Mark Hutson of Moncks Corner won the boater's division of the Santee-Cooper FLW Bass Fishing League tournament on April 13 by 2 pounds. His 27-8 bag included the tournament's big fish, a 10 ½-pounder that he caught early that morning in an area where he had seen several big bass during practice.

His 5-bass limit earned him $3505 in winnings, including a $440 check for the big fish.


Hutson got busy early, catching a nice keeper on the day's first cast.


"I started off the day by fishing beds," Hutson said. "On my first cast of the day, I caught a fish off a bed that was about a 4-pounder." 


Hutson went to the lower end of the lake to focus on some other beds he'd found in practice, and he immediately liked what he saw.


"I happened to see my biggest bass of the day on a bed. I ended up catching her, and she weighed over 10 pounds," he said.


Hutson alternated between fishing beds, some cypress trees and some brush piles in deeper water, fishing in both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. He used soft-plastic crawfish and creature baits with 1/8-ounce weights; green-pumpkin and red were his most productive colors.


Ken Ellis of Bowman took second place with 25-8 and pocketed $1,753, followed by Norm Attaway of Clearwater, Fla., who caught 24 pounds even and won $1,169. Jason Burroughs of Hodges finished fourth, bringing 23-2 to the scales and winning $818, plus $300 in Evinrude Bonus money. Leesville's Greg Rikard took fifth place with a stringer weighing 22-2, which brought him $701.


On the co-angler side, Wyatt Hammond of Myrtle Beach took first place with three fish weighing that weighed 12-1. Like Hutson, Hammond had his division's big fish anchoring his bag. The 6-pound, 13-ounce fish was good for $220 in bonus money, pushing his total winnings to $1,753. Surfside Beach's Tommy Milligan was the only co-angler to bring five fish to the weigh-in; his 11-6 was good enough for second place and $876.


Steven Felder of Manning took third, bringing in four fish weighing 10-10 and winning $585, followed by Bill Crouch of Chesnee, whose three fish at 10-1 landed him fourth and earned him $409. Marty Gardner of Chesnee finished fifth with four bass weighing 9-7, winning $351.



Carolina Hookers Bass Club, April 20, Clarks Hill

1. Ron Rutledge (Anderson), 12.3, $400; 2. Dave Holley (Anderson), 10.2, $250; 3. Ed Singleton (Greenville), 9, $100. Big Fish: Mike Miller (Anderson) 5.23, $100.


Summerville Bassmasters Open, April 20, Santee Cooper

1. Jeff Heikkinen (Summerville), 16.02, $500; 2. Elvis Peagler Jr. (Knightsville), 15.84, $350; 3. Augie Mendoza (Summerville), 15.23, $250; 4. Elvis Peagler Sr. (Knightsville), 13.26, $100; 5. Robert Otto, 13.2, $50. Big Fish: Elvis Peagler Jr., 5.32.


Midlands Striper Club, April 20, Lake Murray

1. Terry Caulder (Little Mountain)-Larry Martin (Chapin), 35.21, $600; 2. Billy Pittman-Bryan Pittman-Brad Pittman-Randy Pittman (West Columbia), 33.44, $250; 3. David Richardson-Tristan Richardson (Aiken) 31.61, $200. Big Fish: Lee Thomas (West Columbia), 12.73, $100.


S. C. Bass Federation Tournament, April 13, Lake Wylie

1. Marc Leech (Kings Mountain, NC), 15.63, $750; 2. Justin Evans (Florence), 14.62, $600; 3. Will Duncan (Conway), 13.07, $400; 4. Carson Orellana (Mooresville, NC), 13.05, $320; 5. Randy Vaughn (Woodruff), 12.77, $240. Big Fish: Marc Leech, 5.16