Pee Dee offers options to competitors

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Competitors in the 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional will have plenty of options available when they take off from Georgetown each morning, beginning tomorrow.

They can head south to the Santee River system or go north to fish the Black, Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers.

“Historically, most of the tournaments have been won off the Waccamaw River section, which is part of the intercostal waterway,” said Chris Jones, a Conway Bassmasters club member who frequently fishes the river system.

Jones said he expects bass will be in the prespawn and spawning stages during the divisional. The fish will be no deeper than 6 feet along bottoms with a mixture of sand and hard mud.

Jones added that the best lures for prespawn bass on the rivers are crawfish- or shad-pattern Rapala Shad Rap crankbaits and 1/4- or 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits in white or perch hues. For spawning bass, try various Texas rigged soft plastics such as 6- to 7-inch plastic worms and beaver-style or creature baits in red shad, junebug or black-and-blue.

Paying close attention to water flow will be a key to catching bass on these tidal rivers.

“A general rule of thumb is the last two hours of falling and the first two hours of rising are the best tides,” Jones said. “The outgoing tide is definitely going to be better.” He noted that bass stack up in the mouths of feeder creeks when the tide is going out.

River Facts

Forage base — crawfish, bluegill, shrimp, fiddler crabs and menhaden

River length — 232 miles

Water clarity — 1 foot or less of visibility

Dominant cover/structure — log laydowns, wood pilings, wood flood gates, feeder creeks

Predicted winning weight — 35 pounds