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Classic and the Alabama Rig

Alton speaks on the Classic and the Alabama rig

Feb 15, 2012
Well, we just pulled in to Red River South Marina, our home for the next week and a half. This is actually where the Classic is launching from and it’s nice to be away from traffic and stuff as well as have all of your gear close to the ramp. It’s also convenient for practice; I can launch right here or trailer elsewhere if it’s a long run from here.
 
In the RV for now is just Jimmye Sue and one daughter, Jamie. Little Alton is in school now, and my oldest daughter, Kristen, is taking classes at a local community college this semester, so she’ll fly in for the tournament.
 
We drove over the bridge on the way into town, and it became obvious why it’s called the Red River: it’s raining and it’s red and it’s running. In the 2009 Classic, the water was low and had been that way for a long time. Now, though, it’s getting back to normal level and it should stay this way. I don’t think we’ll see the low water again. So, it should fish differently. You can’t rest on what you learned when you were here last because the conditions are so different, guys are going to have to go out and learn how to catch these fish.
 
My Falcon Lake fishing is over for now, and my last trip was both happy and sad. Bringing the RV home (I leave it there in the offseason) meant that it’d be months rather than weeks before I’d be back, but it also meant that it’s time to start competition. I’m really stoked about not just the Classic, but the Elite Series beyond that.
 
The weather here is going to be great for the tournament. I think the lows will be in the 30s and the highs in the 60s. I don’t think that there will be low water access issues in some of the backwaters like there was last time, but I do think we’ll see an aluminum boat or two. Given the choice, though, I’d rather fish out of a Skeeter!
 
I do remember that an event was won here by a guy who went through a culvert in an aluminum boat. However, I also know that the culvert has been replaced by a 12-inch pipe! You’d have a hard time getting a canoe through there anymore.
 
On another note, Little Alton fished a Bass Champs on Lake Amistad this past weekend and him and his partner finished third. The coolest thing about it, though, is that they were able to get an even bigger payday by owning a Skeeter boat. Skeeter’s Real Money contingency program pays the highest-finishing Skeeter owner in certain tournaments, and since Nos. 1 and 2 didn’t drive a Skeeter, they capitalized on it! Plus, the 3rd-place finish gives them a great start for the year.
 
Since everyone has voiced their opinion on The Alabama Rig controversy – including B.A.S.S. – I’d like to throw my $.02 in as well.
 
While I’m not an umbrella rig fisherman, I think that we may have jumped the gun here a bit. I would have like to have seen us fish with the rig for a year then make a ruling after that. But, like I said, it’s not my style so it doesn’t bother me too much. The thing I’ missing out on is learning a new technique. Since I won’t be able to use it, I won’t waste time fishing it. We’ll see how it goes, though.
 
Oh, Little Alton did try an umbrella rig on Lake Amistad, but mentioned that he lost about $200 worth of them in the first hour!
 
Also, on Thursday, the 16th I’ll be speaking in a church in Nacogdoches, La. I’ll be speaking about fishing and my faith in Christ. If you’re in the area I’d love for you to come out and have some supper and enjoy some good fellowship. It’ll be a West Side Baptist Church at 6:30 CT.
 
Until practice starts, though, I’ll relax and pore over some maps. There’s no since in spending time in areas that don’t have the potential to cough up a winning sack.
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