On Tuesday evening on Stillhouse Hollow Lake it took 14.47 pounds of bass to beat out the rest of the field in the 3X9 Series bass tournament. That three-fish sack was brought to the scales by the team of Jim Hester and Kenneth McKee.
Hester and McKee zeroed at the first two areas they fished before pulling up on their third spot. This final stop was in 40 feet of water, so both men opted for a vertical tactic — Hester worked a slab and McKee worked a shaky-head rig.
The men caught three fish with minutes to spare before having to head back in for the weigh-in.
One concern about catching bass from deep water is keeping those fish alive once they are placed into the livewell. The swim bladder, a sac of air in the fish’s abdomen, often swells as the pressure on that bladder decreases as the fish nears the surface. Fish are then often unable to fight the buoyancy of that enlarged bladder and flounder on the surface of the livewell until they are exhausted. This is often fatal.
Hester and McKee were well-prepared for this possibility and immediately placed Flip Clip weights they got from the Tightlines store on their fish to help them stabilize and stay lively. Flip Clips are essentially small lead weights affixed to alligator clips, which are clipped onto the fins along the bottom side of fish taken from deep water.
Taking care of their catch netted the pair $975 for their win.
Finishing second with a weight of 10.98 pounds was the team of John Dulaney and Brian Young.
Finishing third with a weight of 10.47 pounds was the team of John Riley and Fred Nazario.