Drama unfolds at Lake Murray on Championship Monday of Bassmaster Elite Series event


COLUMBIA — South Carolina's Patrick Walters has led the first three days of the Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray. He is a five-time Bassmaster winner. He holds the honor of winning a Bassmaster event by the largest margin of victory. He likes to win in style.

Today's (Monday, May 13) final weigh-in should have happened yesterday. Severe weather postponed the first day of competition Thursday, and now Walters is trying to hang on to the lead on Championship Monday. Victory on Lake Murray is not guaranteed for Walters. He has some hungry young guns behind him who want to steal victory from him, including:

Fellow South Carolinian and rookie J.T. Thompkins, who has finished in the money 22 times out of 33 career tournaments fished.

Rookie phenom Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Illinois, who has taken the professional fishing world by storm. At age 19, he is the youngest angler to ever qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series, the youngest to join the Bassmaster Century Club (weighing 100 pounds in a tournament), the youngest to lead the Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race, the youngest to lead the Dakota Lithium Rookie of the Year points race and the youngest to win an Elite Series event.

All eyes will be on the stage Monday at Dreher Island State Park to see who stands on top and claims the title of Lake Murray Elite Series Champion.

Weigh-in will be at Dreher Island State Park at 3 p.m.

The Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray is free and open to the public. 

Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming on Bassmaster.com on Championship Monday.

The event is being hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country.

WHO: The tournament pits 102 of the top bass anglers in the world — including Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year leader Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., South Carolina pros Todd Auten, Brandon Cobb, Bryan New, JT Thompkins, Patrick Walters and Jason Williamson against big bass and one another as they battle for the coveted championship trophy, $100,000 first-place prize and a total purse of more than $766,000. 

WHERE: Dreher Island State Park, 3677 State Park Road, Prosperity, S.C., 29127.

*Parking on Dreher Island is $3 (per adult), $1.50 (adults 65 years and older) and $1 (ages 6-15).