But the biggest day came March 1 on Lake Murray, when the top two teams had limits that broke the 20-pound mark, and three more limits of more than 18 pounds were caught.
Sean Anderson of Saluda and George Berry of Batesburg won with a 5-fish limit that weighed 20 pounds, 7 ounces. They took home $820. Keith Henderson of Union and Kevin Sanders of Gilbert were second with a 20-pound, 4-ounce limit, worth $430. They also won a $280 bonus and had second big fish, a 5-11 lunker worth $111.
Les Westberry and Howie Caughman of Leesville were third with 18-11, winning $320. The big fish caught by Clay Lowder and Coker Lowder of Maysville weighed 6-2 and paid $259.
Carolina Anglers Team Trail, Feb. 16, Lake Wylie
1. Bruce Camp-Chuck Camp (Shelby, N.C.), 5 bass, 15-11, $550; 2. Donnie Hanshaw-Todd Moss (Gaffney), 5, 15-6, plus 4-11 big fish, $614; 3. John Schonn (Lake Wylie)-Todd Moss (York), 5, 15-4, $200.
1. Donald Hinson (Lugoff)-Pat Clark (Camden), 5, 17-12, $1,000, plus $460 bonus; 2. Sam Downey-Tommy Moak (Lugoff), 5, 17-11, $540. Dearal Rodgers (Camden)-Carlton Thompkins (Conway), 5, 17-2, $420. Big Fish: Daniel Hill (Sumter), 6-4, $350.
March 1, Lake Wateree
1. Jimmy McFarland-Calvin Griggs (Hartsville), 5, 17-12, $900; 2. Robert Ross (Dalzell)-Ric McLean (Sumter), 5, 17-9, plus bonus, $865; 3. Mark Richardson-William Richardson (Irmo), 5, 16-9, $325; 4. David Canupp (Monroe, N.C.)-Jason Torres (Waxhaw, N.C.), 5, 16-7, plus big fish (6-7), $480.March 1, Lake Murray
1. Sean Anderson (Saluda)-George Berry (Batesburg), 5, 20-7, $820; 2. Keith Henderson (Union)-Kevin Sanders (Gilbert), 5, 20-4, $430, plus $280 bonus and second big fish, 5-11, $111; 3. Les Westberry-Howie Caughman (Leesville), 5, 18-11, $320. Big Fish: Clay Lowder-Coker Lowder (Maysville), 6-2, $259.March 8, Lake Wylie
1. Roger Hoover (Mooresville, N.C.)-John Yarber (Denver, N.C.), 5, 19-5, plus big fish, 4-14, $924; 2. John Schonn (Lake Wylie)-Todd Moss (York), 5, 19-2, plus second big-fish, 4-11, $366; 3. Tim Chapman (Kings Mountain, N.C.)-Eddie Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), 5, 18-1, $200.
1. Scott Peavy (Ridgeway)-Lee Roysen (Blythewood), 5, 24-12, plus second big-fish, 6-5, $1,740; 2. Steve Keller-Jeff Douglas (Winnsboro), 5, 22-9, $650, plus big fish, 7-3, $420 3. Donald Hinson (Lugoff)-Pat Clark (Camden), 5, 22-7, $500; 4. Butch Williams-Colon Williams (Lancaster), 5, 22-2, $380; 5. Mike Peach (Lancaster), 5, 20-14, $260; 6. Robert Ross (Dalzell)-Rick McLean (Sumter), 5, 20-11, $200.Sedgwick daydreams to big BASS payday
Ray Sedgwick used a "daydreaming" approach to finish second in the BASS Citrus Slam on Florida's Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in mid-March and win $32,000. He also had the big bass on the third day of the tournament at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, to win another $1,000.
Sedgwick, from Cross, weighed in a four-day total of 57-12 ounces – just 1-11 ounces shy of Kevin Van Dam's winning weight of 59 pounds, 7 ounces.
Sedgwick came on strong in the final two days of the tournament, first hauling himself from 20th place to third on the third day with a limit of 18 pounds, 4 ounces.
Sedgwick, who leap-frogged Scott Rook for second place with a limit of 11-8 on the final day, said that the wind - especially the persistent gales on the final day - helped turn off the bite.
"Anytime with this water in Florida, (when) the wind knocks the silt and mud off of that grass, fish quit biting," Sedgwick said. "These Florida fish are as finicky a fish as anywhere in the country. Anything changes, you can expect changes with the fish."
Sedgwick stayed in Lake Kissimmee throughout the tournament, using reaction baits and spinnerbaits in the mornings, and when the wind quit, he would slow down considerably with a Zoom worm. He said the better fish seemed to be striking a 6-inch worm, but he had to soak it.
"You had to throw it in there and just count to 10 or so, think, daydream. I'm a Southern boy, and I'm pretty slow," Sedgwick said, "but that was real slow."
Wade Grooms of Bonneau finished 13th with a 3-day limit of 40-5 ounces, and won $10,800. Jason Quinn of York finished 19th with 14 bass that weighed 38-1, and won $10,500. Casey Ashley of Donalds, fresh off a 17th-place finish in his first Bassmaster Classic in late February on Lake Hartwell, had 14 bass that weighed 33 pounds, to finish 28th and win $10,000. Britt Myers of Lake Wylie finished 38th with 15 bass that weighed 30 pounds and won $10,000.
Big check for Pearson
Todd Pearson of Anderson won the Wal-Mart BFL Savannah River Division tournament on Clarks Hill Lake on March 3 with five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 13 ounces.
Pearson took home $4,270 for finishing first. He added a $775 check for winning the Boater Division's big-bass award with a 9-9 lunker he caught on a crankbait. He also won a $753 Ranger contingency bonus.
Pearson caught his bass on a deep-diving crankbait at the mouth of a cove on main lake points.
"The fish were shallow early," Pearson said. "I was using a stop-and-go retrieve and letting it fall down in the grass. Later in the day, I was catching fish in pockets on a jerkbait where they were suspended in 18 to 20 feet of water in the tree tops."
Rounding out the top five boaters were: Brent Story of Atlanta, Ga. (5, 19-11, $2,512); Doug Oellerich of Evans, Ga. (5, 18-11, $1,674); Tim Jones of North Augusta (5, 17-6, $1,172); and Rick Steckelberg of Gainesville, Ga. (5, 17-4, $1,005).
Keith Thomasson of Abbeville won $2,512 as the winning co-angler with five bass weighing 12-5 that he caught fishing around stumps in shallow, flat pockets.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were: Randall Ertzberger of Inman, (3, 11-6, $1,047); Robbie McHone of Fountain Inn, (5, 11-6, $1,047); Wyman Weeks of Liberty, (5, 9-3, $586); and Jim Morris of Anderson, (4, 8-15, $502).
Matt Deuffel earned $387 as the co-angler Big Bass winner with an 8-pound largemouth.
Fowler gets BFL win
Although he had to change strategies - twice - Jerry Fowler of Walterboro won the Wal-Mart BFL South Carolina Division tournament March 10 on Clarks Hill Lake with a 5-bass limit that weighed 19 pounds, 6 ounces.
Fowler won $3,224 for first place and another $495 for the Boater Division big bass, a 7-8 lunker he caught on a crankbait.
After catching two fish on a lightweight trick worm in areas he found prefishing, the bite turned off completely. The wind picked up and water color changed because of the rain, so Fowler tried a Rat-L-Trap.
"I threw it about 35 times, and that didn't produce," he said, "but in my mind, I knew these fish ought to be chasing, chasing something."
Fowler changed his strategy again, which proved successful.
"I tied on a medium-running Lucky Craft crankbait, and they lit it up," said Fowler. "I was in about eight feet of water, throwing to the edge of the water and dragging it across shallow until it hit the lip of the channel, where they would grab it."
Rounding out the top five boaters were: Obby Land of Cherryville, N.C., (5, 18-5, $1,897); Ronnie McCoy of Lamar, (5, 17-13, $1,265); Joel Page of Little Mountain, (5, 15-5, $885); Norm Attaway of Clearwater, (5, 13-15, $759).
David Carmichael of Lincolnton, Ga., won $1,859 as the co-angler winner with five bass that weighed 12 pounds.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were: Eddie Cook of Clemmons, N.C., (3, 11-11, $929); Calvin Sharp of Round O, (4, 10-5, $619); Tony Everhart of Gaffney, (5, 10-1, $434); and Calvin Jones of Raeford, N.C. (3, 9-14, $372).
James Robinson Jr. won $242 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 6-7 largemouth he caught on a Bandit crankbait.
Rodgers: one got away
Dearal Rodgers of Camden finished 14th in the Stren Series Southeast Division tournament on Alabama's Lake Eufaula, finishing with 15 bass that weighed 40 pounds, 10 ounces, and winning $1,000.
But he's still thinking about that one big fish that probably would have boosted him into the final round of 10, but got away.
Deciding to fish "big," Rodgers rigged out with 20-pound-test line, a big, brown rubber Buckeye Lures Mop Jig and a ¾-ounce Buckeye lures spinnerbait with double willow-leaf blades. By 9 o'clock the first morning of the tournament he had almost 17 pounds when he decided to go looking for new fishing territory.
"About 1 o'clock, I cast the jig past a pole and got a real aggressive bite," Rodgers said. "The fish tightened the line up, and I did what I could to get a halfway decent hookset. That's when a huge bass - at least 6 pounds - jumped about 10 feet left of the pole with my line wrapped around the pole!"
He was unable to turn the fish and about three seconds after seeing it, the fish came off the hook.
"That fish would have pushed my bag to about 21 lbs and would certainly have helped me make the top-10 cut. He sent me home with a black eye," Rodgers said.
Other bass tourneysAmerican Bass Anglers, Lake Murray, March 1
1. Randy Childers (Anderson), 5, 20.99, 7.06-pound big fish; 2. Roger Medlock (Sullivan's Island), 5, 16.80; 3. Joey Outlaw (Camden), 4, 14.23, 6.95-pound big fish; 4. Andy Owens (Camden), 5, 12.79, 5.13-pound big fish; 5. Rick Akers (Florence), 5, 11.93, 6.46-pound big fish.Phil Shope Team Trail, Lake Julian, N.C., Feb. 16-17
1. Jeff Bennett-Brock Taylor (Anderson), 29.88 pounds; 2. Tim Reid (Powdersville)-Trevor Smith (Pickens), 27-0; 3. Keith Camak (Ware Shoals)-Jeff Smith (Woodruff), 5.72 pounds.Crappie tournaments
There's something about crappie fishing that makes it the perfect outdoor sport for families.
During the 2007-08 tournaments season, two father-daughter teams have fished S.C. Crappie Association tournaments, along with a dozen father-son teams and one husband-wife team. Among the family associations, three generations of one family fish the tournament series.
The father-daughter teams include Michael and Kayla Nofz of Bradley and Eddie and Mary Cannon of Chapin.
The father-son teams include Chad and Graham Owens of Hodges; Gregg and Zachary Sides of Monetta; Russell Anderson of Gilbert and Sean Anderson of Saluda; Brian and Brett Davis of Leesville; James and Trevor Ratliff of Belton; Ellis and Jon Cannon of Chapin; Larry and Ricky Cannon of Chapin; Sam and Martin Kennington of Kershaw; Tommy Slice Sr. of Chapin and Tommy Slice Jr. of Columbia; James R. Hinson Jr. and James C. Hinson of Lancaster; Lee and Scott Mayer of Newberry; and Bobby and Robbie Goldman of Aiken.
Teddy and Annette Kneece of Batesburg form the husband-wife team.
The three generations in one family are Larry Cannon, his son, Eddie Cannon, and Eddie's daughter, Mary.
Ellis Cannon said the association is pleased to see a lot of parent-child participation in the tournaments.
"We feel this is a good way for parents to help keep children focused on positive activities and away from drugs and other crime," he said.S.C. Crappie Association, Lake Murray, Feb. 23
1. Ray Koon-Mike Huffstetler (Chapin), 17.57 pounds, $400; 2. Ellis Cannon-Jon Cannon (Chapin), 16.4, $250; 3. Phil Furtick (Batesburg)-Allen Seigler (Aiken), 15.83 pounds, $125; 4. Tommy Slice Sr. (Chapin)-Tommy Slice Jr. (Columbia), 15.67, $101; 5. Martin Kennington-Sam Kennington (Kershaw), 15.58, $101; 6. Greg Cooper (Prosperity)-Gary Philips (Leesville), 15.56, $119. Big Fish: Cooper-Phillips, 2.13 pounds.S.C. Crappie Association, Lake Thurmond, March 8
1. Larry Cannon-Ricky Cannon (Chapin), 5, 14.99 pounds, $400; 2. Ray Koon-Mike Huffstetler (Chapin), 14.51, $250; 3. Ellis Cannon-John Cannon (Chapin), 14.32, $125;. Gary Elliott-Randy Bundrick (Chapin), 13.62, $101. Big Fish: Leonard Frick-Randy Autry (Batesburg), 2.58 pounds.Striper tournaments
Louis and Lorraine Buckwell of Taylors weighed in four striped bass at 39 pounds, 7 ounces on March 15 to win their second Midlands Striper Club Team Tournament in a row on Lake Murray.
They also caught the big fish of the tournament, a 26-pound, 14-ounce striper that is the club's big fish of the year.
Finishing second with 34 pounds, 15 ounces was "Team Catch 22," captained by Terry Caulder of Little Mountain. "Team Po Boys," captained by Dean Preston of Gilbert along with David Sellers of Gilbert, finished third with 31-15.
The winner of the lowest legal creel weight prize for March was team "Fog Don," captained by James Lindler of West Columbia, fishing with Brad Pittman, also of West Columbia, with 3 pounds, 3 ounces.
Tournament directors: Send your schedules and results in the format shown as soon as possible after your tournaments. Be sure to include names, hometowns, number of fish caught, total weight, prize money and big fish information. Email to Pat Robertson: email@example.com.