Peter T's ten
It is not unusual in tournaments where sight fishing is the predominate pattern to hear woeful tales of the one that got away. It was no different Friday at Santee Cooper.
Peter Thliveros said he worked on a 10-pound bass for over an hour and was never able to bring her to the boat.
"I saw a pair on a nest and one was a really big fish. I got excited and didn't position my boat right and ended up catching the male accidentally. The female just left the nest. I left so I could rest the spot but when I came back she was gone."
These stories might leave a sight fishing novice to wonder exactly ho long a pro will try to catch any single fish, and how they know when to give up the fight and move on.
"There's no set time to work on a bed fish," says Thliveros. "You just have to judge how interested they are in what you are presenting. I look at their proximity to the center of the bed and look to see if they are making wide, ranging movements. If they are close to the center they are more receptive to being caught."
"Believe it or not, all these fish are individuals and you have to try to judge their personalities and decide for yourself how much of your tournament day you want to use by trying to catch a particular fish."
"It's pretty stupid out there."
—Jeff Kriet on the ease of catching bedding bass on Santee Cooper
"This is my lake. I figured I would be a good host for this tournament and let all the other guys catch them."
—Ray Sedgewick of South Carolina after he failed to catch enough weight to make the 50-man cut
A good anniversary
Friday was exactly a year to the day when Jarrett Edwards, a Bassmaster Elite Pro, learned that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.
That was at the CITGO Bassmaster Tour event on Table Rock Lake. After that point, Edwards had to drop out of the Tour to undergo treatment that eventually shut down the affects of the ailment.
How did Edwards celebrate the anniversary? By posting 40-14 to put him in 39th place in the Elite Series event on Santee Cooper.
"I have a lot of things to be thankful for,'' Edwards said.
Davy Hite needed a good finish today at Santee Cooper. After finishing 68th at Lake Amistad and 78th at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He was hoping that the Santee Cooper Lakes in his home state of South Carolina would give him his first Top 50 cut of the season.
With 30 minutes left to fish on the day, Hite had a limit of five fish that weighed approximately 16 pounds. With the minutes ticking away, he found a big fish.
"I had 30 minutes left and I found a big fish on the bed.," Hite said The other big fish that I had seen all day were spooky and roaming around. They just weren't catchable. But after just a few minutes of watching her, I knew I could get this big girl to bite. I thought this was it."
And bite she did. Or at least if she didn't bite, she swiped.
"She swirled on my bait and I set the hook, but I ended up foul hooking her."
A fish hooked outside the mouth while sight fishing is not a legal fish in BASS competition. Hite had to release the fish that could have put him over the cut.
"I brought her to the boat to release her and she was definitely over seven pounds," he said. His non-boater partner agreed.
Hite finished in 67th place with 33 pounds seven ounces - about six pounds out of the cut.
Putnam County caravan
If you see a caravan of cars tomorrow headed north on I-75 with Putnam County, Florida plates, you may have caught up with the family of Preston Clark who will be making the trip to see the Saturday weigh in.
"The whole tribe is coming," said Clark. "They are all very excited to get to see this and it will mean a lot to me."
Included in the entourage will be his wife Katrina, who is pregnant with triplets, as well as his daughter, his parents, his wife's parents, his brother and sister and their spouses, and possibly some special friends from home.
"I think some of the guys from my BASS Federation club will come up. I am still a member of the North Florida Bassmasters although I don't get to do much with them anymore."