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Paul in the News

Just about everybody who threw the newfangled Alabama Rig at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open had success with it. Nobody used it as effectively as Paul Elias, though.

The grizzled veteran, who won the Bassmaster Classic during Ronald Reagan's first term as President, had been intrigued by the umbrella-style device's potential since seeing it for the first time over the summer. Read More

The 2011 Guntersville FLW Tour Open will forever be known as the coming-out party for the Alabama Rig, and 60-year-old Paul Elias will go down as the supreme guest of honor.

The Mississippian, whose long career includes a host of accolades, wrapped up a stunning wire-to-wire victory on Sunday with a 23-00 stringer that gave him a 4-day total of 102-08. In a tournament that many predicted would be a low-weight event – especially for hawg-rich but highly pressured Guntersville – he compiled the second-highest aggregate in Tour history and won by more than 17 pounds. Read More

Paul Elias caught his lightest bag of the Guntersville FLW Tour Open in Alabama today. It was still heavier than anyone else's, though, and it added a couple of ounces to his already-massive lead.

The 60-year-old Mississippian moved a step closer to his long-awaited first win at Guntersville with a 24-05 stringer that gave him a 3-day total of 79-08. If he catches 20 1/2 pounds tomorrow he'll crack the 100-pound mark for the event – a feat that seemed almost impossible earlier in the week. Read More

The idea that somebody might threaten the 100-pound mark at the Guntersville FLW Tour Open seemed preposterous just a couple of days ago, but Paul Elias is well over halfway there at the midway point.

The veteran from Mississippi backed up his 26-pound day-1 sack with a monstrous 29-03 bag today. His 55-03 total gave him a 14 1/2-pound lead – the equivalent of a solid stringer at a time when the lake isn't at its best. Read More

Elias is no stranger to huge stringers – he holds the B.A.S.S. 4-day weight record with 132-08 from Falcon in 2008. The one he caught today was a surprise to most, however, as slumping Guntersville was considered incapable of surrendering such weights in its present state.

He did it without the benefit of a true giant – his biggest fish was a 6 1/2-pounder. He wouldn't reveal how he caught them, but said his boat was in at least 20 feet of water throughout the day. Read More

23.Oct.2011 GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Pro Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds even Sunday to lead wire-to-wire and win $100,500 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 102-8.

The catch gave him the win by an amazing 17-pound, 3-ounce margin over Robert Behrle of Hoover, Ala., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 85-5 and earned $34,021.

Elias came up just short of the previous FLW Tour total tournament weight record of 106 pounds, 10 ounces that was set by Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., at the 2011 season opener in February at Lake Okeechobee. Elias said the Guntersville event marked the fourth time he has cracked the 100-pound mark in tournament competition.

“Somehow the Lord blesses me and I manage to win one of these things every three or four years,” said Elias, who boosted his career winnings to $1.29 million. “To be 60 years old and to be able to compete against these young guys … it’s great.

“I am worn slam out,” Elias added. “I’ve only won one other tournament where I led every day, and it’s exhausting.”

Elias opened the tournament Thursday with five bass weighing 26 pounds even that he caught on a little-known method called an Alabama Rig. On Friday he added another five bass weighing 29-3 and word about the Alabama Rig began to leak out. He then caught five bass weighing 24-5 Saturday and talk about the Alabama Rig dominated conversation on stage. On Sunday, a day that saw the majority of the final 10 competitors use the Alabama Rig at one time or another, he sealed his victory.

The Alabama Rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails four or five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Fishermen then tie a variety of baits – swimbaits, grubs or a variety of other artificial baits – to the swivels. The baits fan out and are retrieved and mimic a school of baitfish.

Elias said he fished the Alabama Rig on a 7-foot, 11-inch Pinnacle flipping rod, a Pinnacle reel and 65-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast FluoroBraid line. Elias baited the Alabama Rig with either 5-inch swimbaits on 3/8-ounce jigheads or 6 ½-inch swimbaits on ¾-ounce jigheads. Elias said he started the competition using Mann’s HardNose Swimbaits but ran out of those and ended up using three different swimbaits during the course of the tournament.

“The fishing started out a little slow and I said, ‘You big dummy, you better catch at least enough to win this thing after you’ve led it this far,’” Elias said. “They finally started biting and I got comfortable.”

Elias said he keyed in on fish on ridges and quick-dropping points near the causeways around current that was causing the fish to stage to ambush shad. Elias positioned his boat in 25 to 40 feet of water and was catching suspending fish in 20 to 30 feet of water. Elias said he estimates he caught almost 100 keepers during the course of the event.

“That Alabama Rig was awesome,” Elias told the weigh-in crowd. “It’s going to be crucial to practice catch-and-release on these fish because when you get that bait in your hand you’re going to catch a lot of fish. So please take care of your lake. You’ve got one of the greatest lakes in the country.”

The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:

3rd: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 20 bass, 74-4, $29,154

4th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 74-1, $24,288

5th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 73-7, $19,421

6th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 18 bass, 70-6, $16,501

7th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 20 bass, 69-2, $15,528

8th: Duracell/Gillette pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 20 bass, 68-1, $14,554

9th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 19 bass, 63-8, $13,581

10th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 20 bass, 62-10, $12,608

22.Oct.2011 GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Pro Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., endured a 1-hour, 45-minute fog delay Saturday morning and caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces to continue his domination of the field at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury and advance to the top 10 as the crucial No. 1 seed. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 79-8, he now holds a 14-pound, 9-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.

“This is one awesome lake,” Elias said. “I’ve had some great Octobers on this lake.”

Elias said he relied on the Alabama Rig again on the third day of competition to land another massive Guntersville limit of bass.

“This rig I’m throwing is crazy,” Elias said. “A lot more guys were throwing it today than were the first two days. It’s obvious by the weights. A bait comes along every now and then and it just makes a lot of sense, and this is just one of those kinds of baits.”

The Alabama rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails four or five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Fishermen then tie a variety of baits – swimbaits, grubs or a variety of other artificial baits – to the swivels. The baits fan out and are retrieved and mimic a school of baitfish. Elias said he has been fishing the rig in deep water for suspended fish and has eight spots he wanted to target during the tournament. He’s hit five of those spots during the first three days of competition.

“I’ve tried other stuff, but it just wasn’t working,” Elias said. “I think I can catch another good bag tomorrow. I’ll feel comfortable with 15 or 16 pounds. But I feel like if I catch another limit the way I’ve been fishing I’ll catch another 20-plus-pound bag.”

Pro Robert Behrle of Hoover, Ala., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 64-15.

Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day of competition are:

3rd: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 59-4

4th: Duracell/Gillette pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 15 bass, 51-10

5th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 51-1

6th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 50-15

7th: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 15 bass, 49-15

8th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 49-8

9th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 15 bass, 47-5

10th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 14 bass, 44-7

Finishing in 11th through 20th are:

11th: Christopher Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 43-3, $12,121

12th: National Guard pro Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 14 bass, 42-12, $12,121

13th: Kelley Jaye, Dadeville, Ala., 14 bass, 41-12, $12,121

14th: Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., 12 bass, 41-9, $12,121

15th: Trevor Fitzgerald, Belleview, Fla., 15 bass, 41-4, $12,121

16th: Christopher Brasher, Spring, Texas, 12 bass, 39-6, $11,634

17th: National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 12 bass, 36-4, $11,634

18th: Wesley Helton, Calhoun, Tenn., 12 bass, 36-4, $11,634

19th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 10 bass, 32-1, $11,634

20th: Snickers Peanut Butter Squared pro Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 11 bass, 31-13, $11,634

Overall there were 77 bass weighing 265 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 12 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify. Complete Story

21.Oct.2011 by Brett Carlson - GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So it makes sense than when fishing on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, it would be wise to use the Alabama rig. That’s what three of the top five pros are throwing this week at the final Walmart FLW Tour event of the season, including pro leader Paul Elias.

Elias isn’t just leading the season-ending tournament, he’s completely dominating it. Coming into the week, most pros felt roughly 60 pounds would be the winning weight after four days. Elias has nearly reached that benchmark in half the time.

After weighing in his 29-pound, 3-ounce catch, the veteran pro was nearly at a loss.

“I’m having one of those tournaments where you just say, ‘Thank you, Lord,’” Elias said.

Early in practice, the Laurel, Miss., native was struggling to catch anything shallow.

“I said to myself, ‘They’re either dead or they’re deeper.’ So I went deeper.”

Mixed in with his offshore domination is the fascinating revelation that Elias is introducing a new presentation – the Alabama rig, which consists of five baits placed on five separate wires that connect like an umbrella. The baits fan out and mimic a school of baitfish. Although Elias admitted to using the Alabama rig, he wouldn’t say what baits he puts on the back.

“I guess the word is out on what I’m doing,” Elias said. “I’m throwing an Alabama rig. It’s a new-type rig that some guy from near Pickwick came up with. It’s just an amazing deal and I think the main reason it’s so effective is that they haven’t seen it before. It’s kind of like a crankbait sometimes. You can’t always catch them on it unless you’re doing it just right.”

Elias said he fished the same three areas he did on the first day and didn’t receive as many bites. But the ones he caught he described as “a-dults,” which drew raucous laughter from the weigh-in crowd.

Although the wind didn’t blow Friday, Elias said the bite was strong thanks to the presence of current.

“I’ve been very fortunate this week. When I got on that pattern I just stayed on it and found as many places to fish it that I could find. I feel like if I don’t get too crowded out there I can catch them.”

Although continually casting the A-rig is physically exhausting, Elias has no thoughts of slowing down. With a 14-pound lead he can almost taste his first victory on Guntersville, long one of his favorite lakes.

“I’m just going to keep going. I’m going to be chunking and winding for two more days. I’ve thrown that (rig) since about noon Sunday and my 60-year-old butt is worn out.” Complete Story

Mississippi pro sacks 26 pounds on blustery opening day
20.Oct.2011 by Brett Carlson

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – With a few weights in the 20s, the top of the leaderboard may look normal, but there is nothing normal about the way Lake Guntersville is currently fishing. Long considered one of the best bass lakes in the country, Guntersville proved stingy on day of one of the final Walmart FLW Tour Open of 2011.

With a top-heavy leaderboard, it’s clear G-ville still holds the quality bass. It’s just that most of the pros haven’t figured out how to make them bite. Consider that in 2009 there were 15 stringers in excess of 20 pounds weighed on the tournament’s first day. And last year, 24 stringers over 20 pounds made it to the day-one scale. Today that number was precisely two.

Fall is always tougher as the fish scatter and roam with bait. Sometimes a steady wind can help position the bait, which in turn helps position the bass.

Day-one leader Paul Elias capitalized on that wind to catch a 26-pound stringer. Elias’ boat broke down this morning, and he wasn’t able to start fishing until almost 9 a.m. From there, his day completely turned around.

“I was real worried for a while – on pins and needles,” said the veteran pro from Laurel, Miss. “Once I got out there I was pretty confident I was going to catch them, and then everything started going right and the Lord blessed me and made up for the bad morning, I guess.”

Elias said he experienced a fairly productive practice and that he figured he’d be happy with 13 to 15 pounds per day. His biggest two bass in three days were a 5-pounder and 4-pounder.

“I never repeated any water during practice, so I really didn’t know what I was on. I definitely thought I’d catch some because I had a pattern going, but I never expected to catch that.”

Elias said he caught a lot of keepers, and he continued to cull even if he was only gaining ounces at a time.

“I may have hurt myself in the long run, but I really think today was a big-fish day, so I tried to take advantage of it. In my mind, if the wind dies down tomorrow like it’s supposed to, the fish won’t be there.”

The day-one leader was unwilling to divulge pattern details, but said the wind created current in his best area. In terms of presentation, Elias reported that fishing slower led to most of his bigger bites. Overall, he said he has seven or eight places, and he only sampled three of them today.

“I had no one around me at all today, and that was great. I just love this lake. I’ve never won a tournament here, but I’ve come close a lot of times. Everybody knows how I like to fish, and when I can catch them that way, I can usually catch them pretty good. If I don’t run out of fish, I’ll feel really good.

“I’m on a good, strong pattern, and I don’t think anybody is fishing the way I’m fishing. But a crowd could ruin all of that.” Complete Story

Jake Lands 7.7 Largemouth Fishing with Paul


Paul, Wanted to drop you a line and again thank you for the great time Lance and I had. The time spent with you on the electronics was amazing,but the real deal was when we put that knowledge and applied it out on the water on Friday.We guessed our best 5 would of been in the 42 lb range, with both of us catching our personal best fish of our lifes.We had 2 over 10 and 1 around 9 from your lake. We are getting ready to start into the Everstart series this year and your class will definitely help us out.

Thanks again, Frank

In Depth Fishing Lessons Click Here

Just a quick email to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Pachuta. As an avid angler I found In-Depth Fishing to be a master's level course in the sport of bass fishing.  I learned a great deal and it was fun to apply the lessons while catching lunker bass (see photos).  Lake Eddins is an extraordinary fishery! Click Here

David McLarnon
Natick, MA

Fisherman – What a remarkable opportunity to fish and learn from a legend in bass fishing! Fellow bass fishing enthusiasts my name is Robert Chandler who works as an engineer day to day down in southwest Louisiana and I am just your average weekend angler aspiring to locate and put more fish in the livewell more consistently. Recently, I read an article in the Bassmaster magazine that Paul Elias who when I was a teenager had just started his fishing career Click Here