John's Journal...

The Hottest New Bass Fishing Tactic - the Alabama Rig

Day 3: Bass Pro Paul Elias Wins $100,000 on the Alabama Rig by Catching 102-Plus Pounds

Editor’s Note: Paul Elias won $100,000 in October, 2011, on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville by using a new technique and a new apparatus called the Alabama Rig at this FLW tournament. Elias will tell us how he discovered the rig, how he learned to fish it, and how this new technique can put more bass in your boat during November and December and particularly any months that bass suspend.

Click for Larger ViewI was at Pickwick Lake on the Mississippi/Alabama/Tennessee border helping with a weigh-in at a cancer benefit, when one of the fishermen in that tournament called me over to his boat after the event ended. He told me he wanted to show me a new rig for catching bass, the Alabama Rig, which would hold five lures on five wires that came out the back of a hard-plastic body. He had the wires rigged-up with plastic grubs, and another Alabama Rig with five swim lures on it. I wasn’t very impressed with the rig, until the guy told me the weights of bass he’d been catching with it. Click for Larger ViewAlthough he didn’t win the Pickwick tournament, he had won some 1-day tournaments with five bass weighing 5 pounds or more. Back in April, he won a 2-day tournament with 10 bass weighing a total of 57 pounds. I got really interested after I heard the weights of bass this rig had produced. He gave me two of the Alabama Rigs, but I never did fish with them until I reached the FLW Lake Guntersville Tournament in October.

How the Alabama Rig Works:

The man who makes the Alabama Rig is Andy Poss of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and he’s been fishing with this rig for about 15 months. He has a patent pending on the Alabama Rig. At the top of the Alabama Rig is a plastic fish-looking body with five wires coming-out of it that are spread-out like an umbrella. Four of the wires are spread on 45- or 50-degree angles to the back of the body, and the middle wire comes straight-out of the back of the body. This design allows an angler to put four lures on the outer wires and one lure in the center.

Click for Larger ViewWhen I fished the rig at Lake Guntersville, where I won the $100,000, I used five Mann’s HardNose Swimbaits in the Tennessee shad color. At the Guntersville tournament, I was fishing the grass like all the rest of the anglers were, and I wasn’t catching very-many bass. I certainly knew I wasn’t catching big-enough fish to win the tournament. However, I did have the Alabama Rig rigged-up and sitting on my casting deck. I had tested it in a pond behind my house and saw that when I rigged it with Mann’s HardNose SwimShads, cast the Alabama Rig out and reeled it in, the rig looked like a school of shad swimming together. I cast the Alabama Rig out on a bridge piling at Lake Guntersville, and immediately I caught a big largemouth bass. Next I cast the Alabama Rig on the other side of the piling and caught a bass that weighed almost 3 pounds. Click for Larger ViewAs I was bringing that bass in, I spotted four or five more bass following the Alabama Rig. I went to another bridge piling and caught a 4-pound bass. That’s when I said to myself, “Paul, this Alabama Rig has merit, and you need to learn how to fish it. You better practice with it the rest of the days you have left to practice.” So, I used the Alabama Rig the other 2-1/2-days of practice for the FLW Lake Guntersville tournament and learned how to fish it around grass, points, ridges and any-other structure I could find. The Alabama Rig caught those suspended bass that would be so hard to catch with any-other lure. That one discovery enabled me to win the FLW Lake Guntersville tournament.

Tomorrow: Paul Elias Tells How to Fish the Alabama Rig and Why to Fish It

Check back each day this week for more about "The Hottest New Bass Fishing Tactic - the Alabama Rig "

Day 1: The Alabama Rig Pulls In $90,000 for Bass Pro Dan Morehead
Day 2: Learn More about the Alabama Rig for Catching Bass
Day 3: Bass Pro Paul Elias Wins $100,000 on the Alabama Rig by Catching 102-Plus Pounds
Day 4: Paul Elias Tells How to Fish the Alabama Rig and Why to Fish It
Day 5: Fishing the Alabama Rig for Bass with Paul Elias

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Entry 639, Day 3