McCoy wins Costa FLW Series SouthEastern Division Finale on Santee Cooper Lakes presented by Bass Pro Shops
Pro Ronnie McCoy of Lamar, brought a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 2 ounces, to the weigh-in stage – his second 26+ pound limit of the tournament – to win the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division tournament on the Santee Cooper Lakes presented by Bass Pro Shops. McCoy’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 73 pounds, 8 ounces, was enough to earn him the grand prize package worth $93,500, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“I fished clean this week, from up in the swamp all the way down to the dam. It was fantastic,” said McCoy, who earned his first career win in Costa FLW Series competition. “I started each morning of the event targeting the shad spawn above the I-95 bridge and would catch a limit weighing around 15 to 18 pounds. From there, I’d fish all day to try and upgrade.”
McCoy said he used a homemade ½-ounce white double willow leaf spinnerbait with a white Black Flagg Slikk Shadd trailer and a white Z-Man/Evergreen Jack Hammer ChatterBait with the same Slikk Shadd trailer to target bass feeding on shad near cypress trees.
Following the morning bite on Thursday, McCoy said he went sight-fishing and ended up catching the largest bass of the tournament.
“I put a 9-pound, 9-ouncer and a 7-pounder in the boat from the same bed in Potato Creek using a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin-colored (Zoom) Road Kill with a ½-ounce tungsten weight,” said McCoy. “I also caught some good ones in Wyboo Creek, but those two big ones were the most important.”
On Friday, McCoy followed the same schedule but was only able to catch two small fish from beds. On championship Saturday, McCoy abandoned sight-fishing altogether and stayed above I-95, fishing the cypress trees to finish out the tournament.
“I was really fortunate to get those two for nearly 18 pounds on Thursday – they anchored my catch this week. I’m just really blessed.”
The top 10 pros on Santee Cooper Lakes finished:
1st: Ronnie McCoy, Lamar, S.C., 15 bass, 73-8, $93,500
2nd: Daniel Howell, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 67-13, $19,500
3rd: Jonathan Canada, Pelham, Ala., 15 bass, 65-2, $14,100
4th: Joey Sabbagha, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 63-14, $12,000
5th: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., 15 bass, 60-12, $11,000
6th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 14 bass, 58-8, $9,300
7th: Kent Ware, Guntersville, Ala., 14 bass, 57-1, $7,800
8th: Mark Hutson, Moncks Corner, S.C., 15 bass, 56-10, $6,800
9th: Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 14 bass, 54-9, $5,800
10th: Lex Costas, Daniel Island, S.C., 13 bass, 49-10, $4,400
A complete list of results will be posted at FLWFishing.com.
McCoy’s 9-pound, 9-ounce fish that he weighed on Thursday was the biggest of the tournament in the Pro Division. For his catch, McCoy earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $300.
The Costa FLW Series on Santee Cooper Lakes presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce. It was the third and final FLW Series Southeastern Division tournament of the 2018 regular season. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be the Central Division opener, held April 19-21 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri and is presented by Lowrance. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the International division. Each U.S. division consists of three regular-season tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to compete in the season-ending Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 1-3 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama, and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.