On Tuesday evening, 63 teams arrived ready to fish the fifth 3X9 Series bass tourney event of the 2020 season out of Stillhouse Park on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.
Tournament director Dean Thompson said, “We were surprised to have 63 teams. We guessed we’d have about 50 because of the heat,” referring to the near 100-degree afternoon temperatures.
Those high temperatures were fueled by compressional warming of the atmosphere in advance of a rare summer cold front which blew in overnight, shifting winds to the north and dropping morning temperatures into the low 60s.
The reservoir’s surface temperature was around 83, with a thermocline developing thanks to the lack of flow through the lake and soaring summer temperatures.
In a repeat victory, the team of BJ Carothers and Thomas Wells, fishing from their new Caymas bass boat, took first place for the second consecutive week with a three-fish limit weighing 15.24 pounds, anchored by a 7.45-pound largemouth. This was the largest fish brought to the scales that night.
The men earned $1,375 for the victory and took the big bass award, aside from contingency money paid out by Caymas to tournament anglers placing well while fishing from their brand of boat in a sanctioned tournament like the 3X9 Series.
Although weighing far less than the top largemouth, angler Randy Fleeman’s outsized smallmouth bass also raised eyebrows. Fleeman and his partner, Chris Miller, landed a 4.79-pound smallmouth.
Smallmouth, which do not occur naturally in Texas, were initially stocked in Stillhouse as far back as 1974, and have been stocked on and off as recently as 2018, according to public Texas Parks and Wildlife Department records.
Finishing in second place this week was Gary Riggs and Billy Spears. They earned $355 for the 12.41 pounds of bass they weighed in.
Third place was secured by Zane and Eric Washburn who weighed in 11.85 pounds of fish.
In all, 127 fish were weighed in, averaging out to 2.02 bass per team.
Contact Dean Thompson at 254-690-3474 for more information about series participation.