S.C. Angler Wins ABA Tourney With 25-Pound Bag

Chad Cook

Chad Cook won it all during an ABA Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series South Carolina Division 9 tournament on the Santee-Cooper Lakes.

Running out of John C. Land III Landing near Summerton, the Summerville, S.C., angler caught five keeper bass for 25.64 pounds, a 5.12-pound average. He upped his average with a 7.45-pound kicker that set the division lunker standard. For the Boater Division win, Cook pocketed $1,943 with an extra $129 for the bucketmouth.

?Most of the fish I caught came off cypress trees,? Cook revealed. ?I caught one fish off a stump. I caught two on a spinnerbait, two on a craw worm and one on a swimbait.?

In second for the boaters, Daniel Grassi of Pooler, Ga., landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 23.74 pounds. He capped his catch with a 7.18-pound kicker to take home a check for $972.

?In practice, I found a spot on the north end of Lake Moultrie where I caught a few fish on a frog,? Grassi said. ?I went back there and got three bites. Then, I junk fished the rest of the day and caught a couple more. I caught my three biggest fish on a frog and filled out the limit with a fluke.?

Wade Grooms of Bonneau, S.C., placed third among the boaters with five bass at 21.98 pounds. He earned $648.

?The fish were on a post-spawn pattern so I tried to fish just outside the trees with worms,? Grooms explained. ?The wind destroyed everything I found in practice. I still found some trees that I felt were pretty good. It was a really finicky bite. Almost everything I caught was just barely hooked.?

Lex H. Costas of Daniel Island, S.C., landed in fourth place for the boaters with five bass going 16.99 pounds. Tim A. Jones of North Augusta, S.C., rounded out the top five boaters with five bass and 16.80 pounds, including one 6.75-pound kicker.

Charles Padget

In the Co-Angler Division, Charles ?Chuck? B. Padget of Greenwood, S.C., did well for his first time on the sprawling 171,000-acre system. He landed three bass weighing 13.49 pounds with a 6.24-pound kicker. Padget earned $997 for the Co-Angler Division win.

?We fished the upper lake and threw a frog all day long,? Padget said. ?We caught fish throughout the day. I caught four fish and culled once.?

Nicholas J. Ross came down from Lexington, N.C., to catch a three-bass division limit weighing 12.29 pounds for second place among the co-anglers. Also fishing the lake for the first time, he topped his catch with a 5.98-pound kicker to pocket $498.

?I caught a few fish early on spinnerbaits,? Ross said. ?Later, I caught most of my fish on frogs. We fished grass all day long. We both lost about four or five good fish.?

Todd Gambrell of Duncan, S.C., landed three bass for 11.93 pounds. He greatly increased his average by lipping an 8.24-pounder that took the tournament lunker title. For third place, Gambrell went home with $332 plus another $99 bonus for the bigmouth.

?We were fishing the Stump Hole in the swamp at about 8:30 a.m., when the big one hit.? Gambrell advised. ?I caught it on a junebug senko fished just outside the grass. When I set the hook, it turned and tried to get back into the grass. I didn?t think I was going to get him out of the grass.?

Michael L. Norris of Myrtle Beach, S.C., finished in fourth place among the co-anglers with three bass and 9.69 pounds. Tommy Purvis of Graniteville, S.C., wrapped up the top five co-anglers with three bass at 9.11 pounds.

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