A new fishing lure may be catching more anglers than fish and is generating quite a buzz on message boards and sports shows across Iowa.

The Alabama Rig, as it is called, is an umbrella-type rig and consists of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind.  Each wire leader can be used to attach lures which when pulled through the water will simulate a school of baitfish.  This new rig has been featured on competitive fishing shows, in magazines and fishing seminars for the past year. It is now sold in major outdoor sports stores in various states which brings the question of, is it legal?

“There has been a lot of confusion over this rig and how it fits or doesn’t fit in our laws,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. “In Iowa our anglers are limited to two hooks per line so the fully-rigged Alabama Rig would be illegal to fish with in Iowa.  However, anglers may use a two-hook version of the Alabama Rig in which five baits are attached to the rig but only two of these baits have hooks.

“The Alabama Rig is used primarily for largemouth bass and some bass tournaments have already banned the use of it during their tournaments,” he said.  “Our officers are aware of the rig and just as they do with all of our fish and game laws, they will be checking for compliance.”

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