TWRA Clarifies Umbrella Rig Regulations

Thursday, October 27, 2011 | 02:16 pm
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency would like to clarify the existing regulation concerning all apparatus classified as umbrella rigs for fishing. TWRA is taking this proactive step in the best interest of the entire fishing community.
Umbrella rigs can be legally fished in Tennessee waters as long as they comply with the regulation as described in the proclamation. An umbrella rig is defined as an array of more than three artificial lures or baits (with or without hooks) used by a single rod and reel combination. Each blade of a spinner bait would be considered a lure. If the hook sizes are 8 or smaller, all lures or baits may have hooks (single, double, or treble). If any hooks on the umbrella rig are hook size 6 or larger, then only one lure or bait in the array may have a hook and that hook must be a single hook. 
The Alabama Rig can legally be fished in Tennessee waters following the restrictions set forth for umbrella rigs. If an angler reduces the number of baits attached to the Alabama Rig to three or less it would not meet the definition of an umbrella rig and could be fished with any size or style of hook.
“We didn’t just make this regulation up to ban the Alabama Rig in Tennessee.  It’s been on the books for almost 10 years” says TWRA Chief of Fisheries Bobby Wilson. “In effect since 2002, it was established over concerns about catching too many fish at the same time and foul hooking large sport fish, primarily striped bass and hybrid striped bass.”
One of the primary goals of the TWRA is to protect Tennessee’s resources on behalf of all its residents and non-residents alike. While protecting resources is TWRA's number one responsibility, in doing so it also wants to promote tourism plus enhance business initiatives. Having clear, well-defined regulations help create such an environment. The Agency, in conjunction with local governments, welcomes individual fishermen as well as national, regional and local fishing organizations, regardless of angling species preference to enjoy fishing on Tennessee’s waters.