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I have sat back and listened and read all of the controversy over the Alabama/umbrella rigs. I have kept fairly quiet about it because I felt that most people would think anything I had to say positive about the Alabama/umbrella rig would be because I was making money off it. After listening to all of the naysayers and so-called "pro fishing purists," I cannot sit back and be quiet any longer.

I read all of these negative articles about umbrella rigs and none of the people writing them give any good, educated, factual information about the technique. The main reason for this is because there is not enough factual information about it, because it is still too new of a technique.

However, facts are starting to be realized that dispute much of the negativity about it. One of the main arguments against using it in tournaments was it made catching fish too easy and anybody could win. If you look at the short history of which professional tournaments have been won using rigs, the names of the winners are well known – David Dudley, Shinichi Fukae, Jason Christie and myself included. All of these wins required figuring out a pattern and executing it professionally to come out on top. You do not just tie on an umbrella rig and start throwing it around anywhere and catch tournament-winning fish.

Robert Faaborg/BackDeckPro.com
Photo: Robert Faaborg/BackDeckPro.com

The author introduced the bass fishing world to the Alabama Rig when he dominated the 2011 Lake Guntersville FLW Open.

Now there are so many different forms of rigs that you have to figure out which one the fish will hit the best. Rig fishing is only a technique and it takes a true professional to figure out how and where to throw it to win a 3- or 4-day event. One-day tournaments can be won by luck, but 3- or 4-day events are won by figuring out the fish better than the rest of the field. Throwing an umbrella rig all day long for 4 or more days is hard work and if you win, you earned it.

We (my peers) are supposed to be big-time professional bass fishermen, but for the past 40 years we've been fishing right past all of these big schools of huge bass and did not even know it. Now a man named Andy Poss figures out how to catch these fish and some anglers think it is a travesty. I guess these fish are just supposed to swim around in the lake and never be caught.

What do you think all these cities that bring professional tournaments in want to see, limits that weigh 10 to 15 pounds or limits that weigh 20 to 30 pounds? The answer to that is pretty obvious because they want to show off their fishery. If rigs had not been used at the PAA event and the B.A.S.S. event at Lake Douglas, they would've had very sorry weigh-ins overall and that fishery would have never shown its true potential.

I have watched the sport of professional bass fishing grow for 36 years. All kinds of techniques have developed and helped the industry surrounding our sport to prosper. I have never in all of those years seen a technique pour needed dollars into our industry like the Alabama Rig has done. It has been the biggest shot in the arm for this industry and it could not have come at better time.

I read all these statements that it's bad for the industry because nothing else is selling. That is the biggest line of bull hockey I have ever heard! The Alabama Rig sold swimbaits. jigheads, line, rods and reels and fishing line by the truckload. If someone who owned a tackle store was not selling anything, then he did not have any of the above-mentioned products in his store.

I hear all these pros complaining about the Alabama Rig and wanting it banned from professional fishing. But, when they speak out against it, it's always obvious that they do not want to compete against it. Why don't they ever give good, legitimate reasons why it should be banned? It is ironic that some of the naysayers say it's unethical, but they are some of the first ones to go looking for spawning fish to snatch them off the beds.

Let's call a spade a spade: For the most part, the ones against the Alabama Rig are flippers or bank-beaters, or have something personal at stake like a commission on a bait that is not selling because it competes with the Alabama Rig at the time of year when it is best. I personally do not care for catching fish off the bed, but if I'm going to be a competitive professional angler, I have got to do it at certain times of the year or I will not be able to compete.

I have come to realize that bed-fishing is a technique also. There are certain pros who are very good at it, like Shaw Grigsby, Dean Rojas and Alton Jones. Regardless of how I feel about it, I have considerable respect for their sight-fishing abilities.

The Alabama Rig is a new and exciting way to fish. Do I think there should be limitations on it? Yes, I do. Should the Game and Fish agencies in all the states take a close look at it? Yes, they should and I am sure they are. Tennessee looked at it and actually loosened its law on it. Should the number of hooks allowed be limited? Yes, they should. All of these things will be carried out in due time based on factual information. That is what Game and Fish agencies do. Why don't we just let them do their job?

Until then, why don't all these crybaby pros do their job? Shut up and fish.

Jake Lands 7.7 Largemouth Fishing with Paul

Testimonial

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