MANNING, S.C. — Davy Hite loves Santee Cooper Lakes, so much that he and his wife, Natalie, purchased a condo in Santee earlier this year. The 55-year-old South Carolina native has fished here since he was a kid and competed professionally here several times over his B.A.S.S. career.
There’s no one better qualified for a show-and-tell session on Santee Cooper than Davy Hite, the 1999 Bassmaster Classic champion and the two-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, if you want to know what’s going to happen in the four-day Elite Series tournament that begins here Thursday.
First, he “told” photographer Andy Crawford and me. Then he “showed” us. This tournament was originally scheduled for April 16-19, before the Covid-19 pandemic shook up the world and the Elite Series schedule.
“If this tournament had been held in the spring, it would have taken 100 pounds, plus or minus a little, to win,” said Hite, who is now part of the “Bassmaster LIVE” crew. “It’s hard to say this time of year, but I’d guess somewhere around 70 or 80 pounds. It’s going to fish very similar to Guntersville (last week) because of the time of year.
“It’s going to be feast or famine. There will be some real good stringers and some people who can’t catch one.”
That was the “tell” part of this excursion Wednesday morning. The “show” part came as we cruised around the lake and had brief conversations with various anglers.