Bassmaster Elite heads to Santee Cooper lakes


CLARENDON COUNTY - Eighty-five of the world's best bass anglers will take to the waters of lakes Marion and Moultrie when the Bassmaster Elite Series begins Oct. 8 at John C. Land III Sport Fishing Facility, 4404 Greenall Road, Summerton.

The tournament was originally scheduled for April; however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced tournament officials to move the spring event to the fall.

"This year, we unveiled the mantra 'Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams,'" said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. "Fans will have an opportunity to see our anglers compete on some of the best big-bass lakes in America."

The best-of-the-best bass anglers will go head to head in the four-day tournament on the lakes that Bassmaster Magazine ranked as No. 25 in the "Best Bass Lakes of the Decade."

Four South Carolina professional anglers will be competing.

Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, who reeled in the rare feat of winning two Bassmaster Elite Series in 2019, will be in a field of 85 pro anglers fishing in the tournament. Todd Autin of Lake Wylie, who finished in second place in the 2020 Academy Sports & Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, will also be in the field. Patrick Walters of Summerville, who is currently in 16th place in the running for Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race, will be in the event. Walters, who was on the University of South Carolina bass fishing team, qualified for the Bassmaster College National Championship all four years he attended USC. Jason Williamson of Wagener, who has won more than $1.1 million on the BASS circuit, will also be in the field.

"The Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooker Lakes will pit 85 of the top bass anglers in the world against one another for the $100,000 first-place prize," said Emily Harley, BASS communications manager. "The total purse for the event is more than $700,000."

On Oct. 8 and 9, all 85 anglers will be competing for a chance to become just one of 40 anglers who will move on to Day 3 of the competition. On Day 4, just 10 anglers will take to the massive lakes of Marion and Moultrie for a chance to take home the top honor. The anglers will also be competing for points that could move them up the ranks in the race to winning the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award and a chance to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.

On all four days of competition, the anglers will launch from John C. Land III Sport Fishing Facility at 7:05 a.m. with the official weigh-in beginning at 3:20 p.m. at the facility.

Live coverage of the event will be carried on and ESPN3. Weigh-ins will be aired on (

The John C. Land III Sport Fishing Facility has hosted 13 major BASS events since holding the Southern Open tournament in 2009.

The facility which is located on the shores of Potato Creek is made for professional angler tournaments. Its six-lane boat ramp with four courtesy docks is perfect for launching the powerful competition boats. The facility's paved parking lot can accommodate more than 170 vehicles with trailers with additional parking for 200 vehicles.