Bookending 18-pound limits for two days has put Randy Allen in the driver’s seat at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open presented by Allstate on Lake Amistad.
The former Bassmaster Elite Series pro backed up Thursday’s 18-pound limit with an 18-3 limit Friday to retain the lead in the pro division with 36-3.
“It’s just been one of those weeks; when it is your time, it is your time,” said Allen.
He is careful not to be presumptuous. Because of Amistad’s ability to produce huge limits of bass, Allen knows he has to keep up the pace. “Tomorrow, we could see 20-pound sacks come in. I just hope I can hang in there with them.”
As the second round began Friday, Allen was unfazed by the pressure of leading the event. “I just thought it was incredible to be in first,” he said. “It was the first time it has ever happened to me, so I just wanted to go out and have fun and go catch fish. I had no reason to get upset and stressed out over it.”
The Shreveport, La., angler did get a little excited when he completed his limit with a 4-pounder. “I was freaking out when I caught that fish,” he said.
A sequence of events in the afternoon typified Allen’s good fortune for the day. “I was running down the lake and decided I needed to stop because I was freezing to death and needed to put my coat back on,” he recalled.
After stopping he decided to pull up on a point and told his partner they would make about five casts there. “On the second cast I caught a good fish and culled one of the babies I had,” he said. “I culled another fish, and the last fish I had was the big one.”
Allen experienced another first with his biggest fish of the day. “This is the first time I have ever gone back to a big fish that I caught in practice and made the exact same cast and caught that fish,” he said.
“God has really blessed me this week. The fish are so deep that two times I thought I was hung, and I just stayed with it long enough to realize my line was moving. The bite was really weird — it was so soft. I am just force feeding them and leaving the bait in front of them as long as I can.”
Minnesota angler Andy Young caught four bass weighing 13-11 to move into second place with 25-12. “I fought and scratched all day to get that fifth bite but it never happened,” said Young, who guides on Lake Minnetonka. “I am doing a lot of dropshotting in deep water and around rocks. We fish deep rocks on Minnetonka all the time.”
Arkansas Elite Series pro Stephen Browning caught the biggest limit of the day (20-14) to take over third place with 24-15. Jordan Lee of Alabama is in fourth with 23-5, and Cody Ryan Greaney of Texas is in fifth with 22-14.
Texas angler Joe Lee jumped to the top spot on the non-boater side with 19-4. The 50-year-old water purification equipment salesman recorded the biggest three-fish catch of his life Friday with 15 pounds, 15 ounces while fishing 30 feet deep with a 4-inch finesse worm on a drop shot rig.
Hosting the season-opening Central Open is the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce. Anglers will take off Saturday at 7:30 a.m. local time from Diablo East Marina, U.S. 90 West, Del Rio, Texas 78840. The final weigh-in will be held at the same location beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Image courtesy James Overstreet/Bassmaster