2 Fishermen Reel In 7 Bass At One Time On A Pair Of Alabama Rigs

Ah, the glorious Alabama rig.

Also known as the umbrella rig, or the A-rig, it’s a staple among bass anglers in the cold water winter months. Up here in Wisconsin, the water has frozen over, but you can always count on an A-rig to catch those finnicky winter bass on the way to ice up. But in the South, the A-rig will play all winter, right up until the pre-spawn.

What is an Alabama rig? It’s basically throwing a bunch of 3 or 4-inch swimbaits (usually some kind of paddle tails) at one time to mimic a ball of baitfish. The rig consists of a wired umbrella-shaped contraption with a number of clasps for both jig heads and blades. Depending on what state you’re fishing in, there may be a limit to the number of hooks you can throw at one time (it’s 3 in Wisconsin), so the other wires can be rigged with “dummy baits” or hookless swimbaits.

You’re generally going to want to fish it on a long and heavy rod (7’5″ heavy or longer depending on the size of the rig), the kind you would use for big swimbaits, and cast it out into a school of fish. With more than one hook out at one time, there’s a chance more than one fish in that school are gonna hit.

But 7 at one time? That’s unheard of. Well, unless you’re this pair of anglers.

Florida fishing guide Justin Mankin was out on the water recently with Canadian Cowboy Outfitters’ Brad Scott, and with two A-rigs in the waters of Central Florida, the pair landed a whopping SEVEN bass on two rods… just nuts.

Check it out:

Brad went into a little more detail about fishing the A-rig in an Instagram post:

“I just recently got back from a wonderful trip to Florida that included some amazing bass fishing with my good friend Justin. Most of our 30+ fish and ALL of our 4lb+ fish (including this beast in the picture) came on an Alabama Rig. I thought everyone knew about these fishing rigs? However, after attending several fishing shows upon my return and talking with several people I realized they are still a bit of a mystery.

This rig has several other names but “A-Rig” is one of the most recognized and universal names. It’s a rig with 5 wire arms fanned out from the center with a snap swivel on the end of each wire, designed to attach 5 individual lures. Usually weighted swim-baits.

It’s origin began as a salt water rig used with bait to catch a variety of species such as striped bass and bluefish off of the New England coast. It’s been said that the idea came to a skipper from Montauk, New York who saw anglers in Nova Scotia using strips of beer cans (of course lol) in formation to imitate a school of bait fish. Yay for Canada and yay for beer.”

Gear Up: Alabama Rigs

If you’re looking to give the old A-rig a try, look no further… here’s everything you’ll need to get started on the water. I like the Hog Farmer Mini Flex since it’s a bit smaller than the regular size, but still bigger than the micro offering. We’re also going to pair it with a relatively affordable rod and reel combo from Daiwa, and use your favorite 20lb fluorocarbon line.

Here’s your shopping list:

Rig: Hog Farmer Baits Tactical Bassin Mini Flex Rig 4 Blade

Bait: Keitech Swing Impact FAT Swimbait 3.3″

Colors: Pro Blue Red Pearl, Gizzard Shad, Sexy Shad

Rod: Daiwa Tatula XT Casting Rod 

7’4″ Heavy or 7’6″ Extra Heavy

Reel: Daiwa Tatula CT Casting Reel

Jig Heads: Outkast Tackle Goldeneye Swimbait Jig Head

Size: 1/8th – 1/4th ounce

The GOAT, Kevin VanDam, will show you how it’s done:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock