UPDATED, 9:45 a.m., 10-23–Of course, you’re out fishing this weekend so you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. But long-time pro Paul Elias is putting the hammer down on the Lake Guntersville field (click here) with sacks everyone predicted were impossible.

His method? Not big flutter spoons, deep cranks or jigs. Instead, he’s after them with a set-up reminiscent of a striper fisherman’s spreader rig. Back there, the manufacturer calls it an Alabama rig: a painted weight attached to five wire tethers which connect five individual lures. Elias has been slow-rolling five swimbaits [apparently on Scrounger heads] and posted more than 55 pounds in just two days [75 pounds over three days].

Of course, they’ll be scurrying to sell this thing, and guys everywhere will be hot to fish this multi-rig. But maybe not the one Elias has tied on. The reason? Here it is in black and white from the DFG handbook:

2.00. Fishing Methods –General.

(a) Except as otherwise authorized, all fish may be taken only by angling with one closely attended rod and line or one hand line with not more than three hooks nor more than three artificial lures (each lure may have three hooks attached) attached thereto.

But that doesn’t mean some version might not work here in the Golden State. I’ve already suggested they produce a rig with only 3 “coated leaders,” and for now, I just thought up a name–the Cali-Bama Rig. Street legal where you and I fish.

Anyway, you have to hand it to them–and Elias. A big hit on a big stage.

So what are we going to do about it?



19 Responses to “How about a ‘Cali-Bama’ rig instead?”

I recall seeing something like this on In Fisherman. Doug Stange fished a double rig using swimbaits. One line is higher up tied to a three eyed swivel. He caught fish on it. I thought it looked awesome in the water. Looked like two baitfish swimming together erratically.

Double flukes or under-spins with a swivel or two swivels or a three-way swivel have been around, but nothing weighted to keep the baits on the contours–at least for bass.

Tossing an umbrella rig with 5 baits, wow- if they’ll hit those baits snapped onto straight wire, makes you think the fish don’t mind straight braid at all- why am I spending half my paycheck on flouro? It does seem like it wouldn’t be allowed here in California, but it’s game on with that rig at Guntersville right now- Looks like Paul is gonna run the table out there. As for me, I’m going to try it when they get back in stock, 5 brush hawgs dragging looks pretty cool. That whole rig weighs 3/16 of an ounce without baits on it

This only cheapens the sport at a time when the headlines are full of stories about cheating and guys doing unethical things. I saw the bait in action and it is for meat hunters. I can understand how any tournament director would let this be legal. I see the two fluke rig or double drop shot rig in a much different light than this. Are they going to allow bunker snaggers next?

by George Kramer

I think I understand where you’re coming from e77 {you wrote “can understand” when I think you meant “can’t”} but the individual states make the rules and the tournament organizations work within those. This was debated years ago on the Colorado River with multiple Gitzits, while drop-shotting (in California) allows for a jig or Texas rig at the end of the line with two dropper baits above. What would you say to daisy chaining? One lure with a hook, but several additional attractors without hooks. As I read the California rule, those “dummy” baits (with the primary bait) could still not number more than three combined.

correct….I did mean “can’t”…..Maybe I’m just old fashioned. One bait per line. I totally understand the rules are dictated by the state. I however feel that the Governing Tournament Body should ban the baits from use regardless if they are legal as per the state. Imagine the bad publicity that this can cause.

Hey, a fair point you make. But reading the national buzz, I’m betting it goes 180 degrees the other way.

Can you put up a photo of the rig?

I don’t have one right now. I’m sorry. If you would click on the Alabama rig link in the story, you can see it.

Don Iovino taught me how to fish a double silverside rig with a tiny spro sliding swivel on top of another swivel. I catch fish on it all the time when they crash shad on the bank. This is like that rig in theory…just on steroids.

At a US Open seminar Rick Clunn talked about keeping an open mind to fishing and used the example of fishing a shallow stumpbed with a local who caught a 10-fish limit on a single cast ripping multiple lures behind a popping cork. A 15-hook gangion used to be legal in CA for rockcod, but for conservation reasons now you can only fish with two hooked baits/lures. The point is to be able to expand your fishing imagination to the breadth of the possibilities, whether regulatory or natural, and Mr. Elias has been doing that for decades.

here’s one: http://i55.tinypic.com/2eancwk.jpg

don’t get me wrong, I could care less if they are legal. I am looking at what I think the perception will be by the general non fishing public….looking at the video on the site the guy drags in 3- 2 or 3 lbers…….Joe Shmoe is bound to think how sporting is that? and he will also imagine a few anglers seining the waterways dry, completely devastating the fisheries. It’s just more fodder for PETA to try and convince the public that we shouldn’t be allowed to hurt fish this way.

The Cali-Bama rig could get tournament anglers in trouble if a bass is snagged by 1 of the adjacent lures.
Spreaders and umbrella rigs and daisey chains have been around for decades in salt water fishing and trolled under the radar with multiple swimbaits in our our local trophy bass lakes. A 7 swimbait (Optimum’s) umbrella rig was found at Castiac a few years and displayed at J & T Tackle for a while.
When drop shotting first started it was a common practice to stack up to 3 hooks opr 2 hook + a jig for weight. Lots of tricks in the trade; 5 hooks isn’t legal in CA fresh water regs, but I bet lots of weekend anglers will be trolling them.

Changes already being put in place……
FLW Outdoors confirmed in a report yesterday that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has amended its umbrella rig regulations to allow three lures with hooks to be thrown on an Alabama Rig for bass fishing and casting applications. The original Tennessee fishing regulation had an exception for Umbrella rigs that stated the following:

•Umbrella Rig Restriction – Umbrella rigs are defined as an array of more than 3 artificial lures or baits (with or without hooks) used by a single rod and reel combination. If the hook size is 6 or larger, then only one lure or bait may have a hook and that hook must be a single hook.

Since the emergence of the Alabama Rig last week at Lake Guntersville and many anglers on Kentucky Lake practicing for this week’s Everstart Championship and November’s BFL Wildcard as well as many local anglers wanting to throw these new rigs, the TWRA met and discussed the use of this “castable umbrella rig.” The committee determined that three baits on a rig like this would be allowable in Tennessee waters with any size hook. There is no restriction in Kentucky waters. So you can throw TAR with five swimbaits in Tennessee waters, but only three lures can have hooks on them.

Here’s a question to ponder….since this bait was used in an FLW event, does BASS even mention it without it being used in one of their events? I’m betting not.

by George Kramer

Ah, the intrigue never stops. But what is that you’ve got on the end of your line, earthworm? 😉

by Jojo Norwood.

It ain’t never as easy as it looks on TV. I made some A-Rigs to try…Trick is the “head” has to be lighter than the “center” bait on the longest wire. The other 4 wires have to be shorter and have lighter weights. I used 3/8oz for the center and 1/8oz for the outside baits. It cast really well but I don’t have enough pole to throw all 3/4 oz like Paul did. I spent most of yesterday fishing it, works good and don’t tangle like you think. Never got a bite. Fish were on the bottom and hit’n jigs, shaky heads, C-rigs & crankbaits. I never found any supended fish. I caught about 15 and had 3 over 3# on JnP. One day I’ll run into some that will bite it…CYA

Will have them for sale at the Bass-a-thon and the reg’s to show you how to use it legally here. Get here early as my guess is they will go fast.

“But what is that you’ve got on the end of your line?”

Ito Vision 110. lol