This past Tuesday evening, with overcast skies and a stiff south wind blowing waves onto the north shore of Stillhouse, 54 two-angler teams launched for the weekly 3x9 Series bass tournament in search of the heaviest three-fish limit.
The father and son team of Jim and Wade Golden finished atop the pack with a 16.17-pound limit of bass. This earned the pair $975.
In a phone interview with the elder Golden, he stated most of the approximately 20 fish he and his son landed came from out of 12 feet of water, fishing hydrilla (nicknamed ‘grass’) on the windblown side of the lake using green pumpkin-colored soft plastic baits.
Second place went to John Guerra and Glen Holcomb with a three-fish limit weighing 14.66 pounds, which earned them a $290 check.
Third place went to Donnie Mathes and Tim Rake with a three-fish sack weighing 13.82 pounds, which earned them a $200 check.
Pete and Josh Garza finished fourth, while Randy Fleeman and Chris Miller came in fifth.
In all, 39 of the 54 teams weighed in fish this week. The total number of fish brought to the scales this week, not including those that were culled or which were of sub-legal length, was 108.
Those 108 fish weight a total of 314.79 pounds, averaging a per-fish weight 2.91 pounds.
The single largest fish of the contest was weighed in by the fourth-place team of Pete and Josh Garza. Pete Garza’s largest bass weighed 8.35 pounds.
Phone interviews I have conducted with both of the tournament winners and with those catching the “big bass” for the past several weeks’ tournaments all have one thing in common, and that is fishing mid-depth hydrilla.
Some speculate that the wild swings in weather have kept the fish from coming to much shallower water -- at least for long durations of time.
For the first time since the water cooled out of the 70s last fall, the water temperature has flirted with rising back to the 70-degree mark this week. As the water warms, more and more life, including insects, crawfish, baitfish and frogs among others, will be found in shallow water, and the bass will typically locate there too.
Interested tournament anglers may join the series at any point in the season. For information on the series, contact Dean Thompson at 254-690-3474.