I had . heard of him, mainly through podcasts, stories, and a couple short YouTube shows. But still he was a big mystery. Matt Pangrac tells stories now and again about getting to do media with him and fish with him some. A couple guys that call Toledo Bend home on the La. side have done short interviews, but still he was a mystery. The Outdoor Channel subscription streaming service has two shows over 10 years old with him They say he has caught more fish on a Texas Rigged plastic worm than any man alive and I knew I had to meet him and I had to learn from him.

The man is The Legend, especially on the waters of Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn, his name is Harold Allen and I got to fish with him on August 23rd. His specialty is the Texas Rig worm, those of you that know me, know good and well that is mine and has been since 2019. I had been fishing it since 2016, blessed by James’s schooling to make sure I had all my fundamentals down from weight, to line, to cadence, to kinds of worms. Since James has passed I went through different avenues to learn even more including talks with guys like Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas, and taken fundamentals from different classes a The Bass University and applied them to my worms as well as reading anything I could. On Friday June 11th things all changed for the better. Accompanied by my nephew and my brother, who is a much better outdoorsman than me we went to the Bass Master Classic in Fort Worth. I had told them of all the famous guys we would meet, and I mentioned, if we had a chance this is what Harold Allen looks like and I really hoped we might bump into him. Well If I am not mistaken , other than checking in with two friends at BU and a friend from Instagram the first pro we got to meet was none other than Harold Allen, We shot the shit about fishing , Toledo Bend and he drilled John good about what he was studying and what classes he was taking and if he was fishing more than studying. I asked and he was gracious with his fundamentals I immediately when we walked away and wrote everything down. But here is the catch I had heard that years ago he was guiding, but had not heard it recently. Now keep in mind I am still fresh to the bass game, and have through my own faults been a little underemployed for a few years. To my surprise Harold was still guiding on Toledo Bend, he asked do you have a piece of paper. He took a box I was carrying with a hat in it and gave me his cell. He told me the best times to fish there and to call him. One month almost to the day I sent him a text, and he got back with me by phone a few days later. I still remember where I was when the phone showed Harold Allen across it. We went through a couple proposed dates and it was set. Harold is old school and a verbal handshake sealed the deal. No pay pal or any of that. He even closer to the date gave me a place to stay. It was a 3 mile straight shot to the boat ramp, and I can honestly say it hardly felt like 3 miles it was so damn close. My setup included a tiny house, that was finished out with shower, counter, recliner and a microwave. Perfect for me. From out conversation in person in June I knew his worm of choice was a V and M 8″ Super Pork Pin, and I knew he was a big believer in old school mono of 14 or 15 pound test and a 3/16 or 1/4 ounce weight. I had ordered all this that I did not have and packed and I can honestly say I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for my vacation to roll around.
The evening before he texted me wanting to make sure I was in town and where and said he would be by about 6:30 or 6:45 and wanted to know which cabin and what I was driving. He even complimented my license plate.

The morning arrived and he came in my cabin and we shot the shit as I did a couple last second things. He teased me because I brought so much water and Gatorade for the two of us. We got to the ramp and he knew what I was looking for. He had me back down his boat and park the truck. I was his first customer to be in the boat with the only other person being his wife that previous Saturday just a few days before. As the sun was rising we went around the first corner and he thought it would be a couple bites. I got my first one. Yes, on the board. From there on the learning began and the catching struggle started. Harold has eyes in the back of his head and kept an eye on me. He knew I was there to learn and catching was secondary. I wanted my doctorate from the man himself and he was determined to deliver. One of his first tweaks was to adjust my hookset to a more old school snap hookset. I have and still use on occasion more of a pull hookset, like Gary Klein but not near as powerful, In my head my hookset was like any of the guys that would level tall building whether they be Christie, Denny Brauer or the Cajun Baby, but the reality is , it was a slower pull hookset. Harold like me has a bow in his line. This is the mark of a good worm fisherman and of course he is one of the best. The reason is you do not want the fish feeling the tension on the line when he picks up the worm. This is why of the old school hookset. When you allow them to pick it up, you can reel up your excess and bust his rear. With mine I would on occasion be caught trying to set from a bad position. Some of the things I may mention in here and some of them you will have to ask me in person. They are all very key in his system. He gave me numerous tips and thoughts. Nothing to confuse me, but think of it more as a golfer with certain swing thoughts. They genuinely help me. I cannot honestly tell you the number of stops we made. It was a lot , he would catch one and I would be shutout. I am not mad, maybe a little sad but the thing was I was learning the whole time and did what he said. I made those same casts but never seemed to connect. I can totally live with that. It is not like we were going down a bank and I was a co angler fishing used water. He constantly put me in position I just did not connect. Of his 7 he only once caught more than one on a particular spot. It was simply a fish here and a fish there kind of day and likely caused by the moon. It was late August and while I was always taught the full moon was my friend the reality is he felt like they fed at night and that is what hurt us. We had a wide ranging conversation from fishing to the 1981 Bassmaster Classic, to society today. We talked guns and bird hunting, amongst other things. He is 110 percent everything I love about old guys. I was treated as good as his own son and I appreciated every tip and thing I learned. What I can tell you is I learned a ton but will not be sharing it here, you will need to ask in person. I cannot wait to go again.

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