Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C. caught a five-bass limit weighing 23-07 to win the weather-shortened Santee Cooper Southeastern FLW Series. The tournament was reduced from three days to two after competition was canceled Friday due to high winds.
Beavers' two-day total of 54-09 was enough to earn him the victory and $86,700, including a new Ranger Z518L boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“To win on my home lake is quite an accomplishment,” said Beavers, who won the 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 [FLW Series] event here. I started that final day in 2nd place, but zeroed and ended up finishing 9th. 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,” said Beavers. “I had four areas of trees that I fished there.”
Beavers said that he headed to Lake Marion around 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 [bass] 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.
He caught seven keepers Thursday and added another nine Saturday. 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.”
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Bradford Beavers: 54-09
2. Lex Costas: 50-01
3. Mike Watson: 48-06
4. Joey Sabbagha: 46-02
5. Kyle Welcher: 44-00
6. Todd Smith: 43-12
7. William Fletcher: 42-04
8. Brent Riley: 40-13
9. BryanThrift: 40-07
10. Mark Hutson: 40-03