South Carolina angler Patrick Walters takes over the lead at Santee Cooper heading to Showdown Saturday.

Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons

With a two-day total of 46 pounds, 8 ounces, South Carolina angler Patrick Walters takes over the lead at Santee Cooper. His 22-pound, 8-ounce day one weight had him in second place after day one, but his biggest bag of the tournament of 24-pounds even gives him a 3-pound, 5-ounce advantage going into Showdown Saturday.

Walters managed a stingy Santee Cooper and increased his bites from seven to over 12 on day two. He is rotating through several spots and baits and fishing what feels right.

“I caught them on a bunch of stuff and had a little flurry where I caught two good fish,” said Walters. “Once the cold front hit me at like one, they shut down and stopped biting.”

As for the final day, more of the same from the South Carolina angler looking to redeem himself from a less-than-stellar Elite Series event earlier in the season.

“I am going to fish a few areas tomorrow,” added Walters. “I may run across the lake and just let things develop as I have been.”

Will Harkins
Adding 22 pounds, 15 ounces to his 20-pound, 4-ounce limit on day one, Will Harkins moves into the second-place spot on Santee Cooper with a two-day weight of 43 pounds, 3 ounces.

With a goal of 20 pounds when he left the dock this morning, Harkins was unsure if he would get enough bites to hit his target weight. With one fish in the box early, he stuck with his offshore brush game and rotated through several bites to catch quality bass.

“I have still not hardly touched my main area,” said Harkins. “The wind has been bad and today was mostly plan B for me. I caught them on a variety of baits trying to fire them up and this afternoon I did cull twice on the main lake.

His plan for the final day is simple. Start where he has been fishing to get a solid limit, and then move to his main area and try to catch as many as possible.

Todd Goade
Adding 22 pounds to his day one weight of 18 pounds, 14 ounces, Todd Goade moves into the third-place spot with a two-day total of 40 pounds, 14 ounces.

Goade is fishing a mix of areas with different cover and relying on timely decisions that have been paying off. Going into the final day, he hopes to keep taking advantage of timing and expand on his four main areas.

“This week has been all about good decisions and timing,” said Goade. “I found a new area on google earth that looked like it has the right stuff and culled a couple of times in there. And, with 20 minutes left before check-in, I went back to where I lost that big fish yesterday, made the same flip, and put a 5-pounder in the boat.”

He is looking forward to the final day and plans on sampling all four of his productive areas.

“When I am in contention but not leading, it lets me fish freely, and combined with how this week has gone, I cannot wait to go again tomorrow,” he added.

Timmy Reams
The Progressive Angler of the Year leader Timmy Reamsstarted the event with a 16-pound, 6-ounce bag on day one which had him outside the top ten looking in. Reams showed his consistency by making a comeback on day two with 21-pounds, 8-ounces and moved into the fourth-place spot.

After a tough practice, Reams survived a tougher day one and continue to explore new water each day. His “whatever looks good” pattern has moved him to the top of the leaderboard and taken the pressure off for Angler of the Year.

“From yesterday to today, I just got some bigger bites,” said Reams. “That is the difference in weight. The wind is not affecting me at all so that helps, but I just explored more around places from practice and fished anything that looked good.”

“With the AOY now out of mind, I am looking forward to getting out and just going fishing.”

Quentin Cappo
With only two fish for 5 pounds on day one, Quentin Cappo dropped the “dirty thirty” on day two on Santee Cooper. His two-day total of 35 pounds has him in the fifth-place spot going into the final day.

Rest of the best:
Kevin Martin 34-6
Nick Brown 33-10
Randy Sullivan 33-5
Sheldon Collings 31-12
Darrel Robertson 31-11