Author’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 an 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.
I learned to catch suspended bass on the Alabama Rig by casting it out and counting it down to the depth where my depth finder showed the suspended bass were holding. Then I started reeling the rig. Most of the fish I caught were holding in 20-25 foot deep water over a 30-40 foot deep bottom. I counted the Alabama Rig down about 7 or 8 counts and then started reeling with a medium retrieve to cause the rig to come through the 20-25 foot deep water where the bass were concentrating. Once I learned how to count the rig down, I caught bass on every cast. The biggest bass I caught in the tournament weighed more than 6 pounds, and I doubled (caught two bass or more at the same time) three different times. The two biggest bass I caught at one time was a 4 pounder and a 3-3/4 pound bass. I fished the Tennessee shad color in Mann’s HardNose Swimbait, because the bigger bass were feeding on the large gizzard shad at Guntersville. I cast the Alabama Rig on 65 pound test Spiderwire UltraCast FluoroBraid. I was fishing with a Pinnacle 7 foot 11 inch Perfecta Rod with a heavy flipping action and using a 6.4:1 Pinnacle Optima reel.
I fished with one Alabama Rig all day long, and the wires never broke. Although I was catching 30 to 40 bass a day during the tournament, I still never had a wire break. At the end of the tournament, I had brought in 20 bass that weighed 102 pounds and a few ounces. I won the Lake Guntersville tournament by 17 pounds.
Why to fish the Alabama Rig in November and December and any month when bass are suspending:
I’ve spent so much time talking about fishing the Alabama Rig in November and December, because I believe this way is the best to catch the most bass when bass are suspending. The Alabama Rig works best when there’s current. On the lakes with suspended bass, the points, the breaks, the currents and especially the rocky points that break the current up near the dam are places where the Alabama Rig will produce largemouths, spotted bass, smallmouths, stripers and a few drum.
To read more tips on how to use the Alabama Rig, click here.