April 18, 2010 started out to be a toad strangler as the rain came down like mad. Despite the wet conditions, 27 brave teams came out to compete in the first Charles B. Allen Memorial Tournament. With water temps in the mid 60s and overcast skies throughout the day, anglers went out anticipating big sacks of largemouth bass, but found out just how tough Stillhouse Hollow Lake has been this year.
Many teams reported catching loads of 13 inch fish shallow, which is very typical of the “buck bass” being shallow right now; keepers though, were a lot harder to catch. The team that did have it figured out were SFC Decker and SFC Platte. They came in with the biggest five fish limit of 15.97 pounds anchored by a 4.97 lb kicker.
Decker and Platte targeted pre-spawn females and fished secondary points and creek channel bends with Carolina rigged lizards and plastics to get their weight. They had a great deal of patience and stuck to their game plan to find these fish instead going too shallow and catching lots of non-keepers; the winners took home over $600 for their efforts and were presented with the first place plaque by Brian Allen (son of BG Charles B. Allen)!
The second place finishers were not a surprise; Weatherly was paired with Vasquez and pulled in a limit of 12.71 pounds with a kicker fish that weighed 5.70 lbs! They were fishing isolated brush and cover up the river, flipping into anything they think would produce a bite. Most of their bites came off of Texas rigged plastics. The team won over $300 in cash and prizes for their finish.
Big Bass of the event was a very special story. The team of COL John Thomson and son of the late BG Charles B. Allen, Brian Allen, were paired together for a very rewarding day on Stillhouse. This tournament was created to remember and honor Brian’s dad, so they decided to pull into one his dad’s favorite spots.
Using the same lure in the same location that he and his dad used to catch fish, Brian got a bite. Brian reeled down to the fish, picked his Carolina rig weight off the bottom and set the hook! His rod bowed over and when the fish surfaced, it looked to be over 8 pounds! Same place, same lure – they couldn’t believe it! Brian and COL Thomson’s fish hit the scales at 6.46 lbs and was the Big Bass of the tournament! Great job Brian!
The rest of the field weren’t so lucky but had an absolutely incredible time. Some of these soldiers that were paired with boaters had never fished for bass before, but now they are hooked! The anchor sponsors of this event were presented with a plaque by COL Thomson and given a great round of applause at the weigh-in; they added money to the pot, helped with the weigh-in and provided t shirts for everyone.
Other sponsors included Graphic Concepts, Broxton’s Marine and CustomInk.com. All in attendance enjoyed BBQ prepared by the HHB Field Artillery Family Readiness Group.