At 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Umstead felt a strong pull while fishing Stillhouse Hollow Lake with teammate Rodney Thompson.
“She felt like dead weight for a while,” Umstead said. “I set the hook, she broke the surface and I saw how big her mouth was. Then the fight was on.”
Umstead and Thompson were teaming up in the Tuesday Night Tournament.
“I knew Brian had a big fish,” Thompson said. “I asked him, ‘What pound test are you using?’ He said, ‘Twenty-five pounds.’ And I said, ‘Reel her on in.’ ”
The fight lasted two minutes.
“Once she got close to the boat, she made a surge,” Umstead said. “I held on, pulled her up and Rodney netted her.”
In that net was a 9.82-pounder.
It was Umstead’s biggest lifetime catch. Umstead earned the evening’s “Big Bass” honors.
“Brian was excited,” Thompson said. “He high-fived me and hit my hand so hard it stung.”
Thompson is co-owner of Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle which sponsors the Tuesday Night Tournament.
In prior years, Thompson has teamed up in the tourneys with his brother Dean.
“This season, Dean has been nice enough to allow me to fish with Rodney these past two months until I go to Korea,” Umstead said. “In three weeks, I go to Korea on a PCS (permanent change of station). What’s kind of funny is my intent was to catch a double-pounder fish before I go to Korea. Well, I came close with the 9.82-pounder, but no cigar. Still, it feels completely awesome to have caught my personal best.”
Umstead and Thompson had a total bag of 12.55-pounds, earning third-place in the event. The duo earned $190 in prize money.
“Rodney and I had been fishing the same place for the last six weeks,” Umstead said. “It was just a matter of time before the quality fish moved into that area.
“Catching that 9.82-pounder feels completely awesome. It’s kind of like playing golf, when you’re not good at golf, and you hit that one shot that’s straight as an arrow.
“Well, I’ll still be fishing in every Tuesday Night Tournament until I leave. Now, I’m gonna try and catch that 10-pound-plus fish.”