McCoy wins Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale on Santee Cooper Lakes | Bass Fishing
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McCoy wins Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale on Santee Cooper Lakes

Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media
Published April 9, 2018

Pro Ronnie McCoy of Lamar, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 2 ounces, to the weigh-in stage Saturday - 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.