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Alabama Rig in Tennessee

Shaye Baker Photo

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency wanted us to clarify previous

statements about the Alabama Rig and Umbrella Rigs used in Tennessee

waters. No additional rules or addendums were made to the original

Umbrella rig laws. Rather just clarification that if a rig has more than

3 baits (hooks or not) it’s considered an umbrella rig and may only

have one hook if the hooks are larger than a No. 6. If the rig only has 3

baits or less it can have any size hooks.

We apologize if we led to any further confusion in the use of

Umbrella rigs or Alabama rigs in Tennessee waters. We spoke with a good

number of anglers today at the Everstart Championship who still were not sure that the rigs with five baits could only have one hook versus a

rig with only three baits could have three. Several folks still thought 5

baits could have 3 hooks which doesn’t comply with the original

Umbrella rig guidelines for Tennessee waters.

Here is the official statement the Chief of Fisheries for TWRA sent us

this afternoon regarding these rigs and should clear any

misunderstandings among the angling community:

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

would like to clarify the existing regulation concerning all apparatus

classified as umbrella rigs for fishing. TWRA is taking this proactive

step in the best interest of the entire fishing community.

Umbrella rigs can be legally fished in

Tennessee waters as long as they comply with the regulation as described

in the proclamation.  An umbrella rig is defined as an array of more than three artificial lures or baits (with or without hooks) used by a single rod and reel combination.  Each

blade of a spinner bait would be considered a lure. If the hook sizes

are 8 or smaller, all lures or baits may have hooks (single, double, or

treble).  If any hooks on the umbrella rig are hook size 6 or larger, then only one lure or bait in the array may have a hook and that hook must be a single hook.  

The Alabama Rig can legally be fished

in Tennessee waters following the restrictions set forth for umbrella

rigs. If an angler reduces the number of baits attached to the Alabama

Rig to three or less it would not meet the definition of an umbrella rig

and could be fished with any size or style of hook.

We didn’t just make this regulation up

to ban the Alabama Rig in Tennessee.  It’s been on the books for almost

10 years†says TWRA Chief of Fisheries Bobby Wilson.  â€œIn effect since

2002, it was established over concerns about catching too many fish at

the same time and foul hooking large sport fish, primarily striped bass

and hybrid striped bass.â€

One of the primary goals of the TWRA is

to protect Tennessee’s resources on behalf of all its residents and

non-residents alike. While protecting resources is TWRA’s number one

responsibility, in doing so it also wants to promote tourism plus

enhance business initiatives. Having clear, well-defined regulations

help create such an environment. The Agency, in conjunction with local

governments,  welcomes individual fishermen as well as national,

regional and local fishing organizations regardless of angling species

preference to enjoy fishing on Tennessee’s waters.