Looks like we won’t be using the “new” Alabama/ umbrella/ poodle rig in the Elite Series anytime soon.
If you just want to catch fish and have fun, by all means, get you a Poodle Rig and go to the water. Please. Go now. Go often. Have fun. No how, no way should you let a decision made to regulate 100 guys stop you from chunkin’ the poodle until your arms turn to grape jelly. Holy crap. Scroll down and read some of the comments on the B.A.S.S. story and you would think we had banned the thing from ever being built, shipped, or sold. Not by a long shot, compadre. It only affects the Elite Series and the Classic.
“It’s just a matter of time before all the other tournaments ban its use” seems to be the most common complaint. Oh really? How many other derbies have banned the use of nets because we Elite boys don’t use them?
How many? I can’t think of a single one. Can you?
Pretty sure that Frabill and other companies are doing a pretty good business selling nets DESPITE the fact that they are BANNED from use in the Elite Series. That poodle don’t hunt.
I think the fact that several states have come out in recent weeks and either clarified already existing rules in place on the number of hooks/ baits allowed (TN, VT) or modified their regulations (MO) in light of the boom following the re-emergence of the A-Rig says that there are some concerns among the conservation organizations surrounding the rig itself. The fact that ANY state run conservation organization has concerns with a technique for catching fish says volumes about that technique’s effectiveness.
I say re-emergence because the Alabama Rig is nothing new. It’s a castable version of the umbrella rig, which has been around since the 70’s as a trolling harness. There’s no doubt that the latest version has lit the bassin’ world on fire like nothing else has in recent memory. This fall, I’ve seen it catch fish from one end of Arkansas to the other. From Bull Shoals to Ouachita and every clear water impoundment in between, it has been a factor in almost every tournament that I’ve fished or seen results from on the innerwebz the past few months. I keep thinking that the water’s going to get cold enough to kill the poodle bite, but it hasn’t. Low 40’s and the silly bass are still biting it.
That concerns me. If they’re biting it so well at this water temp, what will it be like when the water gets back up in the 60’s? Stupid. Un-freakin-believably stupid. For all those who think this thing only works at certain times or on certain lakes or under certain conditions, I say you haven’t thrown it enough.
If you do throw it enough, one thing you’ll notice is the number of bass you snag on it. Snag, you say? How could that be? Not sure, other than the fact that you have five needle sharp hooks swinging around through the water. Duh. I’m thinking the bass just swim through the “school” of swimbaits and get snagged. I’ve caught numerous fish this way throughout the fall and they would be legally “caught” fish in the state or Arkansas and in any tournament that I fished. So for all those who say “it ain’t a gill net”, well… it’s a pretty close proximity of a castable net. Yep, I’ve snagged fish on crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and most everything with an open hook, but not in the numbers AND the size of fish that I’ve snagged with the poodle.
So if it’s such a great fish catcher why would the Elite guys want to ban its use? Consider this; where do you draw the line? Is five baits the “magic number”? Six? Four? What if you wanted to gangbang two of them together and have a nine bait poodle rig? Should that be legal? Where do you draw the line? One rod, one reel, one lure – keep it simple.
It’s not called bass catching, it’s bass fishing. I like to catch them just as much as the next guy, but I also like to think I’m good enough at it to do it without castable trolling to catch them. I’m good with one lure. If you want to chunk the poodle, chunk it.
Poodle Power to you, bro.