LAKE MEAD--will petitioners stay home?

UPDATED, [FLW responds]–Of course, the U.S. Open rules have not been altered at this writing, but will recent petitioners–those calling for the elimination of the Alabama rig, AKA umbrella rig in several circuits–now have a new excuse for missing the annual summer challenge on Lake Mead?

The Arizona regulations (which are typically shared with Nevada) say this: “Angling” means the taking of fish by one line and not to exceed two hooks, by one line and one artificial lure, which may have attached more than one hook, or by one line and not to exceed two artificial flies or lures.

That would be pretty convenient for them (to go along with “too hot,” or “fish too small” or “don’t like shared weight”) if WON Bass did as they usually do, adhere to or adjust their tournament rules to coincide with those of the specific fishing waters being plied. There is nothing in that wording above that suggests one could not use so-called “teasers” that would allow for the configuration of an umbrella rig–and yet, just two lures.

But what if the ultimately approved rig (approved by those who ultimately approve*) only allowed one lure, but included four or five teasers–even say, four or five narrow willow blades, and one longer “whiskey line” (a trolling term for the furthest trailing bait) with the one-and-only permitted “lure” attached?  That would be one heck of a “spinnerbait” to cast, but would it still still scare away those now claiming a “higher standard?”

The fallout from the Elite ban on multi-rigs is not just the umbrella spreader, but the elimination of a whole sector of other combination rigs in use for the last two decades. It is a pair of current Elite anglers Gary Klein and Kevin Van Dam who, respectively, revealed to me the use of tandem Gitzits and a Front-Runner for topwater at Lake Mead; and the tandem fluke rig on the Finger Lakes in New York.

While these exceptional pros will adapt to any rule changes, they wouldn’t have had to adapt until fear struck the tournament ranks. Yeah, fear. The Elite Series had been roughly a 40-guy circuit. In the rules committee’d eyes, the A-rig method was so absolutely unfailing, it made all 95 guys a threat to win. Wow, hate to have any competition.

But I don’t fish any tours. And frankly, when it comes to the Alabama rig: don’t own one, haven’t thrown one. But I sure hope the possibility of someone using something like it in September won’t keep any of those petitioners from staying home and missing the show. The angling public would sure like to see ’em there.

* And wouldn’t you know it? One of those circuits has responded to the petitions regarding the Alabama rig: FLW will continue allow them. Click here.



3 Responses to “Will petitioners have new alibi for Lake Mead?”

Seems like FLW has got the correct attitude.

Three words

Zara Super Spook

Among the Elite ranks there are the thinkers and the whiners. If the whiners happen to have the ear of the television-oriented owners, guess what? Rule changes get made regardless of how ridiculous they might seem to everyone else. If too many people are competitive, where do you send the cameramen? If the chosen few can’t do their schticks like trained chimps in front of the cameras, the braintrust running the Elites comes to a mental standstill. They don’t give a rat’s hind end about competition, they care about “good t.v.”. They haven’t spent the time figuring out how to present a televised tournament that is truly compelling drama. They want it easy and controllable. Whether the A-rig factored into this shortsightedness, who knows? One thing for certain, if you don’t like the trend, turn the channel. Voice your opinion.