Winter Fishing

How to Fish the Alabama Rig for Bass


I was an early adopter of the castable umbrella rig craze that hit in the fall of 2011. It got a boom on Lake Guntersville at the FLW Tournament Paul Elias won and that winter on Kentucky Lake was nothing short of amazing on makeshift mini-umbrella rigs.

I caught hundreds of bass over the winter on Alabama rigs and various other umbrella rigs and wanted to share some of the things I learned about fishing it and throwing it in the winter months.

It’s basically 5 swimbaits on a 5 jigheads on a wire harness that you cast like a really large spinnerbait. It requires heavy line (because if you hang up you want to pull it free and bend out the jighead rather than losing your whole rig). It requires a heavy power rod (or you will tear up your arm trying to throw it on wimpy rods like I did my first season with it tearing my right rotator cuff).

The retrieve is basically let it sink to depth and then just real slow. Fast enough the swimbaits kick but slow enough the rig doesn’t rise up out of the strike zone. If you’re fishing it around cover like grass you can work it faster and higher in the water column, but most cases a low and slow retrieve is best.

Umbrella Rig equipment used: