Bass Master pro Jimmy Mason talks about one of the hottest trends in bass fishing. You’ve been hearing a lot about the Alabama Rig lately. It’s a really neat deal. He’s been throwing it since June of 2011 which is about 4-5 months before it came out nationally. It’s turned into an awesome fish catcher in the winter and fall seasons.
“This one right here I’ve got rigged with Yum Money Minnows. These are actually almost like sassy shads. They’re fairly small, I use this a lot when the bait is small and when you kind of match the hatch size. I rig this usually with a 1/8 ounce to a 1/4 ounce swimbait heads. Most of the time I’m using Buckeye Lures J-Will Head, sometimes I will use one a little bit smaller but I always want to throw these with a really stout hook. Most of the time you are throwing this on 65 to 80-pound Vicious braid so you want to have a stronger hook not your typical shaky heads solid jig even though these are 1/8 to 1/4-ounce. You must have a strong hook in it. Because when you set back with that heavy braid, a weaker hook is going to flex and you’re going to lose a lot of fish so that’s one of the most important parts of the rig is to make sure you’ve got a heavy hook.
“The other baits that I throw are the Yum Money Minnows, the 3 ½ or the 5 inch. What I have found in using this is when I’m fishing real deep, deep water, deep structure; the hollow belly baits work a little better. The 5-inch Money Minnow when I’m fishing deep structure of the ledges on Pickwick, the ledges on Guntersville, I’m going to use this bigger bait. But when I fish in the grass, for whatever reason, it’s real weird; I seem to get more bites on the solid plastic like this Yum Pulse Swimbait. I don’t know if it’s just in my head but I’ve seen it happen more and more and time and time again so it’s something I have a lot of confidence in doing is changing up. But this is the Alabama Rig, play with it; it’s something that’s going to be real exciting over the next year seeing all of the different baits and the ways people adapt to fishing this. And this is definitely a bait you can use your imagination and keep an open mind when you are throwing and putting a lot of different baits on it.
“Equipment wise, when I’m throwing this, you want to use a long rod. The 2 rods I use depending on how heavy of jig heads I’m using is either a 764 Dobyns light flipping stick or a 795 Dobyns Swimbait Rod. If I’m using over a ¼ oz. heads on this, then I’m going to go with the swimbait rod. That will handle up to a 4 oz. swimbait and it’s going to work you all day throwing this. By the time you get it all loaded up with those heads, you’re talking about a 3 ½ to a 4 ½ oz. bait, this whole rig so you definitely need that longer rod with kind of some give in the mid-section where you can lob it out there and just fish it slow and play with the retrieve. One thing that I found is that some days they want it where you reel it real fast and kill it off the bottom than let it fall back to the bottom and reel it real fast and kill it again. Other days they want just a slow steady retrieve almost like you’re slow rolling a big spinnerbait. It’s one of those deals if you’re not getting the bite you expect, kind of vary the retrieve and experiment and you will find what they do want that day. Good luck with it.”