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Alabama Rig Banned by B.A.S.S. for Elite Series and Classic

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  • Alabama Rig Banned by B.A.S.S. for Elite Series and Classic

    B.A.S.S., upon the recommendation of its Bassmaster Elite Series Rules Committee, has amended its tournament rules to limit anglers competing in the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series to the use of a single lure during practice and competition.

    The rule change, which does not apply to Bassmaster Open, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, College B.A.S.S. and other events, clarifies the intent of long-standing rules permitting only one rod, one reel and one cast at a time. No longer permitted are double soft jerkbait rigs, drop shot rigs with jigs used as weights, double topwater setups and other multi-lure rigs, such as “umbrella rigs.”

    The change becomes effective Feb. 1 and includes the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at Shreveport-Bossier City, La., Feb. 24-26.

    Elite Series Rules Committee members, comprised of 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifiers, seemed most concerned about new multi-lure rigs such as The Alabama Rig, which Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Elias used to win an event on Lake Guntersville in October. In the weeks since, tens of thousands of the multi-lure devices have been sold, and they have proved extremely effective in both recreational and competitive fishing.

    The Alabama Rig and similar setups from other manufacturers consist of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind. Soft plastic swimbaits and similar lures are attached to the leaders, imitating a school of baitfish.

    Rules Committee members believe the rig eliminates some of the skill that should be required in tournament competition at the highest level. “It doesn’t matter how you work it,” said one of the anglers. “The fish can’t help themselves.”

    “The Alabama Rig has become enormously popular in recent months, and it has definitely had an impact on the tournaments in which it has been used,” noted Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. “Personally, I have enjoyed catching bass on umbrella rigs and found them to be very effective in some situations. I have witnessed first-hand the excitement this technique has generated in our sport.

    “However, the Elite Series Rules Committee members unanimously asked to be held to a higher standard,” he added. “We have decided to honor their recommendation.”

    The rule change follows a precedence of imposing more stringent restrictions in Elite Series and Classic competition than in other B.A.S.S. events. For example, landing nets are prohibited in the Elites and the Classic but not in other circuits. Additional rules specific to the Elites include off-limits periods, no-information restrictions and new limits on boats that can be used in competition.

    B.A.S.S. officials emphasized that the decision should not be construed as disapproval of multi-lure rigs.

    “We are as excited as the rest of the country about the new multi-lure rigs,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “We will continue to cover new ways to utilize these tools in Bassmaster Magazine and on Bassmaster.com. Our Classic and Elite tournaments simply have a higher standard for the sake of competition. The rest of us will enjoy learning how to catch more fish with these tools.”

    A Rules Committee member added, “I don’t have a problem with the use of umbrella rigs or multi-lure rigs to catch bass. If you are out fun fishing, there may be nothing more fun to use. However, our events represent the highest level of professionalism in our sport and I think as participants of these events, we should be held to a higher standard, as well. I like the idea of one rod, one reel, one lure.”

  • #2
    Kneejerk reaction imo.....they did the right thing and ban all multi-lure rigs, bravo for them for trying to be consistent. Ban sight fishing and they have my respect....

    My argument is that fishing needs a constant stream of new innovations to monetize the sport. They should use Golf as an example.

    Just one voice in a sea of haters.....
    cheers,
    Steve

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.

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    • #3
      KVD was crying about it from the beginning......ridiculous!
      2010 VAO March Madness Big Bass


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      • #4
        X2 on what Squire said. Now, how do they ban this because it eliminates skill and accept the use of Hyrdowaves? And I know the same thing can be said for SI (you can see the fish) but the idea of a Hydrowave is it calls bass to your boat. I feel that eliminates some skill as well.
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        • #5
          I agree with you kickin bass. I think they should have a tourney with limited electronics and no practice one time. Be like the average guy out on a lake. See how they do then.
          "A hundred things that worked and a thousand more that should have."— George Kramer

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          • #6
            Good idea Nick. 250 HP limit like usual but no SI or GPS or hydrowave, just a standard depth finder, maybe even just a flasher for extra fun and one rod, one line, one lure. Oh what would Squire do???
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            • #7
              Dunno about Squire but ol' Airborne likes his SI. And in light of the recent Italian cruise ship debacle, I'm kinda thinking it's got some safety beneifits associated w/ it. Do I get to keep my 3D downscan? IOW, where do you draw the line in defining 'limited electronix'? Huge safety benefits from GPS. Are you sure you wanna pull that?
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              • #8
                We got by before without it. A higher standard my BUTT! Just a bunch of old farts like my parents that used to say "NO" to everything just so they wouldn't have to deal with it. Let the sport grow and innovate!!!!!!!!!
                2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
                2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by just1more View Post
                  We got by before without it. A higher standard my BUTT! Just a bunch of old farts like my parents that used to say "NO" to everything just so they wouldn't have to deal with it. Let the sport grow and innovate!!!!!!!!!
                  X2. I disagree with the ban. Especially now that guys can't use double drop shots, double flukes, etc. Really takes the creativity out of the sport for the pros.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by just1more View Post
                    Just a bunch of old farts like my parents that used to say "NO" to everything just so they wouldn't have to deal with it. Let the sport grow and innovate!!!!!!!!!
                    I don't really agree with the decision they made, but keep in mind these are not necessarily just a bunch of old farts making the decision. It says "Elite Series Rules Committee members, comprised of 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifiers" made the decision.

                    Do we know who is on the rules committe? I don't know enough about how things work at that level, and maybe there are some old fogies on the rules committe that are stuck in their ways, but by in large, the Elite level anglers are not an 'old' bunch - at least I don't percieve them as old. As for being innovative, those guys are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to lure design, function and techniques. I don't really think they are trying to stifle that by not using it in a tournament.

                    They are certainly making the decision to govern themselves, and if that's what they want to do, then so be it. In the end they are either hurting themselves or helping, time will tell, and I'm sure they can open it back up at anytime following this season. Also, BASS itself is not instituting the rule change, the Elite anglers themselves are doing it.

                    If the rule does stick around though, it may be interesting to see how guys in the lower levels, who qualify for the Elites thru using the A-rig, will do when they no longer have that tool availbale.

                    It's also about overall perception. If a lure is percieved to be 'cheating' or a 'magic lure' or something that just makes it too darn easy to catch fish because “The fish can’t help themselves”, then I can understand that the guys who are considered the "Elites" want to separate themselves from that perception.

                    Just my .02
                    Wishin' I was fishin'...
                    www.lds.org

                    https://www.instagram.com/lundeerik/

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                    • #11
                      Elite anglers is what makes the A-Rig an elite bait or any bait for that matter. And not all "Elite Anglers" are created equal. Plus I think the A-Rig is over rated to start with. The right bait, in the right place, at the right time, presented in the right way will make anyone a hero whether it be a Jig, jerk bait or A-Rig. I still believe that it was a very premature decision by narrow minded persons.
                      2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
                      2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper


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                      • #12
                        Double fluke rigs should be allowed IMO. Limit to 2 tho.

                        With the limited electronics topic, I would want to see 1 or 2 tourneys a year like that with no practice either. Not all of them.
                        "A hundred things that worked and a thousand more that should have."— George Kramer

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                        • #13
                          I watched the FLW show last night held on KY Lake. The A-Rig was the dominate bait used. What I found interesting was the fact that the average weight per day was 15 pounds, 13 pounds etc. The bigest bag was 19 because of a 6 pound kicker. Pretty much they threw it all day long and would get one bite here and there. I didnt see anything any different than throwing a crank bait all day long to get 5 bites.
                          2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
                          2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper


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                          • #14
                            Saw the same one Jim - thats was a great show

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                            • #15
                              I'm still not sold on the bait or the decision just yet,there for I also do not have a full thought for a qualified opinion. But if there is the rule as 1 rod 1bait then on that aspect alone I would have to say it would be illegal, for tx fishing anyway, but for fun and experimentation have a ball.
                              2017 Ironman winner
                              2019 Polar Bear winner

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