Lyman's Marty Robinson is ready for the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite event at Winyah Bay, which starts tomorrow, and while he admitted he's no fortune teller, he said he expects the winning weight to be fairly low in comparison to other venues on the Series' schedule for 2016.
"With this crowd, with these anglers we have, you can never really tell. One of these guys is bound to find a hole with some good fish in it, but I'm thinking the overall winning weight will be somewhere around 54 pounds," he said.
Robinson spent the past two days fishing in the Waccamaw River, the Pee Dee River, and the Little Pee Dee River, all north of the Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex in Georgetown. He fished the Cooper River on Monday, and many anglers believe the Cooper could hold the key to winning this event for anglers that are willing to gamble on making the long run down that far.
Robinson, one of six South Carolina anglers fishing this event, said even though the Cooper does hold an abundance of quality fish, he's not excited about making the run there.
"It's a big gamble. It takes almost two hours each way, so if you're making that run, you're committing four hours of the day on traveling. That doesn't leave you much time to fish. Anyone making that run already has a spot in mind, and if it doesn't work out at that spot, you are really out of options because there won't be enough time for a backup plan," Robinson said.
Still, he admits it's tempting to make that run, and said he still may if he feels the need to, but it's not his first, second, or third choice.
"I'm planning on staying up this way and fishing the Waccamaw and Pee Dee Rivers. I've got some places scouted out and I've gotten some bites there in the last couple of days. I feel pretty good about my plan. It will be interesting to see how things play out," he said.
The tournament starts with 111 anglers, and will shrink to 50 on day three. Robinson said he feels good about making that first cut if he can bring eight pounds to the scales each day.
"I think it will take about 8 pounds a day to make that first cut. So, 16 pounds in two days, I think is going to put you in the money," he said.
That's not a lot in this tournament trail, but Robinson said that's the nature of fishing in this type of venue.
"The fish are really spread out, but all these guys can find them. Even though it's a huge area that we can fish, a lot of it – like the main rivers – really aren't going to be good spots. The good spots will be the backwaters and the ditches that are off the main river. They hold good bass, but all these guys know it, so you're going to have a lot of guys fishing the same water. These river systems are full of 2-pound bass, and if you can put a 4-pounder in the boat along with a few of those, you're gonna be in good shape," he said.