SUMMERTON -- The top bass anglers from around the region are set to fish the Santee Cooper lakes April 25-27 for the Costa Fishing League Worldwide Series Southeastern Division finale presented by Power-Pole.
Hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, the three-day tournament will feature more than 330 of the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize package of up to $94,000, including a new Ranger Z518L boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard in the pro division.
“This tournament is going to be centered around the spawn,” said FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, the 2018 Costa FLW Series Southeastern Angler of the Year who finished in sixth place when the circuit visited the fishery in April 2018. “It’s probably going to be the tail-end of the spawn – there’ll be some fry-guarders up. Trees will definitely be a big player this year, just like last year."
Thrift added, “I think there’s going to be a lot of wacky-rigged worms being used, like a 5-inch [Damiki] Stinger – things like that,” Thrift continued. “There won’t be a boat in the field that doesn’t have a wacky-rigged worm lying on the deck.”
For any postspawn bass that are present, Thrift said wacky-rigged worms will be a good bet as well.
“Anglers will mainly be focusing on cypress trees for postspawn bass,” said Thrift. “You can also throw spinnerbaits, or flip them with a Texas-rigged soft-plastic and a jig – you can kind of pick your poison this time of year. Whatever you like to do, you should be able to find some fish doing it and figure out how to catch them.”
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Thrift went on to say that both lakes will likely be favored by competitors, as each has the potential to kick out big weights. He said that a three-day cumulative catch ranging from 71 to 75 pounds should be enough to take home top honors.
“I think there’s potential for both lakes to be productive – the winning fish could come from anywhere on either lake,” Thrift said. “You really can’t rule anything out. That’s the good thing about Santee – its two lakes and it’s pretty big, but there’s big fish everywhere.”
Anglers will take off from John C. Land III Landing located at 4404 Greenall Road in Summerton at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day of competition. Weigh-ins each day will also be held at the landing beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event. At Santee Cooper lakes, pros will fish for a top prize of up to $94,000, including the new Ranger Z518L boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a brand new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard, and $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 31–Nov. 2 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.