SUMMERTON - It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Summerton with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Santee Cooper events. FLW, the world's largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March.
Boater Chris Brunson of Mayesville brought a three-bass limit to the scale totaling 17 pounds, 7 ounces to win Saturday's event and $3,592, while Cecil Wolfe of Summerton brought in a three-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce on Sunday to earn the win and $3,164.
Brunson won Saturday's event fishing in Lake Marion, above the Interstate 95 Bridge near Jack's Creek.
"I caught my fish in grass, with a Spro Poppin' Frog and a Texas-rigged worm," Brunson said. "The key was keeping an open mind and changing things up, because the fish were not where they were at last week."
The top five boaters on Saturday were:
First: Chris Brunson of Mayesville, three bass, 17-7, $3,592;
Second: Chad Cook of Cross, three bass, 14-14, $1,796;
Tied at third: Tim Kelley of Irmo, three bass, 14-9, $1,019, and Bo Chappell of Lake City, three bass, 14-9, $1,019; and
Fifth: John Haas of Mount Pleasant, three bass, 14-5, $1,178.
Haas brought an 8-pound, 15-ounce bass to the scale to earn Saturday's Boater Big Bass award of $460.
Jason Miles of Summerville was the highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500 Saturday. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Gage Spagnola of Columbia won the Co-angler Division and $1,796 Saturday after catching three bass weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Saturday finished as follows:
First: Gage Spagnola of Columbia, three bass, 11-14, $1,796;
Second: Bill Hawkins of Piedmont, three bass, 10-6, $898;
Third: Jeff Rikard of Leesville, three bass, 9-6, $598;
Fourth: Blake Winans of Sumter, three bass, 9-0, $419; and
Fifth: Dylan Thompson of Myrtle Beach, two bass, 8-15, $359
On Sunday, local Summerton angler Wolfe won the event fishing in Lake Moultrie.
"I was finesse fishing, mainly with a drop-shot rig," said Wolfe. "I was targeting stumps and brush piles using a Zoom Finesse Worm, both green-pumpkin and watermelon-red colors.
"The key was slowing down - fishing slow and real methodical. You had to pretty much make them bite. It was really tough."
The top five boaters on Sunday were:
First: Cecil Wolfe of Summerton, three bass, 16-1, $3,164;
Second: Ronnie McCoy of Lamar, three bass, 15-0, $1,582;
Third: Kyle Austin of Ridgeville, three bass, 14-10, $1,054;
Fourth: Lex Costas of Daniel Island, three bass, 14-8, $738; and
Fifth: Freddie Gamble Jr. of Manning, three bass, 13-12, $633.
Complete results for Saturday and Sunday's event on Santee Cooper can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Danny Shanz of Summerton brought a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass to the scale to win Sunday's Boater Big Bass award of $380.
Roger Medlock of Mount Pleasant was Sunday's highest-finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member and took home an extra $500.
Taylor Barnette of Landrum won the Co-angler Division and $1,582 Sunday after catching a three-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top five co-anglers Sunday finished as follows:
First: Taylor Barnette of Landrum, three bass, 12-13, $1,582;
Second: Terry Jarvis of Inman, three bass, 12-10, $981;
Third: Thomas Robbins of Jackson, three bass, 10-4, $526;
Fourth: Brandon Jeffcoat of Columbia, three bass, 9-8, $369; and
Fifth: Brian Bultman of Aiken, three bass, 8-14, $316.
Jarvis caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces. The catch earned the day's Co-angler Big Bass award of $190.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Double-Header on Lake Santee Cooper was the third and fourth of five qualifying events in the South Carolina Division.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the South Carolina Division based on point standings, along with the five winners of each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 16-18 Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Lake Cherokee in Jefferson City, Tennessee, hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Boaters will compete for a $60,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new 18-foot Phoenix bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing - the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held Nov. 11-13 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson and is hosted by Visit Anderson. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers plus tournament winners from each Phoenix Bass Fishing League division earn priority entry into the FLW Series, the pathway to the FLW Pro Circuit and ultimately the MLF Bass Pro Tour, where top pros compete with no entry fees.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on FLW's social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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