Alabama Rig

Credit: Brad Wiegmann

The new Alabama Rig is sweeping the nation, raising questions by anglers regarding its legality. The lure, which has five trailing wires to which five lures can be attached, appears to be a school of fish swimming through the water, making it attractive to bass.

The IDNR legal staff, working with the Divisions of Fisheries and Law Enforcement, has determined that the Alabama Rig IS legal in those waters in the state that do NOT have the "2 poles only with no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole" regulation.

Examples of those lakes where the Alabama Rig is legal are:
• Corps of Engineer lakes (Carlyle, Rend and Shelbyville)
• Lake of Egypt and Kinkaid Lake.

The Alabama Rig is also legal on most rivers and streams, including the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri, but NOT between Illinois and Iowa. It is also legal on the Ohio River, including Smithland pool. In addition, the Rig is legal on all private waters in the state.

Modifying the Alabama Rig

There are many water bodies in the state with a regulation allowing for "2 poles only with no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole." On these water bodies, the Alabama Rig is NOT legal since it has 5 hooks. The rig could be made legal by wire clipping three of the hooks, effectively making them "dummies," or by replacing three of the hooks with spinner blades, making it so the rig would have only 2 hooks and would therefore fall within that regulation.

To determine which water body permits the Alabama Rig, check the Fishing Regulations Booklet under Site Specific Regulations. The Site Specific Regulations will state directly under the lake name "2 pole and line only." As stated, on those lakes the Alabama Rig is NOT legal unless modified as described above.