Santee, Guntersville results similar

To complete a nine-event season, Lake Guntersville was added in place of New York’s Cayuga Lake, which was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. Officials in Scottsboro, Ala., stepped up to help bring the Elites back and B.A.S.S. to fill its original nin

These are by all accounts two of the best bass fisheries in the country. Alabama’s Lake Guntersville and South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Lakes are ranked near the top of almost everyone’s list.

The two obvious differences are fishing pressure and size. There may be no other lake in the U.S. that gets the fishing pressure Guntersville does. That was the refrain at the Elite Series tournament there last week – how the bass have been beat on every day all year long. As far as size, Santee Cooper, which includes “the inland sea” of 110,000-acre Lake Marion and 60,000-acre Lake Moultrie, is well over twice the size of 69,000-acre Guntersville.

So you’d figure the bigger, less-pressured Santee Cooper would fish better than the smaller, highly-pressured Lake Guntersville, right?

As you can see in the chart below, the two have produced similar results over the first three days of the Elite Series tournaments the last two weeks. The fickle nature of early fall fishing seems to be the great equalizer.

Day 3 GuntersvilleSantee Cooper
1st place 49-0 50-10
10th place43-11 42-13
25th place 38-5 37-4
Big bag 19-7 25-8
Big bass 8-6 9-7
Total bass 862863
Total weight 2,293-4 2,318-5
Ave. wt/bass 2.66 2.69
5-bass limits 137/210 127/210
Limit % 65.2%60.5%