Southern Open #2: Matt Herren on the Santee Cooper

Matt Herren says he doesn't know the Santee Cooper Reservoir well, but he didn't prove it Thursday when he brought in 23 pounds, 8 ounces, good enough for the first-day lead at the Bassmaster Southern Open on the vast South Carolina fishery.

Pro-Anglers Day 1 Results | Co-Anglers Day 1 Results
 SUMMERTON, S.C. — Matt Herren says he doesn't know the Santee Cooper reservoirs well, but he didn't prove it Thursday when he brought in 23 pounds, 8 ounces, good enough for the first-day lead at the Bassmaster Southern Open on the vast South Carolina fishery."It's my first trip to Santee Cooper. I'm winging it by the seat of my pants," Herren said, only hinting at his successful pattern by saying he hit wood cover with soft plastics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Trussville, Ala., pro was about 1 pound ahead of his nearest challenger, John Gray of Noblesville, Ind., who brought 22 pounds, 6 ounces to the scales. In third was the Southern Open points race leader, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Peter Thliveros of St. Augustine, Fla., with 20-0.Thliveros won the first of this season's three Southern Opens in January on the St. Johns River out of Palatka, Fla.

Just behind the top three were Georgia's Clint Brownlee with 19-15 and Florida's Allen Hopper with 19-13.The post-spawn bass of Santee Cooper stumped many in the 185-pro field. While Herren was one of only 50 pros to boat a five-fish limit, he said he struggled, too."It's so hard to get a bite right now," he said. "The fish are in a post-spawn funk. They're within days of busting out and going on a feed. It's due to go crazy."The tournament continues through Saturday. Full coverage is available on Bassmaster.com, including live video and leaderboards during the daily weigh-ins at 2:30 p.m. ET. The public is invited to the 6:15 a.m. launches as well as the weigh-ins at John C. Land III Boating & Sportfishing Facility in Summerton.Pros are vying for a first-place prize of $45,000 and a piece of the total payout of more than $193,000.They're also competing for points to qualify for the 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series and the Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport/Bossier City, La. The top three in the Southern Open points race will earn berths in the Classic. The top 10 will get invitations to join the Elite Series, the highest level of BASS competition.Gray, who said the post-spawn bite played to his strengths, also attributed his strong performance Thursday to presentation "It's the presentation of the bait, and it makes all the difference in the world," Gray said of his technique. "I've seen a lot of the guys throwing the same type of bait."He said he's fishing fairly shallow water in roughly four areas, bouncing back and forth Besides Thliveros, Elite pros in the top 20 included Florida's Terry Scroggins, in ninth with 17-12; Alabama's Aaron Martens in 13th with 17-6; North Carolina's Kevin Langill, 14th with 17-4; and South Carolina's Casey Ashley, 16th with 16-14.

 

In the co-angler division, Frank Woodruff of Fruitland Park, Fla., led with 14-9. In second was Meta Burrell of Fort Worth, Texas, with 12-11. Third was Jacksonville, Fla.'s Donnie Smith, with 12-2.The winning co-angler will take home a Triton/Mercury boat rig valued at $32,000.Meanwhile, the Thursday catch of Georgia co-angler Steven Wells was disqualified for violation of Rule 14, which states "partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other's catch."Bassmaster Open sponsors include Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury, Purolator, Skeeter, Yamaha, Optima Batteries and Triton Boats.Local sponsors include the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Location and Field

 

Bassmaster Southern Open

 

Santee Cooper Reservoir

 

Summerton, S.C.

 

May 8-10, 2008

 

 

Field

 

185 pros, 185 co-anglers

 

Cut to top 30 pros and co-anglers after Day 2

 

 

Launch/Weigh-in

 

6:15 a.m. ET/2:30 p.m. ET

 

John C. Land III Boating & Sportfishing Facility

 

Log Jam Road

 

Summerton, S.C.

 

 

About BASS

 

For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in www.Bassmaster.com and www.ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women's Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.BASS also offers a wide array of services to its more than 525,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

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