Alabama rig, A-Rig, Umbrella Rig, who knew a single lure could have so many different names.
No matter what you call them, one things remains true. They catch fish.
For that reason, in this post we are going to talk about how to fish an Alabama rig. We will also mention a few tips to better your chances of catching big bass with these lures.
What is an Alabama rig?
As you can see from the picture above, it is a lure that contains 2 to 5 wires at varying lengths. At the end of each wire is a swimbait thus perfectly imitating a small school of baitfish. It has even been known to catch several fish at the same time.
Just how effective is this lure in catching fish?
Well, Andy Poss the inventor of this lure worn 19 out of 21 tournaments with this controversial lure. In fact, it is so effective in catching fish that later was banned in the top two bass fishing tournaments.
Can I fish the Alabama rig where I live?
An important thing to keep in mind especially when fishing an Alabama rig is to check the laws before you go fishing.
This is because each individual state can put a limit on how many hooks can be in the water.
For example, let’s talk about the state that I do most of my fishing, Wisconsin. If I head over to the DNR website (found here) for my state. I will find that yes, I can use the Alabama rig for fishing, but I can only have up to 3 baits/hooks in the water at the same time.
Whereas if I were to go to Texas the laws are different. According to their website (found here) I can fish up to 5 hooks at a time.
As you can see, in order to avoid trouble it would be wise to check this out before going fishing with the umbrella rig. Don’t be afraid, I have done the research for you in a previous post found here: Is the Alabama rig legal in my state?
So what do I do if I have a 5 wire umbrella rig, but the state that I live in only allows me to throw 3 hooks/lures?
One thing that many anglers do in this situation is they attach additional spinners to the rig. The more spinners, the more flash, the better chances of getting hooked up.
How to fish an Alabama rig?
One of the best things about fishing this rig is that it is relatively easy to use. It is a simple cast it out there and bring it back to the boat kind of lure.
However, with that in mind, it is important to know at what the depth the bass are holding up in. For example, if they are holding up in 5 feet of water try to fish your rig right above that depth.
Many anglers have found that by using heavier swimbaits they are able to run deeper in the water column.
Another tip to help you get down to where the fish are, is by raising and lowering your fishing rod. If they fish are shallow keep the rod tip up. If they are deep, lower the rod tip closer to the water.
Additionally as you are bringing the lure back to the boat you can give it a few twitches or jerks of the rod. This will cause the lure to make a sudden, erratic motion that imitates a school of baitfish that have become startled by something in the water.
This is a great way to generate a strike when you know the fish are close.
They are also great baits for trolling. An easy way to cover a lot of water.
What is the best rig to start out with?
When first starting out with this lure, I would avoid the bigger rigs or rigs that have many wires. This is because they require, bigger swimbaits, bigger line and can be difficult to work with, especially if you haven’t fished them before. Instead, choose a small compact one, such as the one found here. As you gain experience and feel more comfortable fishing the A-rig you can upgrade to a bigger one.
What is the best A-Rig for bass fishing?
One of my favorites is the Yum Yumbrella Flash Mob Junior(the one pictured above). It is availabe in two different sizes, a 3 wire or a 5 wire. You can also have the option to choose colorado blades or willow blades. As I mentioned earlier I oftentimes prefer throwing willow blades.
I like to couple this rig with the Keitech FAT Swing Impact and Gmakatsu jig head.
I rigged up my A-rig, but all it does is spin?
In order to prevent this from happening one trick is to use heavier jig heads on the bottom wire and lighter ones on the top.
For me, I like to start with 3/16 ounce jig head on the bottom and put lighter jig heads on the top wires.
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep things balanced. If you are running a 3/16 ounce jig on one of the bottom wires, you are going to see the best results by running another 3/16 jig on the other wire. Keep things balanced.
With that in mind, always check you lure to make sure it is running true before making your first cast. If you notice something doesn’t look right, take the time to fix it then.
How can I increase my hook up ratio?
What many anglers like to do is use dummy baits (baits without hooks). They do this because the state they are fishing has limits on how many hooks they can have in the water. However, when using dummy baits sometimes the fish bite the dummy bait instead of the ones with hooks.
Two things can be done to avoid this from happening to you. The first option is to change out the dummy baits with blades. My personal preference is willow blades.
This gives the fish fewer options and betters the chances of them taking the swimbait that has a hook.
Another option is to change out the color. Many A-rigs have a single swimbait in the middle. I can this one the straggler because it sits back a little bit further than the rest. This is the one that we want the fish to bite.
So, what you can do, is change out the color of that one. For example, let’s say you are fishing with silver swimbaits. Put silver swimbaits on all the other wires and on the straggler wire, change it out with a different color like white or white and silver.
By doing so, you will help the fish to hone in on that bait and hopefully better increase your hook up ratio.
Learn more additional tips on how to fish an alabama rig in the following video:
Now it’s your turn. Please with us your thoughts on how to fish an Alabama rig in the comment section below.