UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Smith Mountain Lake

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper
Chris Epting of Chapin, S.C., won the March 21 South Carolina Division event on Santee Cooper with a 30-pound, 2-ounce limit to net a check worth over $3,600.

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679.

“It feels great to win a tournament against the talented anglers on this lake,” said Epting. “I couldn’t believe the size of the fish I was catching. That’s probably the heaviest stringer I’ve ever weighed.”

In order to reach the impressive 30-pound mark, Epting threw a Texas-rigged Zoom Baits U-Tail worm around grassy points, mats and isolated trees in lower-lake spots.

“I had my limit before 9 a.m.,” Epting said. “After that I put a larger bait in my hand and went big fish hunting. It worked out.”

Around 10:30 a.m., Epting said that he switched to a solid brown jig with a brown trailer and began catching some sizable bass. He said he culled every fish he had caught that morning.

“Even though the sun didn’t shine as much as I wanted, the fish still were up shallow in less than 4 feet of water,” Epting said. “They were pulling up to spawn and looking to eat everything that they could.

“During practice I checked out 35 to 40 spots,” Epting said. “I didn’t even need to return to half of them. I’d pull in, make 10 or 15 casts and head to the next place. It was a lot of runnin’ and gunnin’.”

The top 10 boaters:

1st:          Chris Epting, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 30-2, $3,679

2nd:         Lex Costas, Daniel Island, S.C., five bass, 26-12, $1,840

3rd:          Jess Williams, Sumter, S.C., five bass, 22-14, $1,225

4th:          Brent Riley, Cross, S.C., five bass, 22-10, $859

5th:          Wade Grooms, Bonneau, S.C., five bass, 22-0, $736

6th:          Wayne Clifton, Moncks Corner, S.C., five bass, 21-4, $675

7th:          Daniel Howell, Starr, S.C., four bass, 20-12, $613

8th:          Sandy Oliver, Hartsville, S.C., five bass, 20-0, $552

9th:          Carlton Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., five bass, 19-15, $491

10th:        Bo Chappell, Olanta, S.C., five bass  , 19-12, $429

Complete results can be found here.

Chris Marshall of Forest City, North Carolina, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $480.

Cox wins co-anlger division

Co-angler Dennis Cox of Pinewood, S.C., won the March 21 South Carolina Division event on Santee Cooper with three good bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces. He claimed a check worth over $2,000 for his efforts.Dennis Cox of Pinewood, South Carolina, weighed in three bass totaling 16 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win $1,840 in the co-angler division.

The top 10 co-anglers:

1st:          Dennis Cox, Pinewood, S.C., three bass, 16-9, $1,840

2nd:         Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., five bass, 12-1, $920

3rd:          Brian Howard, Andrews, S.C., three bass, 11-15, $612

4th:          Judd Bolen, Summerton, S.C., five bass, 11-9, $429

5th:          Jeff Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 11-8, $368

6th:          Ernest Stephens, Orrum, N.C., three bass, 9-7, $337

7th:          Gregory Littles, Columbia, S.C., three bass, 8-10, $307

8th:          Chad Craven, Irmo, S.C., three bass, 8-4, $276

9th:          Shannon Bryson, Cheraw, S.C., four bass, 8-0, $245

10th:        Stephen Britt, Columbia, S.C., two bass, 7-12, $215

Cox also caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $240.

The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

 

Tags: south-carolina-division  santee-cooper  headline-story  2015-03-21-santee-cooper 

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