By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Jefferson High School Girls Athletic Director Mark Allen counts himself a lucky man.
“I’ve found my little niche,” Allen said. “I have a great soulmate. I love basketball, fishing and hunting.” With Jefferson High School, Allen gets to do all three. “I appreciate the opportunity here at Jefferson,” Allen said.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Being able to get out and fish and hunt, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” Allen grew up on Caddo Lake, visiting on weekends and holidays with his Hall of Fame basketball coach father, Carl Allen, from Sabine.
The family had a place near Pelican Lodge on the Louisiana side of the lake. “I’ve been doing guide work the last seven years since I moved to Jefferson,” Allen said.
Allen also enjoys tournament fishing where he has “been fairly successful.”
The tournaments scratch a “competition itch” for Allen and shapes his guide business. “Primarily, I’m a largemouth bass guide,” he said. Allen enjoys fishing the Texas side of the lake around Potter’s Point and Uncertain, the most.
“Caddo is a unique lake as far as bass,” Allen said. “You have to be pretty adept at casting around those cypress trees. The bass are around the roots of the Cypress trees.” Although in summer, you can find success casting in open water, the veteran guide explained bass spawn around the Cypress roots.
“If you are not putting that bait right at those Cypress trees, you are not going to have much luck,” Allen said. “The problem is those limbs.” Last fall, Allen enjoyed having a client catch a bass over 10 pounds. Bass Life Associates mounted the prize for free. He has also seen “scarier things.”
“I had a husband and wife with me with the wife on the back of the boat,” Allen said. “She set the hook and the rod slid out of her hand. She reached over to get the rod and slid in after it.”
The water temperature was about 40 degrees and the situation did not look good. “We got her back in the boat and took her back and changed clothes,” Allen said. “She was a trooper and was ready to go back out.”
Allen also understands those who just want to go sightseeing on Caddo. “You can get lost in your thoughts out there, and leave your troubles behind,” Allen, who keeps his home recliner facing a window and the lake.
Allen retired from JISD in May, but will be rehired in August. Until girls basketball practice begins, he has some fishing to do.
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