Robertson and Hall win HOLD’em HOOK Catfish Trail event

Eighteen teams gathered at Safety Harbor on Saturday, March 23 to fish a HOLD’em HOOK Catfish Trail event. The weather was good, cool in the morning and warm during the day. The winds were fairly calm and the current was reported by some to be “perfect.”

catfish, tournament, Alabama

Jared Robertson and J.R. Hall carried the day and claimed first place with a weight of 99.9 pounds. They were fishing on the rope using 40-pound mainline with Blacksheep custom Carolina rigs made from 100-pound mono. They added 8-ounce sinkers and 10/0 Mustad Demon Circle Hooks to finish the rigs.

“We primarily anchor fish when the current allows,” reported Robertson. “We focused on shallow flats with structure on the upper end of the lake at first light. That area usually proves to be a good morning bite. We fished with skipjack all day.”

“We had a huge takedown that got off on the way in within the first few minutes of fishing, said Robertson. “It was on a skipjack head. Shortly after that, while we were watching Robin East and  Edmond Crowden  fight a fish (we were only about 150 yds away) we had another huge takedown on a very small piece of bait.”

“That one immediately started taking drag,” continued Robertson. “Then the fish steamrolled towards the boat and it was all I could do to keep up with it. The fight was fairly short but exciting as we pulled the 65.8-pound blue into the boat at right around 7:30 in the morning. She stayed with us all day and put up quite a fight at weigh in. She was feisty.”

After the first hour or so, the bite died down in that area and Robertson and Hall moved to some submerged islands downriver. Fishing was very slow for them in the deeper (30 to 40 feet) water. That move only produced a couple of small fish.

“Later in the day we moved back up shallow and got on a great bite,” concluded Robertson. “It was chaos at a few times as we had fish in the floor of the boat, on the lines, and trying to cull fish at the same time. For about an hour straight, J.R. and I caught several quality unders and even culled another over to round out the day with 99.9 pounds total. The biggest fish was caught on the smallest chunk of skipjack while the good unders were taking huge chunks and heads. Wilson lake can be tough. But overall it was a very good day.”

catfish, tournament, Alabama

The runner up spot, what Scott Lovelace refers to as “First Losers,” went to Cad Daly and Scott Lovelace. They teamed up to weigh79.4 pounds for the second spot.

“Scott and I were fishing Wilson Lake,” reported Daly. “The day started off with temps in the low 40’s with sun. The bluebird sky rapidly raised the temperature into the upper 60’s. We hit our first spot at 7 am and quickly put 2 fish in the boat. One was 38 pounds and the other was a 12-pounder.

“We were fishing 15 feet of water using small skipjack chunks for bait,” explained Daly. “After about an hour we decided to move to deeper water and target big fish. We were fishing treetops in 80 feet ddeep water We were able to catch 5 more fish although nothing over 25 pounds. All our fish were caught suspending using skipjack as bait. The new Excel storm cat performed flawlessly!”

Captains and Weights for The Remaining Top-Five

Third Place – Mickey Cromin – 71.8-pounds

catfish, tournament, Alabama
Fourth Place – Robin East – 66.8-pounds (Biggest fish he ever weighed in.)
Fifth Place – Warren Simmons – 51.7-pounds

“I thought our tournament was great and had a good turnout,” said tournament director, Steve Dobbs. “The weather was good and everyone seemed to have a good time. I am so thankful and excited to have all my sponsors on board for this year and appreciate all everyone does to help HHCT continue to grow.”

To keep up with the HOLD’em Hook Catfish Trail follow them on their Facebook Page.

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