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gilkeybr

Alabama Rig in ponds without shad?

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This winter I got a 5-hook umbrella rig to use in the spring as I have read over and over how it is a good early season lure.  I have fished it for quite a while this spring at my local pond, and haven't gotten so much as a sniff!  This culminated in yesterday where we had a slight breeze, partly cloudy, and a nice warming trend.  Should have been very good conditions to fish.  I started with a lipless and got 4 bites (and 3 fish) in 5 casts.  I then thought, "Now is a good time to get that A-rig out and get some confidence in it".  I proceed to fish the A-rig for quite a while, once again without a bit.  For the record, I have 4-3.8" paddle tails and 1-4.8" paddle tail on the rig.

 

I then switched once again to a jerkbait (Flash Pointer 115) and caught a fish within the first couple casts.

 

Having good success on two different techniques in a short amount of time but striking out with the A-rig got me wondering.  By all accounts the forage species in my local pond (21 acres, 8-10ft deep max, minimal structure/cover) consists of bluegill, perch, crappie and maybe some crayfish.  You will also occasionally see a large carp rolling around.  There is no evidence of shad or other species that I think of as "schooling".  It has me wondering:

 

Do A-rigs work in ponds where the primary forage is bluegill?

 

Surface temp on the pond yesterday was in the mid-50s which is pretty impressive considering ice-out was just a couple weeks ago now.  Its starting to feel like the A-rig window is closing without ever getting started!

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The local reservoir I fish doesn't have shad that I can tell. I've tried the A rig there a couple times with no luck. I'd probably try a smaller version with maybe two baits and a couple blades with a different color swimbait. 

 

The thing with the A rig, to me, is that the time you would fish it (cold water) is also a time when you can't count on getting regular bites. At least around here and where I fish.

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Living in Michigan, there probably aren't many shad to be found anywhere as the northern winters are too cold for Shad to survive unless they've got some deep, warm water to live in. 

 

All that being said, a Keitech works anywhere. Period. Perhaps try downsizing to 3.3's and a 3.8 on your rig if you're having troubles getting bit. 

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34 minutes ago, fishballer06 said:

All that being said, a Keitech works anywhere. Period. Perhaps try downsizing to 3.3's and a 3.8 on your rig if you're having troubles getting bit. 

A 4.8 Green Pumpkin Keitech is a staple for me at this pond in the summer time.  Maybe downsizing could help...

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