3X9 Series Opener

Thomas Wells holds the 9.5-pound Stillhouse Hollow largemouth bass which helped him and his fishing partner, BJ Carothers, take first place Tuesday in the 3X9 Series’ first tournament of the 2020 season. The men earned $1,000 for the win.

The local and long-running 3X9 Series bass tournament began its six-month run Tuesday with the first tournament of 2020.

The tournament, which is open to newcomers each week, takes place on Stillhouse Hollow Lake every Tuesday evening from now through September. Participants launch out of Stillhouse Park near the Stillhouse Hollow Marina, at the end of Simmons Road on the north shore of the lake.

The tournament takes its name from the focus of each of the two-angler teams competing — to catch three fish by 9 p.m.

This week, despite some local school districts having spring break, 54 teams participated.

Of those, 36 weighed in at least one fish.

The winning team was that of partners BJ Carothers and Thomas Wells. The men’s heaviest three fish weighed in at 16.59 pounds and earned them $1,000. This three-fish bag included the contest’s second-heaviest fish, which weighed 9.5 pounds.

Charlie Gantenbein and Wendy Randolph took second place with 16.46 pounds, earning $350.

Third place went to the team catching the single heaviest fish of the evening, an 11.25-pound largemouth. Partners John Riley and Andrew Foulkrod shared a check for $470 for their efforts, which included third-place earnings and the big bass prize.

In all, 87 fish were weighed in. The cumulative weight of those fish was 239.44 pounds, hence an average per-fish weight of 2.75 pounds.

Thanks to recent rains, the reservoir has risen over the last three weeks to approximately 3 feet below full pool. Following a lengthy warming trend, the surface temperature has risen to around 57 degrees.

The lake is clear from the mouth of the Lampasas River all the way to the dam, and in the lower two-thirds of the reservoir, healthy patches of hydrilla survived the winter and is now found standing from around 9 to 17 feet deep.

Local anglers desiring to compete may contact tournament director Dean Thompson at 254-690-FISH (3474).

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