Day three proved very stingy for Chad Allison, but thanks to a sizable cushion he had built on days one and two, the Missouri co-angler coasted to a convincing victory with a three-day total of 39 pounds, 10 ounces at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener on Table Rock.
Entering the final round with a lead of 6 pounds, 5 ounces, Allison didn’t need a lot to close out the deal. Ultimately, that hefty margin sustained him through a lean day that yielded only four keepers for 8-1. Added to his first two days’ weights of 15-7 and 16-2, Allison’s closing effort gave him the win by 4 pounds, 1 ounce over second-place Cullen Baxter.
Notably, Allison held off Baxter’s final-round charge, which yielded the day’s only double-digit weight — a 12-pound bag that ended up being one of only two co-angler limits on day three.
“I caught my fish on an Alabama rig, like most people were this week,” Allison says. “I think the key was that I was getting mine down a little deeper. I was letting that rig tick along the bottom and I think I was triggering those fish into reaction bites.
“I got two key bites every day, except for today. I couldn’t get my fifth one and I was sweating bullets all day today, but it worked out.”
Allison says he targeted areas with pea gravel, as that type of bottom often veins into the lake and provides attractive spawning areas.
Part of his success may have been due to a special garment. Allison says his mother bought him a new fishing shirt earlier in the year, and he believes that committing to the shirt as fervently as the umbrella rig brought him good fortune.
“I wore this shirt every day of the tournament,” he says. “This makes the fourth tournament I’ve won in this shirt in the last month.”