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:
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 yearsâ€ 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.