Walmart Bass Fishing League - South Carolina
SANTEE COOPER (April 1, 2000)
Big bass comes within 4 pounds, 13 ounces of state record
SUMMERTON, S.C. — Chad Cook of Summerville, S.C., easily walked away with a Red Man Tournament Trail Carolina Division victory on Lake Santee Cooper Saturday with a huge five-bass limit weighing 31 pounds, including a single largemouth that weighed 11 pounds, 5 ounces.
Cook's big bass, while 4 pounds, 13 ounces shy of the state record set in 1949, is the largest bass caught on any Operation Bass tournament series this year, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour.
Cook earned $5,288 and 50 CITGO Challenge Points for his victory plus $825 for the Abu Garcia Big Bass Award in the Boater Division. All of his bass were caught before 8:30 a.m. on Lake Moultrie, the lower end of Santee Cooper, using a ½-ounce white spinnerbait.
Brent Riley of Ridgeville, S.C., who finished with a five-bass catch of 23-4 worth $2,644 finished in second. Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C., took third place and collected $1,322 for five bass weighing 19-2. Richard Porter of Loris, S.C., placed fourth and earned $1,146 for five bass weighing 19-0, while Lindwood Thornhill of Pineville, S.C., placed fifth and earned $1,058 for five bass weighing 18-11.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,644 went to Dave Murdock of Florence, S.C., who topped 165 competitors with four bass weighing 12-15. Second place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,322 went to Mark Cummings of Maxton, N.C., for five bass weighing 12-3, while Shane Akins of Rincon, Ga., took third place and $661 with four bass weighing 11-0.
Norman Mullinax of Wilmington, N.C., won the co-angler Abu Garcia Big Bass Award of $412 for an 8-pound, 4-ounce bass he caught on Lake Moultrie.
On June 24, the Red Man Tournament Trail will visit Lake Wateree for the fourth of five events in the Carolina Division. The boater with the most CITGO Challenge points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 9-10 on Lake Murray, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season receives $500.
Operation Bass was founded in 1979 on the principle that working anglers should be able to fish competitively without interfering with jobs and family. The trail's championship event, the Red Man All-American, awards $100,000 to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler. The highest placing CITGO Divisional Points Champion at the All-American receives $10,000 in the Boater Division and $2,500 in the Co-Angler Division. Overall, more than $5.7 million could be awarded in 2000 based on full fields in each of the series' 119 events nationwide.
Red Man became the trail's title sponsor in 1983.