Very good weekend at Hartwell

The third stop of the Bassmaster Elite Series season took place this past weekend at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina, a lake that I had some good history on.
Several of the spots that produced fish for me on past visits were good again to help me get my season back on track after a rough start.
After sitting in seventh place following day two of the tournament, I fished the third day and landed a 13th-place finish in the event.
The full field of 75 anglers fished the first two days, then the field is cut the 35 for day three and the top ten fish a fourth day.
I only missed qualifying for the final day by about a pound, which was disappointing but I’m still calling it a great week.
I won some money and earned some good points towards qualifying for next years Bassmaster Classic tournament.
Local angler Brandon Cobb, one of my friends that moved over to Bassmaster this year from the FLW Tour, won the tournament with a four day total of 72 pounds, four ounces.
He led the tournament wire-to-wire, which is a rare feat in these events. Local anglers don’t always win when they get these big tournaments on their home waters but it does happen from time to time.
Brandon is a great guy and friend so I was happy to see him collect his trophy.
I can only wish that I could get to fish one of these pro tournaments on Lake of the Woods or Rainy Lake, but logistically the chances of that ever happening are slim unfortunately.
It’s too bad because both lakes have such good fishing and they are big bodies of water, they would be great venues.
I’ll keep learning as I go down south and hopefully I’ll get a chance to hold a trophy over my head at some point.
It’s springtime in the south and the bass on Hartwell were getting ready to spawn so most of the fish were shallow.
I had a spot where I could catch my limit quickly every morning, a point where bass were feeding on schools of bait then I would fish shallow the rest of the day, fishing around boat docks and casting to any type of cover I could find along the bank. It was fun fishing.
We’re right back at it this week, fishing another tournament out of Winyah Bay on the South Carolina coast. Bassmaster held an event here three years ago and the fishing was much tougher than most of the waters that we visit.
It’s a challenging venue because we actually take off from salt water and have to run up rivers along the coast. It’s a lot of water to cover and relatively tough fishing.
After a day of practice, I surprised myself and actually found a few places with fish so hopefully I can expand on it a little bit before the tournament starts on Thursday.
After the tournament I get to head home for a couple of weeks before the season resumes again the first week of May at Lake Fork, Texas.
Fishing these back to back tournaments is a workout on the body but from a travel standpoint it works well for me because I get to knock off two events in one trip.
Look for the tournament report from Winyah Bay in next weeks column.