LAKE OCONEE — Over a year ago, a new fishing lure and technique hit the fishing tackle market and since that time the lure or should I say rig has received mixed reactions from anglers and state law enforcement agencies. I bought into the hype because I am a sucker for new lures and techniques.
The rig I am referring to is the Alabama rig or any of its imitations that have sprung up in the fishing lure market since the original Alabama rig hit the fishing scene. A similar rig called the umbrella rig has been around for many years and has been used in both saltwater and freshwater. The heavy umbrella rig was too heavy for casting. It contains several artificial baits arranged under a wire loop that looks much like an umbrella.
The rig was built mostly for trolling and is one of the primary lures used for trolling Lake Oconee for striped and hybrid bass. When trolled, the rig mimics a small school of fleeing shad and has been used very successfully by a number of fishing guides and anglers on Lake Oconee.
An angler over in Alabama fine tuned the heavy umbrella rig and downsized the rig so that it could be cast and then retrieved. That angler named his new innovation the Alabama rig and now some anglers are swearing by the lure’s effectiveness and using it to make huge catches of largemouth bass and other species like hybrid, striped and white bass.
There are some downsides to this type of rig that I will mention. When an angler gets the entire rig assembled he/she could be looking at around $25 just for the assembled rig. Furthermore, you do not throw this heavy lure on just any rod and reel and that may cost you some additional money for a long heavy action rod and a reel capable of handling some heavy line and wear and tear.