Week 9 saw six open/ tournament trail events previewed/ reported on SCFishingReport.com, as well as the first week of the “Pick ‘Em” contest on this site. Results and winning patterns follow:
ABA Weekend Series Lake Murray
Congratulation to Brock Taylor of Pendleton, winner of the first ABA Weekend Series SC Division event of 2015 on Lake Murray. Brock had 19.12 pounds (5 fish).
Second place went to Sean Anderson of Leesville with 18.78 pounds (5).
Third place went to Todd Pearson of Anderson with 16.28 pounds (5).
Fourth place went to Randy C. Huffman of Charleston, WV with 16.14 pounds (5).
Fifth place went to Reinaldo “Ray” V. Heredia of Sumter with 15.97 pounds (4).
Sixth place went to Bo Price of Westminster with 14.18 pounds (5).
The big fish on the boater side weighed 6.52 pounds and was caught by Harvey Price of Seneca.
The second big fish on the boater side was caught by Beau Dixon of Leesville and weighed 6.49 pounds.
On the co-angler side Christopher L. Chavis of Rincon, GA won with three bass weighing 12.08 pounds.
Bryan Barker of Seneca had the big fish at 5.26 pounds.
Winner Brock Taylor reports that he caught three fish early on a deep drop where the depth changes from about 25-35 feet. He has been fishing a jig in this area with success this winter, but Saturday was so windy that vertically jigging a spoon was more effective – especially since with the extreme cold it was necessary to fish slowly. After that bite fell off he moved up and caught a couple of fish on a jig around docks, and his biggest fish came at about 2:30 on a Knight’s Custom Baits hand-painted Wiggle Wart crankbait in crawfish color. The fish was in about 6-8 feet of water around rocks, probably seeking out warmer water where the rocks had heated up, and the crankbait was digging into the bottom.
Before the rains Brock reports that he was spending more time fishing mid-lake and up the lake, but after the rains muddied up the water he moved down the lake more. However, if he were fishing Lake Murray in a week or two Brock says he might head back up the lake as the dirty water will likely warm up first. For now, however, Brock believes that fish are still in a straight winter pattern. While some fish live shallow and will never leave, he thinks the majority of fish are still a long way off from moving up. With water temperatures in the mid-40s Brock believes it will a take a week of sun for that to change very much.
Guide Kyle Giella, winner of the February 14 BFL on Lake Murray with 25 pounds 8 ounces, fished the event and had two good fish by 8:00 – including the 6.04 pound fish pictured below. Both of those came on a Shad Rap and at that point he was expecting an “off the charts, blow it open” day. It was windy, although not quite as windy as the BFL, but he expected the wind would help. However, after that second fish the bite shut down for Kyle – which was consistent with reports from other anglers that the bite got tough after 9:00. He did hook another good fish about 9:45 which broke off on a metal pole by a dock, but that was it.
Kyle saw water temperatures early in the 45-46 degree range, and surface temperatures warming up to 47.5 or 48 degrees by the end of the day. He concurs that fish are still in a straight winter pattern, but he believes with the days getting longer that fish are anxious to move up. They are desperate for spring, but the weather is just not cooperating. The big one he caught Saturday did provide a glimmer of hope that spring is ahead, as the fish came out of a foot of water on a mud bank and jumped 4 or 5 times – almost like a summertime fish and not a winter largemouth bass.
Overall, veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown notes that not a lot of fish are being caught right now, but clearly some quality bass are coming to the scales. Still, the weights in this event showed the consequences of anglers not being allowed to fish Alabama rigs in the event. When the water is very cold there are obviously times when fish are more willing to attack a school of bait than a single fish, and that showed in the [relatively] low weights compared to other statewide events and even the Fishers of Men on Lake Murray. It appears that most of the fish in this tournament were caught on crankbaits and jerkbaits.
Another notable phenomenon continues to be that the best bite is coming early. Doug says this is typical of herring lakes where bluebacks move up at night and bass position around them, and anglers talked about the same thing in the Classic on Lake Hartwell. Anglers can catch fish early, but then there is often a lull from about 8:30 to 11:00. After 11:00 a few fish will pull up and get in the shade around docks, as counter-intuitively the shade around docks will often be the warmest water on very cold days (because of heat transfer from the dock). Additionally, fish can see better from the shade – the difference between sitting on a porch with the light on versus off and trying to look out. While dock fishing is not great right now, Doug expects that in a couple of weeks it will get very strong as everything is running about two weeks behind this year.
Full results can be found at: http://www.americanbassanglers.com/BWS/results/8613.pdf
Finally, congratulations to J Sturkie, winner of the Week 1 Pick ‘Em competition! He guessed a 19.2 ounce big bag in the event – less than a tenth of a pound off the actual winning weight! Additionally, he was within 2/10 of a pound from guessing the big fish (his guess 6.3; actual 6.52)! J Sturkie wins a $20.00 gift certificate to SCFishingTackle.com for his prediction.
CATT Lake Wateree (x2)
Congratulations to Gary Michaud and Doc McDaniel, winner of the second CATT Lake Wateree Spring Qualifier today on Lake Wateree. They caught 21.92 pounds of bass, including a 5.20 pound big fish, to take first place.
Finishing in second place were Mike King and Mike Traynum with a 20.70 pound bag, including a 5.94 pound big fish. They also won the side pot.
Third place went to Chad Gainey and Mack Kitchens with a 20.49 pound bag, including the second big fish at 6.81 pounds.
In fourth place were Greg Sigmon and Tracy Pope with a 16.29 pound bag, including a 4.28 pound big fish.
And finishing fifth were Larry Hastings and Jim Davis with a 12.58 pound sack, including a 6.10 pound big fish.
The first place big fish was caught by Ryan West, a 7.78 pound hawg.
The winning team reported that they caught their fish on a jig fished around main lake docks. The fish were shallow in approximately 6-8 feet of water. They only caught six fish over the day, but they were good ones.
Full results are attached below; they will also be posted on the CATT website soon.
The second CATT Wateree Open only had five boats competing. It was won by Greg Atkinson and Ron Catoe with 8.20 pounds.
Fishers of Men Lake Murray
Congratulations to Ronnie Mueller and Wayne Frierson, winners of the first Fishers of Men SC Lowcountry Team Tournament of 2015 on Lake Murray yesterday. They caught a monster 5-fish bag weighing 27.05 pounds, including a 6.49 pound big fish.
2nd place went to Ross Burns and Josh Rennebaum with 5 fish weighing 18.77 pounds.
3rd place went to Josh Gardner and Dustin McCurry with 5 fish weighing 17.09, including the tournament big fish at 7.75 pounds.
18 boats fished the event, with 53 fish caught and an average weight of 2.96 pounds. The big bags were caught on jigs and Alabama rigs, and below the top 3 weights were approximately 15, 14, 13, and 11 pounds, and then dropped off to 7 pounds and below. 3 boats did not weigh fish.
Complete results will be posted on the Fishers of Men website soon; my thanks to tournament director Al Odom for results and information.
CATT Lake Wylie Spring Qualifier
Congratulations to Clay Williams and David Redmon, winners of the second CATT Lake Wylie Spring Tournament yesterday. They caught a huge Lake Wylie bag of 23.78 pounds, including a 5.75 pound big fish.
2nd place went to Mark Leach with 17.80 pounds.
3rd place went to Todd Garner and Shane Hartman with 14.80 pounds.
Because of the cold only 6 boats fished the event, but tournament director Jeremy Cabe reports that the Lake Wylie bite remains on fire. The fourth place boat had 14.73 pounds, while two teams chose not to weigh in. The predominant bite continues to be an Alabama rig bite, although fish are also being caught on a jerkbait with the very cold water (water temps are in the low 40s, and the whole lake is clear). There has been a significant shad die-off and most of the weight is coming down the lake in the deeper water, although the best numbers may be found above the bridges. It is primarily a main lake pattern, and anglers are working drops, points and other depth changes. The Allison creeks have been especially strong. The hot hole has not been a factor, although small schooling fish have been caught there.
Complete results will be posted on the CATT website soon; my thanks to tournament director Jeremy Cabe for results and information.
Fishers of Men Lake Greenwood
Congratulations to Brian and Mike Tidwell, winners of the second South Carolina Upstate Team Division Bass Tournament on Lake Greenwood yesterday. The winners had an enormous 29.87 pound sack composed of clone 6-pounders!
2nd place went to Paul Gettys and Russell Clark with 22.54 pounds.
3rd place went to Michael Holland and Mike Cox with 20.47 pounds.
4th place went to Shane Abbott and Brian Jones with 19.18 pounds.
5th place went to Tommy Guthke and Bryan Waddell with 17.61 pounds.
57 teams fished the event, and it was a feast-or-famine day on Lake Greenwood. There were three bags over 20 pounds, including the second place bag caught by Paul Gettys’ team that weighed 22.14 pounds, and the big fish was a monster 9.05 pound hawg! On the other end of the spectrum 15 boats weighed nothing. Tournament director Randy Morrison reports that shad are dying off, and bass are podded up and gorging on the dead and dying shad. The key was locating the pods, and pretty much all of the top anglers were fishing Alabama rigs. They were fishing from 0-15 feet of water, with anglers all over the place from the backs to the main lake.
Full results will be posted on the Fishers of Men website soon; my thanks to Randy for results and information.
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To view the full tournament calendar on SCFishingReport.com visit http://www.scfishingreport.com/tournaments/; tournaments are still being added, and if you know of an open/ trail event that should be included please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.