The Rayovac FLW Series is headed to Lake Santee Cooper March 13-15 for a tournament presented by Evinrude when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water for the second of three stops in the Southeastern Division.
The last time the Rayovac FLW Series stopped at Santee Cooper, 13 bags in excess of 20 pounds were brought to the scale. The lake has a well earned reputation for giants but often doesn’t give them up easily.
“The majority of the fish are probably going to be in a pre-spawn pattern,” said Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, a nine-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “I haven’t watched the weather closely enough to know for sure, though. They do spawn there at that time, but I don’t know if they’ll be quite ready this year.
“The fishing should be good with typical pre-spawn patterns,” continued the Chevy pro. “A lot of guys should catch them well. Flipping the cyprus trees, spinnerbaits and rattletraps could all produce.”
Gagliardi explained that if the predominant pattern was pre-spawn, most of the anglers would probably focus on areas leading into Santee Cooper’s big spawning flats and backwaters.
“I’ve probably spent half of my time on the upper lake and half of my time on the lower lake,” added Gagliardi. “When the fish are spawning I like going down to sight fish in the lower lake, but you can catch then anywhere. Guys will be able to spread out a lot. They should catch them pretty good this time of year.
“I think you’re looking at 55 to 60 pounds to win,” finished Gagliardi. “But it could be considerably more than that if the bite turns on and a lot of those big fish move up.”
Anglers will take off from John C. Land III Landing located at CR 514-260 (Log Jam/Greenall Road) in Summerton, S.C., at 7:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2010 Paxville Highway in Manning, S.C., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.
The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Lake Santee Cooper is being hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.