MORRIS TAKES FIRST ON SANTEE COOPER
By Mike Whatley
Manning, SC – March 28, 2009 Terry Morris, of Prosperity, SC put his site fishing prowess to work this weekend to top the field on the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina. His First Place victory earned him the guaranteed $5,000 purse plus 200 points toward his qualifying for the Year-end Championship worth over $200,000 and a slot in the prestigious “Bassmaster Classic”.
Immanent and adverse weather had plagued the area for the days immediately prior to the tournament, with high winds and heavy cloud cover cooling and staining the two lake system. Tournament day was expected to be much of the same and while the cloud cover stayed in play, anglers got lucky in respect to the wind. With a lake system whose average depth is only 7 feet and riddled with countless stumps, logs and other hard objects, winds anywhere near 20 mph make the system as dangerous as any body of water could be. This day, however, was blessed with a steady, light breeze which allowed the tournaments contestants to apply their skills without that distraction. Morris found his fish to be holding around boat docks and used a Green Pumpkin Sweet Suzie to coax his bedding bass into biting. His 5 fish limit was topped off by one of several six plus pound Santee Cooper Largemouth, a fish weighing in at 6.65 pounds. Big Bass for the Boater side went to Twelfth Place angler Ray Winans, from Manning, SC. His Big Bass was the only fish he brought to the scales, weighing in at 7.97 pounds and was worth $250.
The remaining top five boaters were, Second Place; Mark Hutson of Moncks Corner, SC, (5 bass, 19.13 lbs, $1158) Mark is also eligible for additional monies through the Triton Gold Contingencies for being the highest finishing non- winner. Third Place; Ronnie Watts of Florence, SC (5 bass, 18.57 lbs, $772); Forth Place; Cecil Wolfe III of Hanahan, SC (5 bass, 16.90 lbs, $541) and Fifth Place; Jerry Montjoy of Eutawville, SC (5 bass, 15.51 lbs, $463).
On the Co-Angler side, Rod Wrenn, of Bonneau, SC took the top spot. His three fish, back of the boat limit, weighed in at 10.31 pounds and was topped off by a gorgeous 6.70 pound pre-spawn bass. Rod and his partner started out on the lower lake (Moultrie), where they were able to find clearer water, and while they weren’t necessarily targeting bedding bass, they were working those areas very close to where the bass would be trying to lay their eggs and fan casting a Texas Rigged Pink Speed Craw to the transitioning fish. Rods first place finish awarded him with his first championship check in the amount of $1105.
The remaining top five co-anglers were, Second Place; David Cunningham of Summerville, SC (3 bass, 8.75 lbs, $553); Third Place; Joe Crane of McCormick, SC (2 bass, 7.98 lbs, $368); Forth Place; Wes Brickle of Reevesville, SC (3 bass, 7.09 lbs, $258) and Fifth Place and Big Bass; Troy Wolffe of Charleston, SC (1 bass, 6.95 lbs, $221 & $110 respectively).
The South Carolina, Division 9 anglers will come together for one more single day event when they compete on Lake Hartwell, July 11, launching from Portman Marina in Anderson, SC. Anglers must compete in a minimum of two single day qualifiers to be eligible for the two day Division Championship, which is also scheduled to take place on Lake Hartwell , Sept 12-13. Upon completion of the Championship Event, the top 40 Boaters and Co-Anglers in points for the season will be eligible to advance to the Regional Tournament to be held on the Columbus Pool, Mississippi on October 16-17.