UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Riley rocks on Santee Cooper

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 

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 2

After an afternoon and evening of intense rainfall yesterday, the Lake Havasu City area finally got a break from the precipitation today. But instead of rain, the anglers fishing the Toyota Series Western Division opener on Lake Havasu have had to deal with a stiff southerly wind that’s made it tough to sight-fish, some dirtier water in areas (particularly in the upper end) and a drop in water temperature of a couple of degrees. Not surprisingly of a post-frontal day, the fishing has been much more difficult so far on Friday.  READ MORE »