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PersicoTrotaVA

A-Rig, Umbrella Rig

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Ok let me set the scene really quick.

 

Sunday morning I fished a local tournament on a lake I don't really fish often except for these weekly tournaments and I only fish the tournament once a month.  I usually fish with my wacky rig and my pitchin stick with 3/8 oz jigs, its what I have the most confidence in.  Anyway, we(my brother and I) got out on the water and started to fish and noticed a lot of bait fish schools...A LOT.  At this point I realized I had the wrong stuff with me.  I tried everything and I got nothing.  I spent more time tying and re-tying baits than I did fishing.  Changing plastic colors, sizes and types.  I threw stuff I never thought I would throw and still nothing.  We ended up getting skunked and leaving about an hour earlier than weigh in time.  Yesterday morning it dawned on me that maybe an A-rig would have worked wonders.  The lakes around here are shallow, they avarage about 6 ft to 7 ft at the deepest and at most 10 ft to 12 ft deep in holes so nobody really throws and A-rig because its too bulky and would get snagged easily.

 

I have never used an A-rig and have no idea what brand or size to get.  I was thinking the Yum Flashmob Jr with colorado blades since most of the water here is stained to muddy and of course shallow.  I wanted any input from seasoned A-rig anglers and get some advice on which brands and styles are you guys' favorites and of course how to fish this thing.  Thanks in advance guys and tight lines!

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Several lessons to be learned here.  First, you can't fish what you didn't bring.  Second, it is one thing to see schools of bait fish, it is another thing to see the schools of bait fish being busted up by bass or some other predator.

 

I know here in Missouri, when you see feeding activity on the surface, it is much more likely white bass are doing the feeding.  Large mouth are more ambush predators, being much more likely to hang someplace and wait for dinner to come by than to actively chase it.  (I know that there are exceptions to this rule)

 

If you worked a bunch of different baits through the minnow schools with no results, it is quite possible that there weren't any fish there.

 

Some baits you hadn't mentioned, I'm wondering if you tried:  A rattle trap type bait, pulled through the school.  A minnow type bait, like a pointer, or a rogue or a Rapala?   A heavy drop bait, like a Silver Buddy or a Cicada can also be cast far and pulled through the upper levels of the water column, just keep reeling fast.  This can generate a reaction bite from time to time.

 

If your electronics can give you an idea of how deep the schools of bait fish are, some times you can pull a medium or deep diving crank underneath the schools.

 

Basically, it seems to me that you just had a bad day.  Hit the reset button and try again next time.

 

So, you left prior to weigh in, and you don't know what won?  I'd be interested to find out what the winning bait was.  I know you can't live in the past and fish yesterdays patterns, you have to fish present patterns, but still that would be an interesting tidbit on info to have on hand.   Just my thoughts . . . 

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Thanks for the reply Fishes in trees.  You are right I didn't bring everything with me.  Unfortunately we fish out of a small jon boat.  With a cooler for a livewell, 2 batteries, 3 of my rods, 3 of my brothers rods, a smallers cooler with food and my tackle and his tackle we are kinda pressed for space.

 

We left early because we saw everyone in the tournament(only 9 or 10 boats and we are all friends) and everyone said the same thing, its tough.  Only 2 or 3 had a limit(3 fish) and they were all small ones and a few boats pretty much quit fishing tournament style and went to fun fishing and caught 1 or 2 small ones.  

 

The boat is technically my brother's boat and he wanted to leave, he was getting very angry and wanted to just leave so I can't really say anything since the boat is his.  He also likes to beat the banks, a lot.  There were a few times we saw water turn and bubble trails from fish getting spooked under our boat.  I knew the fish weren't on the shore and wanted my brother to back off a bit and let us fish the slope going to deeper water.  We must have spooked 3 or 4 fish along the first shoreline we fished.  I am not faulting my brother but he bank beats and knows how to keep moving to find fish on the banks.  I don't mind, any day of fishing is better than an awesome day at work but both of us were too dumb to see what was going on.

 

To be honest the A-rig intrigues me and even if I caught white bass or crappie on Sunday at least I would have caught something.  I also want to expand my arsenal and not fish the same stuff all the time.  I want to find ways to fish that I like to fish and I am good at and I haven't really tried a lot of different techniques.  I have my 2 or 3 techniques that I am good at but I want back up plans and be versatile to fish in changing conditions or unexpected conditions.  

 

I am really thinking about getting the Flashmob Jr and ordering it today.  The bait monkey is on my back...

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I have exactly one hour of experience with an A-Rig, so very little advice....aside from this:  Be aware of your surroundings and careful around the big rocks.  It's been a month, but I still agonize over having lost the $15 rig, 5 Yum jigheads and 5 Yum moneys to the depths of a (mostly) sandy lake.

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Yea, you can always try a donkey rig too...

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I have spent the last year fishing these rigs is shallow ponds and trial and error is part of it.  I can tell you that if you're looking at the flash mob jr, go with willow blades, not the colorado, the arms are really short.  The willows are a nice size to start.  I have found 3 rigs I like that work well and each are a bit different.  One, the flashmob jr Willow, good starting point.  Next the True Tungsten Roll Tide rig(with blades), longer wire, but more flex, and finally the Yellow Hammer Spinnerbait Rig.  All have willows, and all work differently.  I fish all mine on 30lb braid with 20lb mono topshots.  Now here is the part that takes the longest to figure out, the bait configurations, most of mine all run 1/8oz leadheads and 1/16 to 1/8 dummy heads as in CA you can only fish 3 hooks. I prefer to use a 2/0 hook on most of mine and the best hook I've found are the Kietech jig heads but they are costly and made out of tungsten.  If you're worried about hanging up and loosing the whole rig, Owners round ball jig heads have a light enough hook you can bend out if needed.  Plastics, well that's something you are gonna have to figure out, I normally stick with the swing impacts from Kietech in the 3-4 inch range.  Again, all my fishing is from shore and in ponds, although if I did fish deeper lakes, I would just change out to heavier heads and do my thing.  And all the rigs mentioned I throw on a 5:3 ratio reel and use a BPS MH 7'6" Crankin Stick. It's got a soft enough tip that it doesn't rip the hooks out when they bite.  But if you're serious about fishing this rig, you're gonna have to throw it, not fish it 20 minutes and put it down, fish it all day.  Fish it till you catch a fish on it and refine your technique.  The ponds around me have lots of shad and when they aren't biting for everyone else, well this rig seems to produce.  Hope this helps you a bit in your pursuit and understanding with the umbrella rig.

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I have spent the last year fishing these rigs is shallow ponds and trial and error is part of it.  I can tell you that if you're looking at the flash mob jr, go with willow blades, not the colorado, the arms are really short.  The willows are a nice size to start.  I have found 3 rigs I like that work well and each are a bit different.  One, the flashmob jr Willow, good starting point.  Next the True Tungsten Roll Tide rig(with blades), longer wire, but more flex, and finally the Yellow Hammer Spinnerbait Rig.  All have willows, and all work differently.  I fish all mine on 30lb braid with 20lb mono topshots.  Now here is the part that takes the longest to figure out, the bait configurations, most of mine all run 1/8oz leadheads and 1/16 to 1/8 dummy heads as in CA you can only fish 3 hooks. I prefer to use a 2/0 hook on most of mine and the best hook I've found are the Kietech jig heads but they are costly and made out of tungsten.  If you're worried about hanging up and loosing the whole rig, Owners round ball jig heads have a light enough hook you can bend out if needed.  Plastics, well that's something you are gonna have to figure out, I normally stick with the swing impacts from Kietech in the 3-4 inch range.  Again, all my fishing is from shore and in ponds, although if I did fish deeper lakes, I would just change out to heavier heads and do my thing.  And all the rigs mentioned I throw on a 5:3 ratio reel and use a BPS MH 7'6" Crankin Stick. It's got a soft enough tip that it doesn't rip the hooks out when they bite.  But if you're serious about fishing this rig, you're gonna have to throw it, not fish it 20 minutes and put it down, fish it all day.  Fish it till you catch a fish on it and refine your technique.  The ponds around me have lots of shad and when they aren't biting for everyone else, well this rig seems to produce.  Hope this helps you a bit in your pursuit and understanding with the umbrella rig.

 

 

Thank you so much for the response.  Exactly what I was looking for!  I fish shallow lakes/ponds as well and my fear is losing 20 dollars on the end of my line.  I will look into all the things you recommended right now!  

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Thanks for the reply Fishes in trees.  You are right I didn't bring everything with me.  Unfortunately we fish out of a small jon boat.  With a cooler for a livewell, 2 batteries, 3 of my rods, 3 of my brothers rods, a smallers cooler with food and my tackle and his tackle we are kinda pressed for space.

...

 

I don´t see how the size of your boat impedes you fishing an A-rig, being two from a 12 ft boat you enough clearance and all the room you may want above your head. to cast it.

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I love the A-Rig, but honestly, at least around here, they just do not produce often this time of year.  I have better luck throwing a Pointer or something in schools of bait this time of year.  With that being said, you cant beat the A-Rig November-early May

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be aware as well, the rigs do and will break.  Wires get fatigued.  The Yellow Hornet is probably the most durable of the 3, haven't had one of them break yet but the wire is bigger as well.  And fish a somewhat lighter drag if you do fish it with braid, if not you will end up pulling them off.  Found that out the hard way when I tried to horse the first bigger fish I hooked in.  If you don't have a lot of snags I will switch to a Picasso swimbait head with a 4/0 hook on a 4" bait.  But normally stay with the Kietech heads now which are 2/0 and give the 3-4" baits more action.  And once you get confidence in the baits and if you equip them with what I outlined well it's more like $25-30 attached to the end of your line.

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I don´t see how the size of your boat impedes you fishing an A-rig, being two from a 12 ft boat you enough clearance and all the room you may want above your head. to cast it.

 

It doesn't.  I don't own an A-rig, thats why I started the thread about which one to get.  I didn't bring my flukes and caffeine shads with me because of space constraints.  I have a cooler in front of me, my tackle bag, 2 worm binders, my small bookbag with my phones, wallet, keys and other stuff.  Behind me I have 2 batteries.  My standing are is rather small.

 

be aware as well, the rigs do and will break.  Wires get fatigued.  The Yellow Hornet is probably the most durable of the 3, haven't had one of them break yet but the wire is bigger as well.  And fish a somewhat lighter drag if you do fish it with braid, if not you will end up pulling them off.  Found that out the hard way when I tried to horse the first bigger fish I hooked in.  If you don't have a lot of snags I will switch to a Picasso swimbait head with a 4/0 hook on a 4" bait.  But normally stay with the Kietech heads now which are 2/0 and give the 3-4" baits more action.  And once you get confidence in the baits and if you equip them with what I outlined well it's more like $25-30 attached to the end of your line.

 

I looked into the Yellow Hammer Spinnerbait rig and I think I am going to go for that one even though its a little more expensive.  The reviews on TW are that its a beast and takes a beating.  Still haven't decided what jigheads and plastics to go with.  As long as it looks like a threadfin shad, I will be happy.

 

 

Thanks again for the responses guys!

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Good luck with you're A riggin!!!

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I've had very little success with an A rig during the warmer months. I have more confidence in a swimbait on a jighead or swarming hornet than I do an A rig during the summer months. Not saying don't try it though, because they will work this time of year in the right conditions.

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Yes, as stated the conditions have to be right for the rig to produce.  When they are though, you can def put a hurting on the fish in both quantity as well as quality.  Being all I fish is shallow from the bank, watching a 5-6lb bass role and explode on the rig as it would attack an entire school is def a bite you look fwd to getting each time and never gets old with the way they seem to attack it. But then there are days where they follow and never commit.

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The Yellow Hammer Rig. Saw it on the Tackle Warehouse website and looked pretty interesting. Get some good reviews.

 

Throwing a chandelier in the water to catch fish just seems ridiculous to me but hey if it works...

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On 7/1/2014 at 12:34 PM, PersicoTrotaVA said:

Ok let me set the scene really quick.

 

Sunday morning I fished a local tournament on a lake I don't really fish often except for these weekly tournaments and I only fish the tournament once a month.  I usually fish with my wacky rig and my pitchin stick with 3/8 oz jigs, its what I have the most confidence in.  Anyway, we(my brother and I) got out on the water and started to fish and noticed a lot of bait fish schools...A LOT.  At this point I realized I had the wrong stuff with me.  I tried everything and I got nothing.  I spent more time tying and re-tying baits than I did fishing.  Changing plastic colors, sizes and types.  I threw stuff I never thought I would throw and still nothing.  We ended up getting skunked and leaving about an hour earlier than weigh in time.  Yesterday morning it dawned on me that maybe an A-rig would have worked wonders.  The lakes around here are shallow, they avarage about 6 ft to 7 ft at the deepest and at most 10 ft to 12 ft deep in holes so nobody really throws and A-rig because its too bulky and would get snagged easily.

 

I have never used an A-rig and have no idea what brand or size to get.  I was thinking the Yum Flashmob Jr with colorado blades since most of the water here is stained to muddy and of course shallow.  I wanted any input from seasoned A-rig anglers and get some advice on which brands and styles are you guys' favorites and of course how to fish this thing.  Thanks in advance guys and tight lines!

I was stationed on NOB and Oceana a while back, Those airport lakes are tricky, but they have some good fish in 'em. Sounds like you don't want to talk about VA Beach and Cheseapeake :). I don't think the A-rig would have been the ticket. Sounds like they were turned off. Depending on the water color and cover, a jerkbait, swim jig, lipless, spinnerbait, or squarebill might do. I find when they get in a funk like that, I either pitch a t-rigged craw, or I'm looking for a reaction bite (but not both). The trick is to concentrate, and focus. I keep the mantra "5 bites" in mind. The first one does wonders for  morale. Leaving early? really?

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1st, you need a rod that can effectively cast a 5 lure A-rig, minimum IMO is a MH swimbait rod. 

2nd, you don't need braid with a leader. Whatever line you use tie it direct to the main line, it should be at least 20 lb test.

To me fishing A-rigs is similar to fishing big swimbaits, it takes the same casting effort and retreive technique, plus the dedication to spend time using it.

Gulfcaptain posted good advice except you are fishing from a boat and maybe able to recover a snagged A-rig from snags using a lure knocker with sash chain added.

What I have learned retrieving A-rigs to increase strikes is adding rod sweeps every 10' to 15' to your reel retrieve to create the rig to pulse, this seems to entice strikes.

If you want the rig to run deeper just peg a bullet weight in front of the head and let it sink a few seconds before retrieving, heavier jig heads don't tend help the rig to run deeper if they have blades.

Good luck.

Tom

 

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