UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Santee Hawgs on Beds

Santee Hawgs on Beds
Takeoff at John C. Land III Landing on Santee Cooper.

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Santee Cooper presented by Frabill kicked off this morning out of John C. Land III Landing. The 196 pros and co-anglers competing in the tournament, which is hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, will enjoy warm and near perfect fishing conditions through the rest of the week, helping to bring plenty of big limits to the scales.

Click here to see photos from day one takeoff.

 

About the Fishery

Santee Cooper is actually made up of two lakes, Marion and Moultrie, which are connected by a diversion canal. Both lakes are generally shallow and feature numerous acres of backwater ponds and spawning flats, making Santee Cooper a sight-fisherman’s dream.

Santee Cooper has no shortage of fishing cover, from weedy backwater ponds to stumpy flats to riprap along the canal and the bridges. Both lakes are extremely healthy right now, and either could produce the winning fish.

 

Current Conditions

Spring has sprung in a hurry on Santee Cooper. Over the weekend water temperatures soared some 10 to 15 degrees on a massive warming trend that will continue through the end of the week.

By the weekend, anglers might experience some of the warmest days of the year thus far. The water was high but has stabilized and is now falling a bit. With the water warming and clearing fast, fish are funneling into the backwaters in droves to spawn.

 

Tactics in Play

Sight-fishing will produce big limits for those who can get to the low-hanging fruit early on day one. Exactly how fast the quality bedding fish will replenish on days two and three remains to be seen.

Smaller males should be plentiful on beds, but the bigger females might be a little harder to find on beds just yet. Some anglers will not fool with bedding bass and instead will search out the staging bite in hopes of catching three or four big ones that will surpass the weight of a limit of spawners.

Soft plastics will be the ticket in the backwater ponds and spawning flats, while lipless rattlers, crankbaits and big jigs will be the choices in the staging ditches.

 

Critical Factors

- Fast warm up – The water has gone from 55 degrees to 70 degrees in a week, prompting the fish to start moving up.

- New moon – It happened last night, helping to bring in the first wave of spawners.

- Water clarity – The water has been high and muddy, but it’s falling and clearing right now, which should allow more spawners to be seen each day.

- Fishing pressure – Fish found on beds in practice will get snatched up quickly this morning. On subsequent days top techniques will depend on whether new fish move into spawning areas and replenish the backwaters.

- The staging bite – Even with a wave of spawners moving up the staging bite still holds potential for anglers to catch big bass.

 

Dock Talk

A recent tournament over the weekend featured 20 limits of more than 20 pounds. The winning weight for the event was five fish for 32.55 pounds. In all there were 14 bass weighed in that topped 7 pounds.

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 196 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m. ET

Takeoff Location: John C. Land III Landing, 4404 Greenhall Road, Summerton, SC 29148

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 4 p.m.

Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 – John C. Land III Landing; Day 3 – Walmart, 2010 Paxville Hwy., Manning, S.C., 29102

 

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Tags: santee-cooper  rob-newell  morning-story  2016-03-10-santee-cooper 

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