish, but you’ve got to wonder if fishing the rig gives an unfair advantage.
Those who have fished the Alabama rig say their muscles know they’ve had a day of fishing after throwing the rig all day. Elias says he’s using a 7-foot, 11-inch Pinnacle flipping rod, a Pinnacle reel and 65-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast FluoroBraid line.
“It’s kind of like a crankbait sometimes,” Elias explained. “The rig is very hard to throw. I’m going to be chunking and winding for two more days. I’ve thrown that (rig) since about noon last Sunday (in practice) and my 60-year-old (fanny) is worn out.”
As if Elias’ performance wasn’t enough to put the Alabama rig on the fast track to success, it was revealed Friday that three of the top five anglers in the tournament are also using the device. Robert Behrle of Hoover was in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 64 pounds, 15 ounces.
“I’m still trying to figure out the A-rig,” he said. “There’s definitely a learning curve. I’m using an altered bait and that seems to be working.”
Behrle says he caught a 7-pound bass on his fifth cast Friday and a 4 ½-pounder a little while later.
Jacob Powroznick, who was in fourth place after Saturday’s third round, is also using the Alabama rig. He said the Lake Guntersville bass are feeding on shad and the lure looks like a school of shad as it is retrieved.
“I had been catching them a little bit on a Rat-L-Trap in practice but then I went down the same bank with the Alabama rig and it was unbelievable.”
What Exactly Is The Alabama Rig?
With striking similarities to the standard umbrella rig that is used to troll for all sorts of game fish, one wonders how a castable umbrella rig wasn’t thought of before. In an industry where almost everything has been done, sometimes, redoing it is the best option.
Andy Poss, the creator of The Alabama Rig, admits that the finished product is a far cry from what he started tinkering with 14 months ago.
Weighing about 3/8 ounce, the rig alone is made up of five metal rods extending from a plastic head that is anchored to a single metal rod running in the opposite direction that is used to make an eyelet for the main line to be tied to.
At the end of each of the five rods, Poss formed an eyelet that a heavy duty clip is attached. From here, it’s up to you.
“You can throw anything you want to throw on it,” Poss said. “You can take The Alabama Rig and throw five topwater baits on it or put your lead heads on it and fish it as deep as you want to fish it.”
Having only been on the market since the first of July, Poss explained his expectations for the rig.
“I knew as soon as the water started cooling off on the Tennessee River and the fish started suspending and primarily feeding on shad, it was just a matter of time before one of these first few tournaments in the fall would be won on it. That’s how much confidence I had in it.”
Though The Alabama Rig currently comes only with five rods, Poss did hint at the possibility of some different versions on the horizon. He wouldn’t elaborate on the exact details of the bait but when asked if he would name these different versions of the bait the ‘Georgia Rig’ or ‘Tennessee Rig’, he smirked and said, “It’ll be all Alabama.”
If you want proof that the Alabama Rig can catch fish then look no further than the FLW Tour Open on Lake Guntersville and Paul Elias’ near record breaking performance. Jumping out to an early 5 pound lead on day one with more than 26 pounds on the toughest Lake Guntersville in recent years, it was apparent that Elias was on to something. That something was the Alabama Rig.
The next day it was learned that a few others in the top 10 were also throwing the rig. By the morning of day three, the Alabama Rig had made its way to the front deck of over 3/4 of the top 20 anglers’ boats. Casey Martin caught 20 pounds, 9 ounces behind Elias to win the co-angler championship on the rig as well on day three. On the final day, nearly everyone in the top 10 was using it.
Weights drastically grew throughout the tournament as the Alabama Rig ran rampant through the field. On day one around 16 pounds was in fifth place out of 146 pros. By day four, 5 of the 10 that went out had more than 20 pounds, all on the rig.
Never has a tournament been dominated and so drastically changed by the introduction of a single bait. TheChatterbait, Senko and other instant mainstays all made catching fish easier but the Alabama Rig seemed to trigger a class of bigger, older and more educated fish that simply wouldn’t bite anything else.
There is no doubt – the Alabama Rig is here to stay. And here’s why 40 year everglades bass fishing guide, Jonh Pate thinks it’s catching so many bass…
First you have to understand how most “breakthroughs” occur – in bass fishing or any other field.
Pure invention is extremely rare. What happens most of the time is something is successful in one field… someone in another field see it and recognized that is can be successful in another field where it is not being used.
One of the best examples of this is fluorcarbon fishing line. Fluorocarbon was being used with great success by saltwater fishermen for quite some time before someone in bass fishing recognized that it would also work for bass. Now all the top pros use fluorocarbon for many bass fishing techniques.
Now the Alabama Rig is basically a salt water umbrella rig that has been modified for bass fishing. And it is working beautifully.
If you’ve ever trolled for striped bass or other pelagic species, you probably know all about the “umbrella rig.” It’s essentially a wire harness sporting multiple “arms” to which lures or baits are attached. At its center is a line-tie (in the case of the Alabama rig, a hard bait body) and multiple arms emanate from it, almost like the spokes on a wheel. Because they’re wire, you can bend and adjust them to suit your desired presentation. Think of a mobile for a baby crib — with hooks! — and you’ll get the idea.
It represents something the bass have no seen in a lure before – a school of bait fish. Not just one lure acting differently (and out of place) from the school.
That’s my theory – but in realtiy – the only thing that really matters is…
It’s Catching Bass – A Lot Of Bass!!!
I’ve checked on the Alabama Rig web site and they are completely sold out. There is a 5 week waiting period. I’m sure entrepreneurs bought these things up and are selling them on ebay etc.
When I get my hands on one – I’ll post the results. I’m excited to use this “new” lure in the everglades in my secret spots. I think the results are going to be dynamite.
And if you’d like to go fishing with me – just give me a call. 954- 325-5310. We are catching some really nice BIG bass right now and the weather is AWESOME. Nothing beats bass fishing in the south Florida everglades.
John Pate and his clients catching big bass – VIDEO
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