December 21, 2023
Alex Davis calls it an issue solver—a fish-fooling, bite-getting answer for a difficult state of affairs he typically faces through the late fall-winter season.
The Alabama rig, aka castable umbrella rig, has been round for years and whereas the preferences for sizes and colours has advanced, Davis is aware of the overall enchantment stays simple.
“Individuals ask me: ‘What sort of fish will eat this rig?’ and I say, ‘Any fish that eats shad,’” he explains. “I’ve caught bass, stripers, wipers, catfish, and drum on the A-rig.”
For our functions right here, he addresses the largemouth and noticed bass he’s used to concentrating on on Lake Guntersville and different TVA reservoirs. As one 12 months closes and one other begins, he wants a strategy to goal fish in a troublesome state of affairs and the A-rig delivers the products.
“I believe it comes into play on TVA lakes this time of 12 months, as a result of lots of these fish will droop on the sting of the river channel or the top of a degree with a very sharp drop-off,” he mentioned. “Within the spring or summer time, they sit extra up to the mark, however this time of 12 months, they sit the place it drops off.
“A lot of the spots they like are 8 to 12 ft on high after which it drops straight to love 35 to 40. It looks as if they’ll sit in 15 to 16 ft, proper off the drop.”
Much like a Spec Ops group pushing by dense underbrush to achieve a excessive worth goal, he mentioned the A-rig is right for this state of affairs as a result of it permits him to achieve the strike zone with out succumbing to the widespread hazard vexing many different displays.
“You’ll be able to throw this rig on the market, let it go to the underside after which gradual roll it over the grass,” he mentioned. “When it clears the river edge in that 10- to 15-foot zone the place the fish are suspending on the perimeters.
“That is the one bait that I do know that means that you can goal that depth. You’ll be able to throw a jerkbait, however it’s exhausting to throw a jerkbait 10-12 ft deep with grass within the equation. In the event you throw up on high of the drop and work it down, by the point it reaches the best depth, it has grass on it.”
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Epitomizing effectivity, Davis can retrieve his A-rig over the grass what that lead had and wire arms pushing previous entanglements and simply ticking throughout the vegetation. As soon as he reaches the drop, he’ll use his forward-facing sonar to identify suspended fish and permit his rig to drop to their depth.
“That is the right bait for suspended fish.”
The Rig and Deal with
After years of experimentation, Davis mentioned he prefers the YUMBrella Flash Mob Junior, a 5-wire rig with 4 willow-leaf blades. He matches this rig with 1/8-ounce jigs with beefy hooks and provides 3 1/2-inch Scottsboro swimbaits.
For deeper fish, he’ll go as much as 3/16-ounce heads. And for lakes with massive gizzard shad, he bumps as much as 5-inch baits.
He fishes his A-rigs on a 7-foot, 8-inch Shimano swimbait rod constructed with the parabolic motion that facilitates a day of lengthy casts with this cumbersome rig. He pairs that with a 7.4:1 Shimano Curado HG 200 carrying 50-pound braided line.
Some could argue for fluorocarbon’s quieter and visually stealthy properties, however he finds better profit with braid. In his view, a fish that’s aggressive sufficient to assault the A-rig’s massive, daring profile received’t be too offended by braid.
“Now, individuals are transitioning into fluorocarbon, however with braid, I can really feel one blade of grass on my line,” he mentioned. “If I really feel any grass, I could make one exhausting reel deal with flip and clear it. And if I get hung up, I can bend one hook and get my rig again.”
Davis described his customary presentation: “I’ll forged the rig, let it sink 5 to six seconds to get near the underside and make a gentle retrieve. I’ll watch my forward-facing sonar to search for followers. Each few seconds, I’ll hit the deal with one good time and that makes the entire rig pulse.
“You’re reeling it and while you see one following, your pulse it, and that fish unloads its fury on it. It’s the cat and mouse recreation; that pulse triggers them, they usually must do one thing to catch it.”
Along with his deep-water theater, he often fishes his A-rig alongside riprap. Paralleling the rocks, as he would with different response baits presents the irresistible picture of a bait cluster.
“Most individuals get on the market and bomb the A-rig round bridges and factors, however it may be actually efficient as a result of it’s a presentation that they haven’t seen (on riprap),” he mentioned. “Most individuals throw a jerkbait, crankbait a jig on riprap. The fish have seen these 1,000,000 instances, however when one thing new comes by, they’re like, ‘Let’s chew it.’”
Wherever he throws his A-rig, he mentioned the second of fact is harsh and quick. The fish that assault this deal imply enterprise, so subtleties are non-existent. It’s a full throttle assault that’ll get up the nappers.
<p[>“You’re going to set the hook out of self-defense,” he said of the typically savagery. “Very rarely are you just reeling it and one loads up on it. He yanks, I yank back, and I try to ski him back to the boat as quickly as possible.
“You wouldn’t think they’d come off with this rig, but they will, so don’t play around with hem. I play a no-nonsense game.”