Paul Elias put the Alabama Rig in the bass fishing spotlight with a big tournament victory last October on Alabama's Lake Guntersville. Now everyone wants to cast the multi-hooked rig, but you'll have to lose some hooks if you want to legally catch a Buckeye State largemouth bass.
Elias, 60, of Laurel, Miss., is in Ohio today and Sunday to talk about the Alabama Rig, a trademarked form of an umbrella rig, at the annual Bass Weekend at Fin, Feather, Fur Outfitters in Ashland.
Elias is on stage today at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Also featured today at 1 p.m. is North Bend, Ohio bass pro Bill Lowen.
"It's an exciting rig," said Elias in a phone interview. "The Guntersville tournament was the first time I'd ever made a cast with the Alabama Rig, and it amazed me. I hadn't had a bite in six hours of fishing on the first day of practice, so I tied on an Alabama Rig. Casting around a bridge, I caught four bass on the first four casts.
"I laid down several patterns over the next couple of days, and the rig was something else. The bass hadn't seen anything like it and were totally tricked."
Elias, who was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame last month, weighed 102 pounds of bass over four days at Lake Guntersville to win the FLW tournament and $100,000.
The Alabama Rig consists of a small, hard body that trails five long, thin wires, each with a heavy-duty swivel attached at the end. Usually, long-shanked jigs with soft plastic swim baits are attached to the swivels. As a fishermen casts and retrieves a rig, it gives the appearance of a school of bait fish the game fish are eager to attack.
Used by saltwater anglers for years, versions of the umbrella rig have slowly been making waves in freshwater fishing to target schools of striped bass, white bass and crappie. Developed by Andy and Tammy Poss, the Alabama Rig is being mass-produced by Mann's Baits, which can't keep up with the demand.
Read More Of The Plain Dealer Story
Click On The Alabama Rig Below To Get Your Own