Umbrella rig 101

Bertrand's Alabama rig lies on his deck.


"They hit it so hard," Bertrand said. "You will go an hour or so without a bite and then one will hit it so hard it will knock the wind out of you. It's surprising really considering how tough the fishing is."

Bertrand has been fishing the umbrella rig a lot since he picked one up last fall. After it was made popular by dominating the first few tournaments it was thrown in, Bertrand got a few and has been using it successfully back home out west.

"It's amazing that it catches fish everywhere and I can't wait to see what it will do this spring," Bertrand said. "I've seen a lot of rimes where they will bite it in the morning and then it will get pancake calm and they won't touch it."

He clearly has confidence in it, repeatedly making casts as we work down the bank. A key to getting bit is to keep the bait banging on the rocks during the retrieve. Here the magic zone is 3 to 10 feet of water.

"A lot of times, you will feel the bait nose up on a rock and when it comes over the other side, that's when you will get bit."

As far as bait selection, Bertrand uses Pro Swimbaits 5-inch Pro Minnow and throws it on braid.