By Sam Rutherford
Harold Allen’s nickname is “The Legend” for many good reasons. The native Texan has guided on two of the state’s top bass fisheries since they were impounded, and he is one of the most decorated professional bass anglers of all time.
Allen, 75, continues guiding clients on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend reservoirs, as he’s done since 1970. Allen is a rare breed as one of the very few professional anglers who continued guiding clients, even with the demanding schedule of a professional angler.
Here's the proof. For nearly three decades, Allen competed full-time on the Bassmaster® Tournament Trail, competing in 265 events, cashing a check-in 115, and qualifying for 15 Bassmaster Classic® world championships.
Another Allen stand out is his affinity for Skeeter Boats, as one of the original members of the pro staff in 1975.
“I was there for the entire evolution of bass boats, back when the companies were in a race to outdo each other as the tournaments took off,” he said. “Skeeter was always first, and I mean that in performance, first and foremost, but also with fishing features, too.”
He added, "They listened to us, took our ideas and feedback, and put it all into the design of the most competitive boat in the industry."
Harold Allen Guide Service invites anglers to go bass fishing on the two lakes that are roughly 30 miles apart, providing a bonus of guide trips on one or both fisheries. Toledo Bend is 181,000 acres and stretches for 65 miles on the borders of Louisiana and Texas. Sam Rayburn is 114,500 acres and spans 36 miles long on the Angelina River.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife ShareLunker program proves the impressive fertility of the lakes. ShareLunker is a year-round program whose main objective is to accept on loan largemouth bass weighing over 13 pounds for breeding purposes. The genetically superior offspring are released back into fisheries across the state to create trophy bass opportunities for anglers. Toledo Bend has 19 ShareLunker entries, while Sam Rayburn has 83, including a 16-pound largemouth.
“It’s just amazing what Texas Parks and Wildlife is doing for anglers to catch a bucket list bass on Sam Rayburn or Toledo Bend,” said Allen. “Both lakes are managed for the sole purpose of anglers catching trophy bass, and you cannot beat that.”
Late spring and early summer are ideal times to book a trip with Allen, as the bass fishing falls into his guiding wheelhouse. Following the spawn, the bass move back out to deeper water, gathering in schools on ledges along the main river channel and creeks. Rod bending action can come all day, and with multiple bass caught from the same area.
Call Harold Allen Guide Service at (936) 554-8196 to book a trip.
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