MINNEAPOLIS – FLW has announced the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour rules and a restructuring of the payouts, which includes $10,000 to the 60th-place finisher for the Tour's 19th season.
One change to the rules for 2014 addresses the use of the Alabama rig and similar umbrella-type rigs. The Alabama rig became very popular in October of 2011 when Paul Elias won the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville using the rig. The rules now state:
"Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All lures must adhere to state regulations. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are not permitted. Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating the combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve … "
"FLW has thoughtfully studied the use of umbrella rigs for two seasons, and we've decided to no longer permit their use on the FLW Tour," said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. "The rigs have simply evolved to a point that we can no longer wait for state-enforced restrictions to be developed. That said, umbrella rigs will be permitted in our other tournament circuits, but with restrictions that limit them to a maximum of five wires outfitted with a maximum of five spinners and five lures, only three of which can have hooks. This decision is consistent with the wishes of a majority of our anglers while heading off potential conservation concerns."
To view the official 2014 Walmart FLW Tour rules, click here.