UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Riley rocks on Santee Cooper

Brent Riley used a combination of reaction baits and plastics to pull ahead on Santee Cooper.

SUMMERTON, S.C. - The Santee Cooper lakes delivered exactly what most anglers expected them to and that meant a handful of big smiles and a whole lot of shaking heads on day one of EverStart Series Southeast Division tournament.

With most of the bass on lakes Marion and Moultrie squarely in their post-spawn phase, anglers found the fish scattered throughout a mix of habitats - mostly the classic "fall-back" spots to which the fish retreat after creating the next generation. Notably, while just about any of the lakes' deeper grass, lily pads and stumps could conceivably hold fish this time of year, most anglers reported finding fish grouped near specific cover.

The other nondescript element was bait selection. Several reported junk fishing their way to limitsPro leader Brent Riley had an 8-pound, 7-ounce bass in his bag. and, while some held their cards low on certain bait specifics, it was clear that no one thing is rocking these ponds.

Brent Riley, of Ridgeville, S.C. leads the pro field by a margin of 2 pounds, 9 ounces with an opening-round limit of 26-4. His bag included one of the day's largest fish - an 8-9 that bit a spinnerbait around noon.

Riley said that today's cloudy weather helped his bite, as the fish were a little less apprehensive. Nevertheless, his was a mixed presentation.

"I caught fish on four different baits today," Riley said. "There wasn't one specific thing - it was a little Brent Riley gets some fresh water on his day-one catch.bit of everything."

The leader had to work about 20 spots to find his limit today. Although most of his fish were in prespawn mode, Riley said he actually caught one on a bed.

"That was kind of a gift - imagine that," he said. "I had a very fortunate day. I didn't cull but one time. The bites I'm getting are good bites. I'm just staying busy and keeping the lure wet.

"They were packed up big time a couple of weeks ago and now they're all over the place. I live here and I fish here all the time and they're here one week and the next week they're gone," he said. "Hopefully, they'll stick around this week."

Grooms grabs second
He was the first angler to cross the stage today and the early lead set by Wade Grooms, of Bonneau, S.C. lasted until the final minutes of day one when his 23-11 settled into second place.Despite a day marred by mechanical issues, Wade Grooms managed to find the second-place catch.

Grooms had to cut his day short when his aerators failed and left his catch in jeopardy. A makeshift fix kept him going long enough to get his fish back to the dock.

"This time of year, the fish are so stressed anyway (from the recent spawn) and this just stressed them even more," Grooms said. "We had to switch some things around but I didn't have any wrenches. That just goes to show that you have to be prepared to not only fish, but also to handle mechanical work."

Grooms also reported using a diverse assortment of lures. "There's not really one bait that you can rely on. This time of year, it's mostly junk fishing but it's more location-specific. With (traditional) junk fishing, you may have to use two or three different baits to get a bite, but you pull up to the right spot and you throw the right bait, you're going to get bit."

Grooms caught his fish on a topwater, spinnerbait, Texas-rigged worm, Senko.

Ware winds up third

Kent Ware was one of four pros to break 20 pounds on day one.Kent Ware, of Wadmalaw Island, S.C. took third place with 21-12. He caught his fish in shoreline vegetation and found that their general lethargy required concentrated and persistent presentations.

"The fish were kind of tentative," he said. "They got up in the weeds and they didn't want to feed aggressively, so I had to go in after them. It was really slow today. I caught one early and then I had to pick them up as we went along. I had to cover a lot of water because the fish are scattered."

Ware said he caught his fish by swimming a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper and a Texas-rigged Senko. He ended up catching fish in a variety of habitat from reeds, to lily pads to maiden cane.

"You would have thought that with the cloud cover, the fish would have gotten aggressive," Ware said. "For us, at least, we found that the fish went up in the weeds."

Allen adjusts, takes fourth
Loris, Alabama pro Danny Allen found a fat 8-pound, 8-ouncer to anchor his fourth-place catch of 20-When his bed fish went missing, fourth-place pro Danny Allen slid back a little deeper and found them on stumps.12. A Texas-rigged Zoom Old Monster worm (green pumpkin and junebug) was his go-to bait on a day that required him to make a positioning adjustment to reacquire the fish he had targeted in practice.

"I had a lot of fish on beds (in practice) but they were gone today, so I just backed up a little bit and started fishing the same areas," he said. "I was targeting stumps today. The fish just pulled out of the beds and moved out (to the deeper structure)."

Allen said he got off to a fast start on day one.

McMillan dredges ditches for fifth
Fifth-place pro Brandon McMillan found most of his fish in shallow ditches.Concentrating on ditches in about six feet, Florida pro Brandon McMillan fished a jig and a Zara Spook and took fifth place with 19-11. Meandering in and out of the ditches produced quality bites, but they were few and far between.

"The bite really slowed down for me; I didn't get a lot of bites today," he said. "It seems like the bites I got were decent fish. I lucked up at the end of the day and caught a big one. It seemed like the later it got, the better the bite was for me."


Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Santee Cooper event:Seventh-place pro Mark Hutson earned Snickers Big Bass honors for his 8-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.

6th: Brett Mitchell, of Timmonsville, S.C., 19-2
7th: Mark Hutson, of Moncks Corner, S.C., 19-1
8th: Ken Ellis, of Bowman, S.C., 18-0
8th: Gary Krammes, of Pottsville, Penn., 18-0
10th: Keith Pace, of Monticello, Ark., 17-5

Hutson's 8-10 took Snickers Big Bass Honors

Alfonso goes slow for co-angler lead

Catching the biggest bass of day one (both divisions) gave David Alfonso more than an ego boost - it propelled him to the co-angler lead with an opening-round weight of 17-9. That 9-pound, 1-ounce Co-angler leader David Alfonso caught the heaviest bass of the first day, a 9-1.beast - Alfonso's first fish of the day - helped him amass enough weight to take the top spot by a margin of 3 pounds, 7 ounces.

Alfonso said he caught his fish on frogs and on Senkos. "Fishing slowly was the key. I didn't catch any of them fishing quickly."

Mark Cercopely, of Moncks Corner, S.C. trails Alfonso in second with 14-2. He caught his day-one fish on Texas-rigged worm and a Skinny Dipper. He tried the latter early, but quickly determined that the moving presentation wasn't happening, so he spent the rest of his day on the Texas rig.

"They didn't seem like they wanted to chase anything today, so I slowed it down and went to a worm and started catching fish," he said.

In third place, Albert Pieper, of Summerville, S.C. had 13-11, while fourth-place went to Joe Ventrello, of Orlando, Fla. who bagged 12-6. Justin Sward, of Birmingham, Ala. was fifth, with 12-2.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Santee Cooper event:

6th: Ray Winans, of Manning, S.C., 11-14
7th: Cal Clark, of Pulaski, Tenn., 10-12
8th: Mike Hardin Sr., of Robertsdale, Ala., 10-9
9th: Brent Chitty, of Moultrie, Ga., 10-4
10th: Aaron Richardson, of Destin, Fla., 9-2

Day two of EverStart Series Southeast Division action on Santee Cooper lakes continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (Central) at the John C. Land III Landing located at County Road 514-260 (Greenall Road) in Summerton, S.C.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2012-04-19-santee-cooper 

/news/2019-02-12-montevallo-wins-on-seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-12-mount-paran-christian-school-wins-on-seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-anders-chases-shad-for-keowee-w

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-toho-day-4-coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-gross-wins-second-tour-title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-gross-grabs-toho-lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-toho-day-3-coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-cox-stays-ahead-on-toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-toho-day-2-coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-cox-leads-toho-slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-toho-day-1-coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-04-flw-live-schedule-for-lake-toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-thliveros-brings-it-home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-thliveros-in-charge-on-okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-31-roder-out-front-on-big-o

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-anderson-tops-on-tough-okeechobee

Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-pitt-wins-again-on-toledo-bend

Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-14-bolton-hangs-on

Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »