Apr 16

Kelly Owens was clear, he’s not too proud to take the “right place, right time” route. Truth be told, he and his partner Brent Broussard have a ton of experience on Lake Amistad, but when they ran into a group of day-makers, they took advantage of the opportunity and completed a limit that weighed 32.18 pounds and won the third event of the 2018 Texas Team Trail, presented by Cabela’s, at Lake Amistad.

Getting right to the good stuff, the anglers from Crowley, La. and Rosenberg, Texas, respectively nabbed a trio of studs — two 8-pounders and a 9 — over tree-covered high spots in 8-15 feet of water at the mouth of Burro Canyon on the lake’s Mexico side. Cool, yes; easy, not even close.

“We both ran all over the lake in practice and Brent caught a couple of key fish that clued us in that big fish might move into this area,” Owens said. “As much as anything, it was just realizing where those better fish were. We started there this morning and didn’t have a bite. We went back there three times during the day and the second time we went back we caught those three big fish in 20 minutes.”

So, what’s the explanation? Owens gives us the eye-rolling emoji on that one.

“Amistad is famous for these bigger fish just showing up all of a sudden,” he said. “We went through there and there were some fish that had pushed up. We were fortunate enough to catch those three really big ones. We fished it again later in the day and never got a bite.”

Owens and Broussard caught their trio of giants on 8-inch Big Bite Suicide Shads rigged on 8/0 Owner Flashy Swimmers. This belly-weighted, wide-gap hook dressed with a silver willow leave blade offered the right blend of attraction and lip grabbing power. Also helpful was the day’s windy conditions.

“The water is so clear, you can see 20 feet down, so that northwest wind that blew 20-25 mph definitely helped by breaking up the surface,” Owens said.

Fishing their swimbaits on 7-5 Super Duty Falcon rods, Owens and Broussard used 7:1 reels spooled with 20-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon. Aggressive presentations were essential.

“We’d make long casts and slow roll the baits through the trees,” Owens said. “You had to bump it though those trees. When they’d get it, your line would go slack and they’d be there.”

Between their visits to the Burro Canyon trees, the winners spent time fishing 6th Sense Cloud 9 C20 crankbaits in deep grass in about 20 feet. This, Owens said, was more quantity than quality. They caught about 20 fish in the grass, but kept only two small ones.

For their efforts Owens and Broussard earned a Triton 189 TRX w/220 Mercury. In addition, they claimed $1,650 of Anglers Advantage cash and $1,080 for the Big Bass bonus. Their total payday was $34,225.


The second place team of Kris Wilson and Harold Moon spent their day in Mexican waters, fished creeks up the Rio Grande and sacked up a second-place limit of 20.53. Wilson said he and his partner targeted hydrilla in 18-25 feet and caught their fish on 6th Sense hollow body swimbaits.

“We rigged the baits on 3/4- and 1/2-ounce 6th Sense jig heads, depending on the depth,” Wilson said. “In some areas, the grass would be taller than in others. Also, when the wind was blowing harder, we’d throw the swimbaits on the 3/4-ounce head.

“It seemed that more of the fish were using the inside edge of the grass, so we were targeting that inside edge. We had eight bites and a couple were the right ones.”

Wilson and Moon fished several spots, but their weight came off of three different areas. Two were 200-300 yards apart and the other was 6 miles up the river.

“We had the confidence in the areas we were fishing and the bait we were throwing,” Wilson said. “We never put the swimbait down all day. If we had, I don’t think we would have caught the fish we did.”

Wilson and Moon’s performance earned them $6,610, which includes $1,210 in Anglers Advantage cash.


Finishing third with 19.14, Trent Huckaby and Bubba Haralson fished the mid-lake area and worked the outside edges of hydrilla beds in 20-30 feet. Alternating between a 3/4-ounce flipping jig with a craw trailer and a green pumpkin Senko Texas rigged with a 3/8-ounce weight proved to be an effective strategy.

“We were covering as much water as we could and looking for the better grass,” Huckaby said. ‘The Senko produced more, but the better fish came on the jig.”

Huckaby said he and his partner experienced a major letdown right out of the gate. When they reached their first spot, a local angler fishing a club tournament was already there. To add insult to injury, the angler boated two 8-pounders back to back right in front of them.

“We thought we were already running out of luck, but my partner ended up catching a 6-pounder with a few minutes left to go,” Huckaby said. “That saved the day for us.”

Huckaby and Haralson earned $4,340, which included $1,100 in Anglers Advantage cash.

Justin Morton and John Hope weighed five bass worth 18.55 pounds, taking fourth place and earning $2,160 Behind them was Randy Allen and Brenden Kennel with 17.40 pounds. For fifth place, they earned $2,610

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 teams at the 2017 Texas Team Trail event on AmistadOWENS, BROUSSARD BEST AMISTAD:

7th: GARY CARR - JJ DUCHARME - 16.59
10th: TOMMY MURRAY - KEITH IVY - 15.11