The Bassmaster Elite Series heads southeast from Lake Hartwell to Georgetown on the South Carolina coast for stop No. 4 on Winyah Bay. Anglers compete from Thursday to Sunday on Winyah Bay, which is hosting its second Elite tournament.
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Georgetown, once a region where pirates roamed, was established before the United States of America was formed. It’s closing in on 300 years of existence.
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The Winyah Bay fishery is one of the larger Elite playing fields, with anglers able to run up a number of rivers.
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The takeoffs are scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex, 800 Venture Dr., Georgetown, S.C. Weigh-ins will be on the same site at 3:20 p.m. ET. All B.A.S.S. events are free to attend.
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The Elite Expo is on Saturday and Sunday, with activities for all ages, food and drinks. Meet the pros at Angler Alley is Saturday from 1-3 p.m., and join the LIVE Watch Party on Sunday from 1-3:30.
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Fans can fill out an entry to win VIP seating to the Sunday weigh-in and be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2020 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
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Along with all the expo activities, fans can also enjoy two free concerts on Saturday, from 6-9 p.m. at Francis Marion Park. The Winyah Bay Heritage Festival features Collin Raye and Jason Michael Carroll. More info on the festival can be found at fishgeorgetown.com.
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The 2016 Elite event here was won after a nearly 2-hour run southwest down the intracoastal waterway near Charleston then up the Cooper River toward the famed Santee Cooper lakes of Moultrie and Marion.
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There are hazards along that run, including a tide swing of several feet. Davy Hite, now with the Bassmaster TV crew, missed qualifying for the Classic when he got grounded because of a falling tide and missed the weigh-in.
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In 2016, anglers who opted to stay close found big bass few and far between, although the largest weighed in was an 8-pound, 9-ounce lunker. Mark Menendez shows an angler might not find the quality spawning bass that helped him reach his second Top 10 this season at Lake Hartwell.
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Chris Zaldain played it up when emcee Dave Mercer described his “t-t-t-t-tiny bass.”
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But Zaldain did find large enough bass to finish 10th in 2016.
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Carl Jocumsen was one angler who found the quality up the Cooper River, leading on Day 1 with a bag of 19-11. The biggest bag of the event was 24-7.
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The event turned into a three-man race, with Britt Myers winning his first Elite title with a four-day total of 56-3. The top three were separated by only 1 pound, and fourth place was 9 pounds back.
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Bassmaster LIVE airs from 8-11 a.m. ET then noon-3 p.m. each day.
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Many anglers have pointed to Winyah Bay as a wild card in the season, where tight standings and one big fish, or one missed fish, can change fortunes. Bassmaster.com will cover the fourth stop of the Elites from Wednesday’s angler meeting to Sunday’s trophy presentation, and then which baits were most effective.