Tackle & Techniques – multi-rigs

Tackle & Techniques – multi-rigs

Jan 30, 2015

Multiply your swimbait catch with multi-rigs

By Mike Pehanich

Bass fishermen find February a month of “awakening” for the new season for two big reasons: the Bassmaster Classic and multi-rig fishing!

While all but a handful of us will enjoy the Classic as spectators, our multi-rig options are many anywhere you can find open water fishing and a healthy bass population .

Both bass and baitfish school up tightly in winter. Find the convergence of both, and you have a shot at the kind of hot fishing that will bring plenty of warmth to a winter’s day!

A Booyah Boo Rig ahead of this Nories Spoon Tail Shad adds an abundance of flash and the illusion of a ball of baitfish -- with a larger baitfish in pursuit.

The new meaning of ‘multi’

The standard umbrella rig, a.k.a. “Alabama rig,” simulates a school of moving baitfish. Work it right, and it becomes the perfect tool for winter bass.

But the umbrella rig comes with caveats in today’s angling world. Many tournaments prohibit its use, and state fish and game regulations sometimes limit the number of hooks or lures that you can legally fish on a single line.

One day last season, Munenori Kajiwara, owner of Japan Import Tackle, posed a challenge to find new ways to rig one of our favorite swimbaits, the Nories Spoon Tail Shad, to broaden its application and effectiveness

Find them, we did!

Fishing with Dummies — My home state of Illinois permits only two ‘live” hooks on an Alabama rig; neighboring Wisconsin allows three. But we can still leverage the fish-attracting power of five tail-kicking Spoon Tail Shad lures by using no-hook rigs or cutting hooks off of jigs to create “decoys” or  “dummy” lures. Always run a swimbait with a “live” hook in the center, trailing the “school.” Predators tend to single out straggling baitfish or those just outside the school..

The Slider – On a dock in Buffalo Harbor on Lake Erie several years ago, one of my fishing partners showed off a homemade multi-rig revealed to him by none other than Kevin VanDam. It featured two baits tied onto rather heavy monofilament leaders to maintain bait separation. He threaded the main line through a swivel to which he had tied one of the leaders and baits, then tied the main line and trailing bait to each end of a primary swivel. We worked two fluke-style plastic baits in the harbor that day, but I was sure that a pair of Nories Spoon Tail Shad baits would be just as deadly in their place. Right on! The sight of those two baits creates the illusion of more.

Mob Rule – YUM introduced a flashy alternative to the umbrella rig a couple of years back by adding spinner blades in front of the lures on the wire arms. This “Flash Mob” concept, manifested in the Flash Mob and Flash Mob Jr. Yumbrella rigs, brought us not only the action of 10 moving Spoon Tail Shad lures but the extra drawing power of flashing spinners. I have alternated between the willow and Colorado blade designs.

The Spoon Tail Shad's thumping paddle tail action contrasts with the undulating action of these curlytail grubs, which serve as "decoys" on the Booyah Teaser Rig.

One Hook Rule! – Lots of fishermen love the multi-rig concept but have neither the tackle nor the stamina to throw a ponderous rig all day long. Two rigs came to the rescue! First, I tied a Spoon Tail Shad onto the back of a Booyah Boo Teaser Rig, a 3/8-ounce rig with four curlytail grubs secured with screw-in bait keepers and a single wire leader for to which I attached our paddletail swimbait. The combination delivered action aplenty, and it was easy to cast and retrieve with the kind of medium-heavy baitcasting rod nearly every bass angler has in his arsenal. I experimented, too, with a sister rig, the Booyah Boo Rig, which ran my Spoon Tail Shad behind four willow blade spinners. The added flash seemed to provide an advantage when fishing dingier water.

Or just add flash!

Adding spinner attraction is a simple way to expand the drawing power of many a lure!

The Buritoro Rig has been one of the hottest rigs in Japanese bass fishing circles for several years. It features a Nories Spoon Tail Shad on an MC Jig and an Ecogear Blade Spin.



Buritoro Rig – Still relatively unknown to American bass fishermen, the Buritoro Rig has been one of the hottest bass rigs in Japan for years. It features a Nories Spoon Tail Shad — with an Ecogear Blade Spin screwed into its belly — pinned to a Nories MC Jig. The rig works well on a steady retrieve, but it can be a deadly way to draw strikes when fishing scattered or sparse vegetation on flats or tapered drop-offs, too. A real killer!

Spin Riggin’ – I added a Spoon Tail Shad to the Booyah Spin Rig, a jighead with wire leader and a tandem Colorado/willow blade attachment. The ½-ounce size enabled me to get the bait significantly deeper in the water column. Again, the jighead, contrasting blades and trailing swimbait gave the illusion of multiple baitfish. It drew strikes whether I worked it fast or slow, high or low in the water column.

For more information on the Nories Spoon Tail Shad, see Japan Import Tackle (www.japanimporttackle.com) or Lee’s Global Tackle

For more information on multi-rig options mentioned here, see the Booyah Bait Co. (www.booyahbaits.com) and Yum Bait Co. (www.yumbaits.com) websites



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