Ryan McMurtury of Abbeville came from behind on the final day to win the 2010 Bassmaster Weekend Series on Alabama's Lake Guntersville in mid-November, qualifying for the Bassmasters Classic in the process.

McMurtry bagged limits weighing 14.61, 17.77 and 19.05 pounds to move into second place behind leader Steve DeBord of Martinez, Ga., entering the final day. McMurtry responded with a 5-fish limit that weighed 18.10 for a 69.53-pound total and the championship, $110,000 in prize money and a spot in the Classic, scheduled for Feb. 18-20 on the Louisiana Delta out of New Orleans, La.

McMurtury said his boat broke down in practice and that he fished the same spot all four days, catching 165 bass.

"I stayed in one spot for four days and never left it. I used a double-rig Fluke with exposed hooks. When one fish hit, I just held it down until another one hit. I caught fewer fish each day, but more weight."

With this win, McMurtury won $100,000, plus a $10,000 bonus from Federated Auto Parts. He also qualified to fish the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, which will be held on the Louisiana Delta in New Orleans, Feb. 18-20, 2011.

McMurtry is the third South Carolina angler to qualify for the Classic. He joins Jason Williamson of Aiken and Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, who qualified through the Bassmaster Elite and Southern Open circuits, respectively.

 

Dixie's Hornets sting Hartwell bass

Dixie High School in Due West is one of the first teams to join the Youth Bass Fishing League, sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and The BASS Federation. Twenty-five students from Dixie High School, Cherokee Trail Elementary, Wright Middle School and Diamond Hill Elementary make up the team; they will fish for a chance to win scholarships and valuable prizes.

On Nov. 18, 21 members of the Dixie Hornet Anglers fished Lake Hartwell, their third tournament of the year. Christopher Bensel won the 11-14 age group with 11.22 pounds and the big-fish award with a 6.5-pound bass. Allison Fleming won the 15-18 age group with 7.48 pounds.

The club formed at the beginning of the school year, hopes to compete in five tournaments this year.

"We're hoping other schools will join us," said Terri Stone, assistant to coaches Eddy Stone and Chris Bensel. "We hope the club will eventually become a team, like football or baseball."

At the Lake Hartwell tournament, Casey Ashley, a Dixie High School graduate and pro bass fisherman, weighed the fish and encouraged the young anglers. Ashley is serving as mentor for the club.

If you are interested in forming a bass-fishing club at your school and becoming a part of the Youth Bass Fishing League, you need a minimum of six students from 11 to 18 years old, an adult sponsor from the school, pay club dues and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings.

If 16 or more high schools join the Youth Bass Fishing League, the S.C. High School League can be petitioned to sanction bass fishing as a high school sport.

 

'Crowbar' pries loose enough to win Greenwood

Rodney "Krowbar" Cromer of Pomaria won the Nov. 21 ABA D-96 tournament on Lake Greenwood with five fish that 14.18 pounds.

Cromer won a total of $805 by flipping and pitching jigs on the lower end of the lake.

Terry Morris of Prosperity was second with 13.73 pounds and had the big fish of the tournament at 7.07 pounds for a total of $678. Andy Wicker of Pomaria was third with 13.62 pounds for $168. Sean Anderson of Leesville was fourth with 12.95 pounds for $129, and Andy Lake of Saluda rounded out the top five with 11.84 pounds for $97.

 

Whaley wins at Clarks Hill

Pat Whaley of Lexington won the Bass Federation of South Carolina season-finale at Clarks Hill on Nov. 13.

Whaley came out on top in the boater division with a 5-bass limit that weighed 9.1 pounds and included a 4.78-pound largemouth caught on a crankbait around rip-rap in the last hour of the day.

Whaley not only won the tournament, he took the Angler of the Year title by mere two points.

John Sturkie of Swansea finished second with four bass weighing in at 8.60 pounds, inlcluding the big bass at 5.77 pounds. Calvin Hewitt was third with 8.08; and Matthew Teets was fourth with 6.23.

 

Hinson, Keith win at Wateree

Donald Hinson of Lugoff and Jay Keith of Camden won the Nov. 13 CATT event on Lake Wateree with 12.75 pounds, worth $970.

Jimmy McFarland and Calvin Griggs of Hartsville were second with 12.50, including the 6.44-pound big-fish winner, for a total of $475. Allen Fletcher and Danny Johnson of Hartsville took third with 12.44 for $275. Wayne King of Sumter and Jimmy Bass of Florence finished fourth with 11.75, taking home $100.