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Four Lunkers in Two Days from Lake Alan Henry

January 31, 2005

The water temperature on Lake Alan Henry is only 48 degrees, but the fishing is red hot. Over the weekend anglers pulled four Budweiser ShareLunkers from the lake in two days, the first time in the 19-year history of the ShareLunker program for such a feat.

Rickey D. Williams of Lubbock kicked off the action when he hooked a 13.14-pound fish on a spinner bait in eight feet of water before noon on Jan. 29. The 26-inch-long fish had a girth of 20 inches and was up in the river arm of the lake.

Later that day Ben J. Kirkpatrick of Wolforth went 40 feet deep with a black and blue jig to hook a 13.48-pounder that stretched 25 inches long and 22 inches around.

Kevin Ray Phillips of Lubbock started day 2 by catching a 13.45-pounder in six feet of water up the river on a Norman DD-14 in Tennessee shad pattern. The fish was 25.5 inches long and 20.625 inches around.

Just barely making the cut at 13 pounds even was the fish landed by Lubbock resident Coy Callison at noon Sunday. Fishing the main lake in six feet of water, Callison used a chartreuse Norman DD-22 to pull in the 25.25-inch-long, 20.25-inch girth fish. Callison was fishing in an American Bass Angler tournament and won both first place and the big bass prize “going away,” he says.

Located 45 miles southeast of Lubbock on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River, Lake Alan Henry’s 2,880 acres were impounded in 1993. The lake currently stands near its conservation pool level of 2220.
“Florida largemouth bass were stocked in 1993 and 1994 as the lake was filling,” says Charles Munger, TPWD Inland Fisheries district biologist. The 144,000 fingerlings stocked each of those years were supplemented with 149 retired adult brood fish in 1993 and 351 more in 1994.

“The reservoir is relatively new and has filled slowly,” Munger adds. “This has extended the new reservoir effect and helped maintain productivity. The early lunkers (two in 2000 and one in 2002) were due to the stocked retired brooders. The recent lunkers are likely due to the initial stocking and great growth you get from a new reservoir.”

The other key to Alan Henry’s big bass boom is habitat. “The reservoir is covered with flooded juniper, mesquite and cactus,” says Munger. “It is very rocky with steep sides. Right now there is habitat anywhere you look.”

Guide T.J. Taylor of Lubbock, who contributed a Budweiser ShareLunker from the lake last year, expects the big bass bonanza to last several more years. “I think a lot of the reason fish growth has been so substantial is the lake has been rising slowly,” he says. “I think we have two or three more years of good fish growth before it slows down. We have great crappie spawns and the shad base looks good to me, so there should be plenty of food for the fish. Plus we have so many fish and such good quality fish, and catch and release is so strong on this lake, I think the fishing is going to stay good.”

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