UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Locals only?

Locals only?
Locals only. It comes as no surprise that the two anglers leading the EverStart Series Eastern Division event on Santee Cooper are from South Carolina. Pro leader Dale Evans is from Ridgeville and co-angler leader Marty Mixon is from Goose Creek.

MANNING, S.C. - It should come as no surprise that after the day-two weigh-in at the EverStart Series Eastern Division event on Santee Cooper, four of the top five anglers are from South Carolina.

Each time the EverStart Series visits Santee Cooper, locals dominate the standings. In fact, of the last six Everstart events held on Santee Cooper, three have been won by South Carolinians.

Why is that?

Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C., one of those previous Santee Cooper EverStart champions, knows why.

"This is probably the toughest lake in the country for someone who hasn't been here before to do well," said Ellis who has fished Santee for 35 years. "It takes experience on this lake to catch fish here. Even the ones in the top 20 who are not from South Carolina have been here many times before."

Ellis contends that local knowledge is so critical on Santee Cooper because the fish are so "area oriented."

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., couldn't agree more. He is one of those that has fished Santee Cooper many times in the past.

"This lake is chock full of good-looking cover," he said. "You want to throw at everything out there. But so much of it is unproductive. You can pull into a 50-acre cove full of stumps, trees, shallow grass, bushes - you name it - but there will be 20 pounds of fish on one little 50-yard stretch that has some key feature that you can't see. It's maddening."

Locals like Ellis know where dozens and dozens of those tiny key stretches are. Once they get a few bites on a piece of water, they know where to find other ones just like it. They are not forced to fish one place for four days.

Snickers pro Pat Fisher Dacula, Ga., just slipped into the top 20 by 7 ounces. But today he starts from zero like everyone else.All 20 pros started from zero today. Out of the top 20, there are a total of seven South Carolina anglers, and it's a good bet that some of those locals will end up in the top 10 tomorrow.

The top-20 weigh-in for the Santee Cooper EverStart moves to the Wal-Mart in Manning Friday and will start at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Friday's conditions:

Air temperature: 63 degrees
Water temperature: 68 degrees
Wind: forecasted from the southwest 5 to 10 mph
Day's outlook: sunny, warm, high near 90 degrees

Tags: rob-newell  morning-story  2004-04-21-santee-cooper 

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