Pro Bradford Beavers of Summerville caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the weather-shortened Costa FLW Series on Santee Cooper lakes, presented by Power-Pole. The tournament was shortened from three days to two after competition was canceled Friday due to high winds. Bradford’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 54 pounds, 9 ounces, was enough to earn him the victory at the Southeastern Division final and $86,700, including a new Ranger Z5181 boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“To win on my home lake is quite an accomplishment,” said Beavers, who won the Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake in 2017. “I know how good the anglers are here, and it’s a little redemption for the 2014 event here. I started that final day in second place, but zeroed and ended up finishing ninth. That’s been on my mind for years, so this is great.”
Beavers said he started out fishing on Lake Moultrie each day, targeting shallow cypress trees.
“I started at the best cypress trees I knew of, where the bass were either spawning or coming off the bank,” he said. “I had four areas of trees that I fished there.”
Beavers said that he headed to Lake Marion about 1 p.m. each day, running pretty much ran the same pattern in two general areas, but with one small adjustment.
“I fished even shallower trees on Lake Marion because I felt more were truly spawning on the upper lake versus Lake Moultrie, so I’d hit trees more in the pocket rather than out in the open,” said Beavers.
The South Carolina pro said he caught seven keepers Thursday and added another nine today. He weighed nearly every fish from a wacky- or Texas-rigged, 5-inch green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko. One keeper each day came on an Eye Strike Texas Eye jighead with a 3.3-inch shad-colored Keitech swimbait.
“The Eye Strike is like a wobble head with an eye protruding from it. I’d throw it the first 30 minutes because I felt there was a shad spawn going on.”
The top 10 pros on Santee Cooper Lakes finished:
1st: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, 10 bass, 54-9, $86,700
2nd: Lex Costas, Daniel Island, 10 bass, 50-1, $15,600
3rd: Mike Watson, Sumter, 10 bass, 48-6, $12,300
4th: Joey Sabbagha, Prosperity, 10 bass, 46-2, $10,000
5th: Kyle Welcher, Cleveland, 10 bass, 44-0, $10,500
6th: Todd Smith, Bonneau, 10 bass, 43-12, $8,000
7th: William Fletcher, Dallas, 10 bass, 42-4, $7,000
8th: Brent Riley, Cross, 10 bass, 40-13, $6,000
9th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, 10 bass, 40-7, $5,000
10th: Mark Hutson, Moncks Corner, 10 bass, 40-3, $4,000
A complete list of results will be posted at FLWFishing.com.
Watson weighed a 9-pound bass Saturday – the heaviest of the tournament in the Pro Division and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
Rodney Tapp of North Augusta won the Co-angler Division with a two-day total catch of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Tapp took home a prize package including a Ranger Z175 with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.
The top 10 co-anglers on Santee Cooper Lakes finished:
1st: Rodney Tapp, North Augusta, 10 bass, 32-10, $27,300
2nd: Daniel Taylor, Elizabethton, seven bass, 21-8, $5,000
3rd: Oakley Connor, Travelers Rest, four bass, 20-8, $4,000
4th: Bart Beasley, Mount Pleasant, seven bass, 19-13, $3,550
5th: Adam Haithcock, Butner, N.C., six bass, 19-1, $3,000
6th: Kevin Gordon, Aiken, eight bass, 18-10, $2,500
7th: Thomas Clark, Wildwood, seven bass, 18-9, $2,000
8th: Spencer Sato, Warner Robins, Georgia, six bass, 18-8, $1,750
9th: David Williams, Fredericksburg, Virginia, six bass, 18-7, $1,750
10th: Mitch Avant, Pawleys Island, six bass, 18-7, $1,250
Jamie Booth of Erin, Tennessee, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Booth earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $200 for his catch.
The Costa FLW Series on Santee Cooper Lakes presented by Power-Pole was hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce. It was the third and final Southeastern Division tournament of the 2019 regular season. The next tournament for FLW Series anglers will be the Costa FLW Series at Table Rock Lake presented by Power-Pole, held May 9-11 in Branson, Missouri. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
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.