65 teams fished, 55 teams weighed in and 13 places were paid. Use the scroll bar on the right to view all the results.
The Fishers of Men opener took place Saturday on Stillhouse Hollow. Known for big limits, it was tough to say the least as most anglers shared around the Stillhouse Island pavilion at weigh in. Weather started out in the low 40s but climbed throughout the day into the 70s. And as the temperature rose, so did the wind gusts. With the recent series of cold fronts, a big absence of grass since the flooding and lots of recent fishing pressure Stillhouse has challenged more than a few of us lately.
But there is always a big bag to be found on this pond, and TTZ fishing team members John Guerra and Paul Stokes did just that. With a bag weighing 26.62 pounds, they bested the rest of the field with an over 7 pound cushion! John and Paul continued their recent run of success on the back of a DD22, ticking rocks in the 12 to15 foot range. However, a jig was responsible for their big girl, at a huge 9.37 pounds. Interestingly, the team had graphed this behemoth several times throughout the day, but had been unable to get her to commit to the crankbait. Being the problem solver he is, John offered he would “fix this deal”, and obliged by dropping a jig overboard. A hard thump ensued and the rest as they say is history. Amazingly, their limit could have been even bigger, as they lost a fish which reportedly would have put them at over 30 pounds! As Paul shared with us, the team of Guerra and Stokes has “been very blessed” over the last few months, and we at TTZ are hoping for much more to come.
Congratulations are also in order for Chris Clements and Charles Gerhart who took second and a nice check. Their limit weighed in at 18.89 pounds, with a nice kicker of 6.21 pounds. Jeff Pitrucha and teammate Ronnie Trower finished third with 16.42 pounds, and a thick 6.28 Stillhouse kicker. We were able to talk with Jeff Pitrucha after the tournament. Spending the day c-rigging in 10-18 feet of water on main lake points, all their fish were caught early. The point could be anywhere, but it either needed a small rock ledge or rock pile. To put it simply, Jeff advised “If you weren’t hittin’ rock, you weren’t getting’ bit!” No grass was in the area, and as Jeff noted it is really a chore to find “any hydrilla to speak of” anywhere on the lake, which he believes has a lot to do with the way these bass are scattered. Of particular interest, the team doubled up on keepers twice, once at 7:30 and once at 9:30. Their fifth bite came at 10:40, that was the fifth keeper and last bite without a nibble the rest of the day.
Jeff commented on the bites they got Saturday. “The bite seemed to just bog the rig down, or be a small peck like a perch bite, but you know that is not what it is this time of year.” Using lizards on their rigs, they alternated between chartreuse pepper and green pumpkin colors. 1 oz. lead weights, a plastic bead, and a 3 to 5 foot leader helped bring the anglers a good check. Further testament to how fickle she’s been lately, Stillhouse gave Jeff fits when he fished the ABA tournament the very next day. In fact, he boated just one keeper at 2.75 pounds. Losing his pattern from the day before, he had to resort to a jigging spoon, which allowed five other small non-keepers. Incidentally, the ABA event took just over 14 pounds to win. Jeff would like to thank Texas Boat World, Triton Boats, Fenwick rods, Abu Garcia, and Berkley for their support.
TTZ applauds Fishers of Men and Jeff Cook for another fine event. Additionally, kudos are in order for Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen. After hosting anglers to an inspiring message from the church’s pastor and a meal of grilled burgers and hot dogs the night before, they came out the day of the event and treated all to another round of food.
Fishers of Men is a must for the central Texas angler. It has a laid back atmosphere, low entries and some of the finest folks you’ll ever meet. But don’t let that lull you into complacency…you better bring your “A” game if you plan on competing in any of its events. Some of Texas’ best anglers come out to play when FOM is in town, and we at TTZ are looking forwarding to participating in and covering another great season.