Popularized due to it being used to win a big largemouth bass fishing tournament in Alabama this past fall, the Alabama Rig has generated much interest in the world of sport fishing these days. In fact, Nebraska Conservation Officer Jeff Clauson and I have been getting quite a few inquiries about whether the Alabama fishing rig can be used in Nebraska waters for angling (see the pic below). The answer: It’s a no-go!
Jeff says that Nebraska Statue 37-543 Sub-Section 2 makes this particular fishing rig illegal. The statue reads: It shall be unlawful for any person to use, while fishing in this state in any lake, pond, or reservoir or in their inlets, outlets, and canals within one-half mile of such lake, pond, or reservoir, more than two lines, and neither line shall have more than two hooks. This subsection shall not apply to ice fishing.
The Alabama Rig is essentially a castable version of the popular umbrella rig that has been used in the southern U.S. for catching striped bass. The 3/8′s ounce rig comes with a five-wire harness that allows for the use of as many baits on a single line. The idea is to simulate a small group of prey fish that have peeled off from a large school. According to Jeff and Game and Parks Fisheries Outreach Coordinator/Biologist Daryl Bauer, the difference between the Alabama Rig and say a Rapala-brand crankbait lure, for example, is that, all of the hooks on Rapala-like apparatus are attached to one bait or artificial lure.
Conversely, they say, on the Alabama Rig, although the hooks are attached to one main head, they are actually separate lures and/or baits. That’s where the illegality enters the picture. It’s a multi-hook set up. Take another look at the Alabama rig below.
See the difference? If you’re asked about the Alabama rig in your fishing circles, you now know that it’s a definite no-go in Nebraska waters for fishing. Just keeping you informed and a ‘legal beagle’ on the water. Good fishing!