The Resurging A-Rig
by Mike Gerry
As often as baits change, we see them leave the scene and then re-enter with renewed excitement.
There have been several fish on Guntersville caught during the last few months marking a reintroduction of the A-Rig. The 5-prong version or the 3-prong version, depending on the state laws, is being productive again all through the south along the Tennessee river chain.
Stringers of fish are being weighted in at local tournaments all caught on A-Rigs proving, once again, that baits go and come back as fish change patterns throughout the fishing communities.
Even though, for me, this winter the A-Rig has not been as productive as other baits, this has been of my own choosing to not fish it often because of the danger of all the hooks in the boat with customers.
The different manufacturers of the A-Rig are starting to create different versions of it so the bait can be fished at different depths with more flash and for a variety of fish species. Many of the manufacturers have taken weight out of the bait and reduced the size of the wire and added willow leaf blades for flash, to improve presentation. Coloring and hook size are now a big part of the A-Rig landscape making it more easily seen in the murky waters of the Tennessee river.
The other change is that the A-rig is being fished in more types of cover and at different depths than the original use presented. Anglers have found that the bass have not moved to the bridges as they did in years past. This is a by-product of the rig beating up the fish and changing some of their normal migration paths. Allowing anglers to move to creeks, shallow water, points, and river ledge areas to find the fish that will hit it.
The good news is that as the migration path changed the A-rig manufacturers were ahead of the curve and did many of the things stated above to allow the bait to be presented in different depths of water other than the 20 to 30 ft. drops we all fished before. The thing that has not changed on the A-Rig is it catches fish and has proven lately the bass are hitting it again!