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Thread: The Alabama Rig, worth a try for Muskies?

  1. #1
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    The Alabama Rig, worth a try for Muskies?

    In the bass fishing world, there is a HOT new rig called the Alabama Rig. It's a rig that allows you to fish 5 soft plastics at the same time(yes, 5 at the same time), imitating a school of baitfish. It was originated from observations in Saltwater fishing on predatory fish that keyed in on schools of baitfish.It has been one hot producer in the bass fishing world. So I wonder if it would be equally as effective on Muskies, seeing how they key in on schooling types of baitfish too. Look up the Alabama Rig on google.

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    I haven't tried it. You would think there would be certain applications when it would shine. I am curious if anyone has had success on it yet for muskies.

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    I didn’t respond to this post right away, because (I think) I sort of hoped the whole idea of these things would stay out of the musky world. The whole thing exploded last year when Paul Elias won an FLW event at Guntersville and photos of top bass pros were lined up like kids waiting for a rock concert just for a chance to pay “whatever” for the originally limited supply of these things. Now, of course, the Bass Pro Shop catalog probably has 20 different versions of the thing for a third of what the pros were paying. Like a lot of things, it wasn’t so “new” either! It was a downsized trolling rig for Stripers that those guys called an “Umbrella Rig,” simply because it looks like the multiple spokes of an umbrella with no fabric covering it. It turns out that in certain “suspendo” applications for deeper water bass at certain times this thing can be deadly. Google it and you will see video of three bass on a single cast. Now, a year later however, the bass word is not so rocked anymore as it is often entirely not effective at all. As to musky fishing, you need to be careful. The PMTT has officially banned its use in any form whatsoever and I was in the amen corner for that. In its intended form, the thing has five to six individual baits with each having its own hooks. That makes it totally not legal in a lot of states, but totally legal in others. Many musky guys are “disabling” some of the baits creating “dummy” baits with no hooks and hoping the fish will strike where the hook is. I will admit that I have experimented with these things in several different formats including the actual salt-water trolling rigs you can buy and some that I made as well as the bass units you can buy everywhere now. The honest answer is that I have not had a single fish take it. You will also find that in a properly sized musky version…it’s totally hard to cast and keep from being fouled. As to trolling….well that’s where I sort of get a really “sick” feeling about this. I just sort of hope everybody else makes it illegal.

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    I am currently working on a project called The Pirate Rig....it's a basic design of a 10 ft. length of aluminum bar trolling behind the boat, with 6 to 8 huge bucktails on releases, at varying lengths off of it. It has a weed screen in front of the bar so the baits don't get fouled. You could call it a Musky version of the Alabama rig, only bigger, stronger.
    I can only say at this point, that it will turn this winter's Show Season upside down. I've already said too much.....

  5. #5
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    Considering people are using saltwater reels and the such for the fish, this seems right in line with current methods. If it makes it easier, people will do it. H

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    Marty why the disdain for the rig? If musky guys only have one bait with hooks, and the rest are “dummy” baits I don’t see anything wrong with the rig. I would agree though that it’s a bad idea if more than one of the baits has hooks.

  7. #7
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    It's an easy answer for me Travis. Just because you see an ad for a musky sized rig with one set of hooks and five decoys does not mean that's the way it's going to be used. Meat hunters down on a place like Cave (absoulutely no offense to Justin, Tony Greg etc. who wouldn't do it) could drag four or five of these things around, fully loaded with six hooked baits each and quickly gut a fishery. Like I said, these things are not legal to use everywhere, but places like Kentucky where they want to encourage the bass events in every way have made it clear that these rigs are welcome there. These things are also called "Schooler Rigs" as they imitate a school of bait fish. They may be fine for bass and other "schooling" fish, but I believe that if widely used by competent trollers, it could decimate a population of more sparce predators like muskies. It's just an opinion based on fear, I hope I am totally wrong.

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    the fact is there is no difference in casting a bait with 5 hooks or trolling 8 baits with up to 3 hooks per bait if you can do math you will see that 8 baits X 3 hooks per bait = 24 hooks. so how is any different to cast five. i use a rig called the schooler rig by meat and potato tackle its beefed up for musky fishing. this bait was a awesome big fish producer for me this spring. I will admit that at first it was hard to cast but with practice its as easy as any other bait.the trick is to load up the rod and dead stop the spool right before it hits the water to straighten it all out. now the bite feels different you will just feel a heaviness or a mushy feeling. but all and all this bait worked day other baits didn't and for that i will not count it out.

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    Jim i had a great early spring for muskies on green river lake in ky with the schooler rig. i boated at least a extra twenty fish because of it. they ware great bait you have to put some time in to figure them out but they work great. if you have any questions feel free to email muskieman42718@yahoo.com

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    Yeah, I haven't had a chance to use it on muskies, but it made me think of how muskies key in on schooling types of baitfish and I have seen local anglers here in Arkansas slay largemouth bass with it. So it got me wondering if it would be worth a try for muskies. Personally, I'm afraid of, with 5 baits on one rig like that, hooking a musky in they eye or something. At the same time I'm curious if any musky anglers had heard of this rig/given it a try. Thanks for the input from all. Keep em coming.

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