Jeff Manning of Gastonia, N.C., and Justin Whiteside of Rock Hill won the April 13 Catawba Catfish Club's tournament on Lake Monticello with a convincing 3-fish stringer that weighed 74 pounds ,10 ounces, to capture the $430 first-place award.

Manning and Whiteside added another $180 to their winnings for their 31.3-pound blue catfish that was the tournament's big fish.

Joe Varnadore and Eddie Williams were a distant second with 43.10, winning $258.

Despite the final results, it wasn't an easy day for Manning and Whiteside, and a late decision by the team spelled the difference between disappointment and victory. With the weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m., they had about 9 pounds at 1:30. At that point, Manning credited his partner for finding the winning pattern.

"We caught well over 30 fish by 1:30, but most weighed a pound or less," said Manning. "Then we took about 30 minutes to ride around and look for signs of feeding aggressive fish, and it paid off. Within five minutes of setting up, we put our first fish over five pound in the boat. After that we upgraded every fish we caught, and three of the last five fish we caught were the ones we weighed in."

The 31-pounder came in the last few minutes of fishing before heading to the weigh-in.

 

Manning and Whiteside used live and cut bait throughout the tournament.

 

Marty Green and Jeff Green of Rock Hill took third with 39.05, winning $172, followed by Randy Gurley and Eric Gurley of Rock Hill in fourth with 36.70. Mike Rape, Roger Rape and David Catoe of Elgin caught 33.10 to round out the top five.

 

OTHER TOURNAMENTS

Second Annual Child Crappie Tournament, April 13, Lake Wateree

1. David Simpson-Joseph Coleman (Lancaster), 13.12, $200; 2. Robert Jackson-Savannah Jackson (Bishopville), 12.2, $100; 3. Brian Funderburk-Danny Funderburk, 9.12, $75; 4. Sam Freeman-Jaylin Baker (Kershaw), 8.8, $50; 5. Shawn Hendrix-Hunter Branham (Camden), 6.18, $40. Big Fish: (Tie) David Simpson-Joseph Coleman, and Robert Jackson-Savannah Jackson, 1.10.

 

Carolinas Bass Challenge, April 13, Lake Wateree

1. David Canupp (Monroe, NC)-DL Canupp (Albemarle, NC), 25.91, $10,000; 2. Judy Jones (Ft. Mill)-Eric Grigg (Rock Hill), 24.59, $5,000; 3. Bryan Holmes (Winnsboro)-Mike Ware (Newberry), 21.45, $3,500; 4. Joe Marks (Duncan), 20.89, $2,500; 5. Ronnie Mueller (Prosperity)-Wayne Frierson (Manning), 20.01, $2,000; Big Fish: Judy Jones-Eric Grigg, 7,89, $1000.

 

Fish the Fall Elite Team Trail, March 29&30, Lake Murray

1. Phillip Anderson-Russ Padgett, 29.92, $3,000; 2. Darryl Halbert-Ben Lee, 29.27, $1,000; 3. Kevin Dickson-Randy Dickson, 28.89, $500; 4. Todd Pearson-Anthony Gaglined, 26.10, $300. Big Fish: Junior Granger-Darrel Props, 6.57, $300.

 

SC Kayak Fishing Tournament Trail, March 30, Lake Russell

1. Brad Knight (Greenville), 53.5 inches, $230; 2. Saturday Mel (Greenville), 39.25 inches, $138; 3. Pao Yee Thao (Suwanee, Ga.), 37.75 inches, $115; 4. Dale Samples (Greenville), 32 inches; 5. Danny Burrell (Simpsonville) 30 inches. Big Fish: Pao Yee Thao, 19 inches, $100.