Alabama Rigs - So Good Its Illegal in Colorado Also
by: David Coulson 10/28/2011
As a bass fisher, I do pay mild attention to what is going on in the tournament world. Not so much as a fan, as I really donít care whoís on top of the leader board, rather I keep an eye on what techniques are being used and under which conditions. Now that might seem a tad strange, given Iíve pretty much given up fishing anything but a fly rod.
I pay attention to otherís fishing tactics for a variety of reasons. Often I can glean information concerning fish behavior/biology. If a bass pro is picking up fish in X feet of water, under Y water conditions, Z fishing pressure, . . . , you get the idea, this gives me insights that Iím able to apply to area waters. Iím also interested in what they used and their successes/failures. While I may never use said baits, the profile, retrieval methods, prey being imitated, etc, often give me idea or at a minimum get me thinking about how I might design a fly and fish it under similar conditions. Simply, as an angler I learn from others, which brings me to Alabama Rigs.
I first ran across the term in a recent forum post. There wasnít a lot of information so I didnít give it much thought until a recent email from B.A.S.S. (yes, Iím a member) with a link to an article on the Alabama rigs.
A couple of things caught my eye. First was the statement, ďThe Hottest Technique in Years,Ē followed by ďSo good it's illegal in Tennessee and Minnesota.Ē It may well be the hottest ďnewĒ method going, but fishing multiple lures/flies at one time isnít new, I routinely fish three flies, which is the legal limit in Colorado. What was new to me is the enormity of the rig and potential "school of fish" look. Fishing five lures at once puts my tactics to shame!
But the ďSo good itís illegal in Tennessee and MinnesotaĒ line got me thinking. In actuality it was illegal in those before the technique was developed/fished, as those states donít allow that number of lures to be fished simultaneously. In fact, a number of states donít including Colorado (three) and Utah (two), which is what prompted me to write this blog. Just to confirm my suspicions I emailed Bob Fisher with CPW and here is his response:
You are correct this device (the Alabama-rig) has 5 hooks which is illegal in Colorado. Our regulations state: Each line shall have no more than 3 common hooks attached (As indicated under #103- Manner of Take).
The definition for "Common Hook" is under #100- Definitions (L) (below).
#100 - DEFINITIONS
L. "Common hook" means any hook or multiple hooks having a common shank. All hooks attached to a manufactured artificial lure shall be considered a common hook. (The key word here is "common Shank")
#103 - MANNER OF TAKE
1. One personally attended line, except as otherwise authorized in these regulations.
a. Each line shall have no more than 3 common hooks attached.
Simply put before you order your Alabama rig (or make one), know that you will have to remove enough arms to bring it down to three lures to be legal in this state. Even with just three I think it might well be worth trying, although you may wish to take a weight training class first, as casting that rig will be a chore.
Yep, itís an intriguing idea, and worth considering, just not as portrayed in the article if youíre going to fish it in Colorado. And I would highly recommend you carefully check the regulations wherever youíre planning to try it.
Blog content © David Coulson
Phishermin, CO 10/28/2011 4:20:51 PM
Couldn't you just use the rig and on 2 of the arms, clip the hook and still use it as an attractor of sorts? I saw them using these with paddle tail swimbaits and i thought the same thing about not being able to use all 5, but if you clip the hooks on 2, you'd get the full effect, just wouldn't hook up if something bit one of the 2 hookless baits.
FISHRANGLER, CO 10/28/2011 5:36:10 PM
Like I had told everyone on the other artical, only use three/lures hooks cut two off.
I think though if a person wanted to use Five lures and two had the hooks removed so you ended up with only three, This would be something that could be in question.
We Need more info in that.
This would be something to troll, so casting it is not something I would want to do, to heavy. like the umbrella or speader rig..
FISHRANGLER, CO 10/28/2011 5:40:30 PM
Anyway what I meant to say is there is nothing in the books that does not alow you to use 5 or more lures.
As long as only 3 have hooks.
Am I correct?
CBrown, CO 10/28/2011 5:42:44 PM
Here is a Youtube video of it in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcziGkANPYc
I like the idea of replacing two of the baits with dummy baits. I can't wait to give this a try.
pbs, CO 10/28/2011 5:50:52 PM
I agree with Fishrangler....as long as you only have three hooks
maximum on your line or rig, this would be considered legal to
use in CO.
Also, remember that a treble hook is considered one hook bc it
is on a common shank.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 10/28/2011 7:55:54 PM
Never thought about dummy lures on two. That would make it legal, but might up the frustration level with a few missed strikes. Also, for bass tournaments it must be cast as tolling is generally not permitted.
KAK, CO 10/28/2011 8:06:14 PM
Now what can we do if we have a second rod permit? Might be tough retrieving but I am sure someone will try it...
proton, CO 10/28/2011 8:10:17 PM
OR, instead of FIVE hooks, just make it three hooks and call it the Colorado rig. Then it would be legal.
pbs, CO 10/28/2011 8:58:15 PM
Theres a way around every rule or law...pathetic, but that's AMERICA for ya.......just the way it is in this country....deal
with it people...........
JohnsFishing, CO 10/29/2011 12:17:48 AM
I found it online designed with 3 hook capability. Mine should be on the way!
cmarbles, CO 10/29/2011 6:41:21 AM
How much does it wiegh 6 oz..i huck lures that heavy all the time..lol
FISHRANGLER, CO 10/29/2011 6:48:52 AM
It is supper lite
3/16th wires and all
NikLaw1, CO 10/31/2011 8:27:55 AM
Most states are deeming it a legal rig when using 3 hooks and 2 as dummy's. The rig it's self is fairly weightless, but shouldn't be thrown on anything less then a flipping stick.
I believe it's a COWARD'S lure and VERY unsportsman. I very much hope that the rig is out lawed in BASS, FLW, PAA..ect
The story broke last wednesday, I was talking to the owner of Sworming Hornet lures Rick Steckelberg last friday and they released a retail ready version of the "Alabama Rig aka Umbrella Rig" the day the story broke. By the time we had talked on the phone (3 days later), he told me that they have already sold more then 3,000 units with MANY of them going to tournament pro's including Boyd Duckett.
Sworming Hornet is selling them for $25 +Shipping
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 10:08:46 AM
@Nik..Whats your reasoning for it bieng "unsportmanlike"?
Me personally dont use it and dont plan on using it,just curious with your logic its not like theres 5 nightcrawlers or minnows on it..hell when you think about it it has less hooks than a 7" jerkbait.Is Paul Elias a "COWARD"?
All its meant to do is immitate a school of bait fish same as a double spin buzz bait or a quad spinner bait...plz elaborate
Coyute, CO 10/31/2011 10:29:38 AM
I agree NikLaw1. This rig should have no place in tournament bass fishing.
Coyute, CO 10/31/2011 10:32:10 AM
As far as the units flying off the shelf at ridiculous markups - you could tell people that bass love the smell of human dung on bass lures and some Bubba would out crapping in his own hand to see if it works. lol
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 10:42:11 AM
Every ones entitiled to there own opinion of course but im curious in the reasoning you guys believe that
Coyute, CO 10/31/2011 3:11:11 PM
There was an article on Bass Utopia the other day by Jason Holmer and after reading that article and a few others regarding Alabama rigs, I am in agreement with Holmer. Basically what he says is it dilutes what tournament bass fishing is about - catching 5 fish - not catching 5 fish in one cast. Thinks drop shoting with 10 hooks tied on. The gist = If they allow this, then the next thing you know they will allow nets and dynamite. :P Catching bass at an Elite level takes skill no doubt but using a rig like this is an affront to that skill-set IMO. :)
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 3:27:17 PM
Ok coyute I understand where you are coming from.The whole
"Cowards lure" statement threw me for a loop..That statement implies if you use this lure you are a coward.
NikLaw1, CO 10/31/2011 6:20:42 PM
I believe if your someone out fun fishing, then I'm all for it. Hell, throw 10 of 'em out for all i care, but i believe that in tournament fishing it dilutes the sportsmanship that is behind it. Yes, your correct 5 single hooks is less then 3 trebles on a jerkbait, but your specifically targeting 5 bass at once. A jerkbait is specifically for 1 fish at a time, and if you get 2 your lucky.
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 6:22:36 PM
fair enough,in a tournament setting I see where you guys are coming from
NikLaw1, CO 10/31/2011 6:24:15 PM
a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc. a timid or easily intimidated person. It's very difficult to pull a great sack of 5 fish together one at a time. Like Coyute said, might as well be throwing casting nets
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 6:36:21 PM
Thanx for the english lesson but I know what coward means.
Just didnt understand the logic in your opinion,you both explained your point of views and I understand where you guys are comming from.
Paul Eliase was a coward for throwing the alabama rig in Guntersville?
NikLaw1, CO 10/31/2011 9:23:09 PM
Much as Coyute explained "Catching bass at an Elite level takes skill no doubt but using a rig like this is an affront to that skill-set" There is probably 1,000 better words I could have used then coward, but i do believe its a cheap, unprofessional, tasteless and sorry move. I'm not quite sure why your so "gung-ho" on protecting his honor. Obviously the guys an incredible stick, it's still a lame technique. I stick by that
cmarbles, CO 10/31/2011 11:25:51 PM
WOOOOOW!! a guy who has won the classic, finished first 6 times,in the money 141 times,has the record for the largest weigh in,in BASS history @ 132 lbs and basically inovated the whole sport of professional bass fishing by creating the kneel and crank technique...you have the adacity to call him unsportsman like,tasteless and unprofesional...im just amazed..thats like me buying a basketball dribbling it around for TWO YEARS and calling Micheal Jordan a "coward" because I heard one of my friends say it..lol Im "GUN HO" about protecting his honor because the guy has more time on the water then you have been alive..its called RESPECT!
but hey you are entitled to your own opinion this is america..
Salmonslayer11b, CO 11/1/2011 2:14:56 AM
sounds more like jealousy to me, lol, I'd rather see bass taken by that than yanked off there beds, how much skill does it take to do that!
Iluvfishn, CO 11/1/2011 9:02:06 AM
can we all just get along? :-)
NikLaw1, CO 11/1/2011 7:26:59 PM
I never dis credited the guys achievements, again.. i called him an incredible stick. Doesn't change the fact that he's dumbing down the sport.
NikLaw1, CO 11/1/2011 7:27:22 PM
oh yeah, and the Alabama rig can suck it! xoxo
cmarbles, CO 11/1/2011 8:21:26 PM
I was waiting for you to qoute Coyute again..lol
Thank you for blessing us with your defined angling wisdom Nik.a man of your caliber and history with such a lustrous angling career. How dare I attempt to discredit your opinion.NOW HEAR THIS!! NIK SAID THE ALABAMA RIG CAN SUCK IT! so all of you who purchased it or used it( IN A TOURNAMENT SETTING OF COURSE) are now considered "cowards,unprofessionals AND tasteless" espiecally you Mr Eliase, who cares you have lures older than NIK he said it so it shall be law!!...LMAO
O and btw call BASS,FLW and PAA and tell them to stop forgeting to print your name in the standings,they really need to get there act together.
ok well im exhausted with this thread I feel like im getting dumber by the minute..I feel we both beat the subject up with our own opinions..some might even say one of us made a arse of ourselves^^^ lol..but the floors all yours I have some nightcrawlers to buy and replinish my slip bobber collection..but good luck with the Classic this year Nik