June 23, 2014 Share

The Alabama Rig — Bad for Bass Fishing?

Originally Published on Jan 12, 2012 “From the Dock” NBC Sports

Is the Alabama rig bad for bass fishing? It’s an interesting question and one discussed over the weekend by professional bass angler/television host Scott Martin while speaking at the National Professional Anglers Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis.

Martin’s comments came on stage while responding to an audience member who asked Martin for his opinion of the Alabama Rig. See attached video.

In terms of bass fishing: Martin believes the rig has the potential to dominate some tournaments, which means tournament followers are going to get a steady dose of information and video on it. Eventually, tournament followers will tire of this diet. It will also stifle innovation in terms of tackle and techniques. Innovation is a key factor in tournament angling success the past three decades. If you question this, consider the Alabama Rig’s own meteoric rise to stardom following and the now-famous FWL event on Guntersville last October.

As Martin pointed out, when you have 100 or more boats on a given body of water, some will be fishing shallow, some deep, some on the bottom, while other are fishing topwaters or cranks. This variety heightens excitement and suspense, and sets the stage for tweaks that improve tackle and enhance angler knowledge. Martin argues, this won’t happen if larger percentages of competing anglers are casting Alabama Rigs.

Martin also mentioned that the Alabama Rig effectively targets fish holding in off-shore “rest” areas, places in which the fish have enjoyed some refuge simply because most anglers find these fish tough to catch. Will this additional stress prove harmful to the fish? questioned Martin.

Surprisingly, he didn’t bring up the legal challenges faced by the Alabama Rig (it’s not legal to use in many states), nor did he have any problem with the rig’s ability to land multiple fish at a time or its growing reputation for snagging fish.

It’s not often in today’s world that a pro angler who relies on sponsor dollars will speak out on topics like this.