Fishing the Perfect Storm? Don't Forget Your Umbrella - Rig
Forward: Fishermen, whether they be recreational, tournament professionals, or commercial are always on the lookout for tools to make them more proficient at their craft. Nowhere is this more evident than in their search for the next “perfect” bait or lure and for some reason, when talking about fishing for black bass in particular, this search is heightened exponentially.
Umbrella-rig madness has really exploded.
If you’re a bass fisherman, then you must be aware
of the current hot bait. Seemingly every year or two, a new one comes along and
it’s the same old story, supplies are limited, knock offs are made, the market gets saturated, a select few weather the storm and figure out how to really use the bait while everyone else abandons the madness because the fish eventually grow conditioned. Equilibrium is reached and it’s time to begin the search anew.
So we grabbed several to take onto the water to see what it's all about.
For manufacturers and retailers alike, it can be a vicious cycle trying to stay in front of each and every new storm. Usually where it begins is with a big win in one of the professional bass angling tournament circuits. So where are we going with this? If you’ve been paying attention to the scene anytime during the last few months of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, you already know. If you haven’t then be prepared to be swept up in the madness and controversy that is the next big thing in bass fishing. It’s time to see what the Alabama Rig is all about.
Just as important as the rigs themselves are all the related jigheads and baits.
The most popular baits are swimbait bodies.
Introduction: We'll admit right up front. When we first heard of this Alabama Rig storm, we dismissed it.
After all, spreader or umbrella rigs have been in the fishing industry for years and were originally employed in the commercial industry fishing for tuna. Their utility has trickled through the industry and there are versions available for other species so the fact someone figured out a way to make this rig work for bass fishing and actually won a tournament with it didn't really seem all that important nor did it seem very sporting. The fact you can fish up to five baits at once just didn't sit right with us.
If you can find it, Mann's Alabama Rig is the one used by Paul Elias in his recent FLW win.
Then of course, information begins to trickle through and we learned, as with any new rig, there are different regulations within each state defining how many hooks and baits you can fish on a single line. We won't run through each state, but be sure to check the legality of these types of rigs in the waters you are fishing. In some states, umbrella rigs are not allowed at all.
It features a smallish shad shaped head.
We probably don't have to tell you that our initial
dismissal of this rig was the wrong call. The popularity and interest in the
Alabama Rig is so strong, they even shut out LSU in the National Championship
game of college football! Oh wait, wrong sport, but the analogy of this rig's effectiveness is the same.