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Alabama rig setting records in Oklahoma

The lure was a popular seller before, but it will be even more difficult now to keep on the shelves
by Ed Godfrey Published: March 16, 2013

First, it was a lake record largemouth bass (12.3 pounds) being caught March 3 at Grand Lake on an Alabama rig to win a tournament.

Then, Billy Lemon of Sand Springs — the angler who caught that lake record at Grand Lake — won the FLW's Bass Fishing League tournament on Grand Lake the next weekend, catching almost 20 pounds of fish using the Alabama rig baited with Gene Larew Sweet Swimmers.

Now, Dale Miller of Panama on Wednesday caught the state record largemouth bass on an Alabama rig.

Before that, several double-digit bass from Arbuckle have been landed this spring on an Alabama rig.

“If you throw it at Arbuckle, something's going to eat it,” said Billy Read, a tournament angler from Mustang and part-time employee at Lucky Lure Tackle in Oklahoma City.

The Alabama rig was a popular seller before, but it will be even more difficult now to keep on the shelves.

Since Lemon's success on Grand Lake, sales of the Alabama rig have jumped 30 to 40 percent at Lucky Lure Tackle, Read said.

“They're getting picked over pretty good,” Read said. “It goes like wildfire.”

The most difficult thing for anglers to find has been the swim baits that are used on the Alabama rig, also known as umbrella rigs because of their appearance.

The rigs have a weighted head with five wire leaders attached for baits. It takes some practice to learn to cast with the rigs.

“It's like throwing a shoe out there, so you throw it sidearm” said Kenyon Hill, a pro bass angler from Norman. “It's primarily for a suspended fish situation, when the water is below 50 degrees.”

Read said the most popular swim bait being sold for the Alabama rig is the Gene Larew Sweet Swimmer as the result of Lemon's victory, Read said.

“That's the one we're out of,” Read said.

The most popular bait color is shad-based, something with a dark-colored back and white belly, he said.

Hill baits the Alabama rig with a Zoom Swimmin Fluke.

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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