alabama rig kentucky lake

"John Brown". The Catalyst of the War. War on closed minded approaches to rigs and rigging. The Alabama Rig, "Old Blue", simple, made from quality components and solid terminal tackle just helped us all catch a lot more fish.

I’m sitting in Calvert City, waiting for Jet-A-Marina to give me a call, to let me know my lower unit has been delivered, and then installed.  Thanking Yamaha for standing by their warranty, and their support. Of course, I’d like’d to have seen the Yamaha Service crew at the Everstart Event, but that is business and fishing.   So no fishing for me since the tournament, just making hard and from the hip decisions everywhere.

I’m not going to give my $.02 on the Alabama Rig, yet.  I haven’t had a chance to really fish it hard and carefree, swimbait style,  and do everything I want to do.  So, I wanted to share some things that were in direct relation to the Rig.   As things were unfolding with Paul Elias at G-Land, I was making modifications to my presentations to be more ‘multirig’ or ‘polyrig’ in style.  You couldn’t just go get a ‘rig’ to go fish.  It was crazy hearing all this and not even being able to see one or hold one to fabricate your own from, so we just made do.   The fish are on a shad bite, they hunt in small wolf packs in places, and small bait balls that have broken away from the main bait ball are a damn sure good way to get the fish fired up and focused.

quad blade spinnerbait

Quad Bladed Spinnerbaits started catching fish as we scrambled to do anything to start casting baits that made balls of bait, not just one or two baits. I believe we'll be seeing spinnerbaits with many more blades and setups as a result of the Rig Effect

The Booyah Quad Blade Spinnerbait…Someone riddle me this:  Why is there only one spinnerbait with a quad (bonzer!) blade setup (generally available kind)? And it only weighs 3/8 oz?  Why not a 6 blade?  Think about the implications of multirigs and using teasers and creating schools and predator>prey setups that is about to explode.  I have so many ideas and thoughts lately about the Rig Effect it’s hard for me to organize them or even share them in some cases, because the fish catching and money making implications are profound.   Every lure company in North America should have had an ‘all hands’ meeting with the team to strategize about multirigs.

Not only is there going to be a huge amount of rigs created (make your own rig, seriously, its not very difficult to do), there is a viral effect of ideas and innovations that rivals Facebook! (well, probably not).  The Alabama Rig just points out our closed minded approach to rigging as a bass fishermen.   Teasers and umbrellas have been around since the beginning of time.   I’m just excited it catches fish so well.  I can understand throwing 100 lures at once, you expect to hook something, but 5 baits isn’t some disgusting overkill.  I mean we are catching one maybe two fish at a time at best.  You could get 5 sure, but its about presentation and creating the school.

Grass Minnow Double Rig

I started catching 'busting fish' in the back of pockets on the Grass Minnow Double Rig...Tie on one Grass Minnow with a Palomor Knot, leave a long tag end, thread the line back thru the nose of the Grass Minnow like a drop shot rig, come down thru and then tie on Grass Minnow #2 with a Palomar. The Double Grass Minnow has got good weight, but is still a tough Rig at times to fish if its super windy and rough, which it was during the tournament.

10 vortexes.  Each bait gives off a unique vortex, one on each side of the tail, so 10 vortexes created by a 5 way Rig.  In Southern Trout Eaters, Ken Huddleston says:  “I believe bigger, more mature fish will analyze a bait, and if everything is right, it will commit to the bait”.    Ken was talking about trophy fish.  But just as occasionally a trophy fish will act like a 2 pounder, the 2 pounders can act really smart and be really finicky and fussy.    Fish analyze a bait as it tracks thru the water, using more than just lateral lines and smell.  Think about a fish that has only ever tracked behind a bait that has 2 vortexes, or at best, 4 vortexes (double rig fluke, Front Runner on your topwater rig), but never 10 vortexes.  10 vortexes in a fishes mind = safe = commit.   And in fact, his buddies are so confident in 10Vs = safe = commit, they join the party and eat one too, so the angler catches 2 fish on one catch, way more often than normal.

The Grass Minnow is the most subtle swimming best vortex matching bait I know. The Weedless Shad is #2, the only difference being the Grass Minnow has a smaller profile and a swallow tail vortex (vs. the wedge tail).    So, while I was scrambling to fabricate my own Rigs or get real ones thru hook or crook, we started fishing multirig style, meaning, Booyah Quad Blade Spinnerbaits, double rigged flukes, and double rigged Grass Minnows.   The fishing on Kentucky Lake is tough,  don’t kid yourself. The Rig caught fish, but it wasn’t any kind of whack fest out there.   So, to fish with quad blade spinnerbaits and double rigs and start catching some fish again a little more regular, was pretty cool.    I went into the tournament having a decent quad blade spinnerbait and double rigged Grass Minnow bite.  But then came the Rigs.

Troy Anderson, Alabama Rig

Troy Anderson, my practice partner and eventual CoAngler Champion for the 2011 Everstart Championship on Kentucky Lake. Here is Troy, with 3" Hammers and a 4 way rig, with a spinnerblade teaser as #5 in the middle. We were in New Johnsonville here, so we were technically illegally fishing in TN water. We got an email at 4pm that day, last day of practice, that TN Fish&Game rules say no more than 3 baits. Basically, I bailed out of New J'ville and TN altogether based on that ruling alone. So did Dan Moorehead the Pro Champion and guys like Jim Tutt.

There is going to be landslides of changes, new innovations, new tournament rules and implications, and lots of fish getting caught as part of the Rig Effect.   Just fishing multiple baits at the same time, totally under-explored, and creating schools of baits totally under-explored and creating new rigs and methods for presentations, casting, etc make all new kinds of swimbait like implications, like the need for 8 foot rods and big round reels with big gears and heavy lines and heavy terminal tackle.  Strange and wild twist on fishing and swimbait fishing, but the bottom line thing I cannot get over is how well the fish eat the Rig.   It catches fish, and it doesn’t seem ‘obnoxious’ or grossly out of line with fishing regular single bait setups, IMO.  It fishes like a 8″ ROF 12 Huddleston Deluxe.  No kidding.

4 Responses »

  1. Really enjoyed this article. As soon as all this broke I started thinking about doing a tandem side by side rig with some top water lures to see what 2 on top going nuts would do. Might try it tonight now that I’m thinking about it again. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  2. Roger Hite says:

    While I may not agree about the state of Tn seeing a spinnerbait blade as a bait as considered a teaser,the law isnt new,and a 3 bait rig works very nicely and is within the law.
    By pulling out and say fishing only ky portion isnt entirely safe as below the 68 bridge is reciprocal waters and one must obey the law of the state they are actually in the dividing line is not a line or sign on the bank but the told tn river bed snack down the middle,from that sign for many many miles on end.
    The average boater going from the dam to say blood river will cross over and be in Tn at times,and if stopped if on the boat illegal act thus possible citation.Not currently enforced that far up but can be,since both states tend to have same regs on ky lake,I look for the state of kentucky to change to a 3 arm,so when boaters do cross the line and they will regardless of 3,000 hd units they wont be in violation of the other states regs.
    One of the reasons it wasnt enforced at least up there is tn is studying a 5 bait rule,when they tire however of trying to pass look for dnr to be up at blood river lat long just waiting for boaters to cross the line.
    Think of Barkley as an example both lakes connected try crossing the line with a short under 18 in smallmouth.
    Bear in mind kentucky portion of ky lake is but about 12-15 percent of it,alll those east curves in the channel and many of the lbl bays are in the state of Tn.
    Both states tend to cooperate,should they not agree just running from big bear or dam or kenlake may place one in jeopardy below the 68 bridge.
    I like the a rig but also use a legal 3 arm.

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