The 22nd weekly 3X9 Series tournament of the 2021 season took place Tuesday, with 51 teams launching from the Stillhouse Park ramp on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.
The water and weather conditions were typical for late August with high pressure, light winds and a hot, dry atmosphere. The lake was still about a third of a foot above full pool with only one cubic foot of water per second being released from the dam. Surface temperature was around 86F.
All eyes were on Spencer Arredondo’s behemoth 9.85-pound largemouth bass as he brought it to the scales during weigh-in at the conclusion of the three-hour event which began around 6 p.m.
Arredondo’s fish was one of two stories for the night, the other being the victory by brothers Adrian and Daniel Barnes by almost a pound and a half over the second-place team. The brothers have had multiple finishes “in the money” during this 2021 season.
The Barnes brothers landed a full three-fish limit weighing 15.54 pounds, with their largest fish weighing 7.35 pounds. For their efforts the men split the first-place check worth $1,060.
Second place went to Tim Rake and Donnie Mathes, yet another twosome which has had consistently high finishes this season. Their three-fish, 14.09-pound string earned them $310. The team’s largest bass weighed 9.64 pounds.
In third place was Arredondo and his teammate, Preston Ellis, who was standing in for Arredondo’s regular partner, Heath Matte. With the 9.85-pound fish anchoring their three-fish limit, their sack weighed 13.78 pounds, earning the men $440, which included the big bass purse.
Arredondo said of his big catch, “Preston Ellis and I had our three-fish limit by 6:30. Around 8:30, I yelled for Preston to get the net. The fish bit a Texas-rigged 10-inch worm in about 27 foot of grass.”
Tournament director Dean Thompson reported all but one of the 72 fish weighed in were successfully released.
With more acres of hydrilla growing taller and thicker than the lake has ever had, quality largemouth bass have become more and more common thanks to abundant forage and habitat.