March 15, 2014 by Rob Newell
MANNING, S.C., -- Imagine catching nine bass that weigh 64 pounds, 7 ounces. Sound surreal? Sound impossible?
Not for co-angler Marvin Reese of Gwynn Oak, Md., who essentially stole the show at the Rayovac FLW Series event on Santee Cooper this week by catching pure monster bass and winning in record-breaking fashion.
On day one of the event, Reese took a zero and his chances of winning looked pretty bleak. But that's when he drew "the man," veteran Santee Cooper guide Lindwood Thornhill.
On day two, Thornhill put Reese on a magic carpet ride of big bass that flew him straight into the tournament lead with five monsters weighing in at 31 pounds, 13 ounces, including a 9-9 and 10-2.
Since Thornhill was the pro leader and Reese was the co-angler leader, the two were paired again on the final day and the monster show continued.
On day three, Reese only had four bites, but they weighed an astounding 32 pounds, 10 ounces - almost a pound heavier than the previous day when he weighed in a limit.
Over two days Reese, weighed in nine bass for 64 pounds, 7 ounces.
To put that in perspective, that's a ballpark average of 7 pounds per bass. With that, Reese broke the heaviest winning margin record for a co-angler in a Rayovac event, winning by 32 pounds, 12 ounces.
"All I can say is Lindwood is the man!" Reese said. "Because of where we were fishing, every time I got a bite, I was thinking monster - and every time, it was sure enough a monster."
Reese caught the majority of his fish along the riprap in the Diversion Canal on a Zoom Trick worm (green pumpkin) rigged on a 1/8-ounce shaky head. He used a spinning rod and reel spooled with 20-pound braid to haul the fish in.
In addition to having the dream fishing week of a lifetime, Reese also took home a new Ranger Z117 with 90 HP outboard.
Dave Hammer of Taylorsville, N.C., finished runner-up in the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 31 pounds, 11 ounces worth $5,000.
Hammer also zeroed on day one, but made a valiant comeback on day two with 16 pounds, 12 ounces to qualify 10th on the final day. Today he rocketed to second with four bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces.
Hammer found most of his success during the week on a Chatterbait, but also caught key fish on a Senko, a rattle trap and a swimbait.
Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., finished third with a three-day total of 22 pounds, 3 ounces worth $4,000
New's primary lure included a Shane's Baits Mini Blades of Glory umbrella rig tipped with Zipper Dipper swimbaits,
Conklin, Kmucha round out top five
Douglas Conklin of Harmony, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 21 pounds, 4 ounces worth $3,500.
And Wendy Kmucha of Harrisburg, Ill., rounded out the top five with 20 pounds, 15 ounces worth $3,000
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Santee Cooper:
6th: Blaine Bucy of Weirton, W.V., three-day total of 20-14, $2500
7th: Mark Allen Seals of Laurinburg, N.C., three-day total of 20-9, $2000
8th: Lonnie Drusch of Sumter, S.C., three-day total of 19-5, $1750
9th: Rodney Jordan of Sumter, S.C., three-day total of 18-14, $1500
10th: Ken Sharpless of Babson Park, Fla., three-day total of 17-8, $1250