Walters grabs early advantage in Bassmaster Elite Series event at Lake Murray

May 10, 2024

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Photo Caption/Credit: South Carolina’s Patrick Walters takes the Day 1 lead at the Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray with a five-bass limit weighing 25-8. Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

PROSPERITY, S.C. — With more than 48,000 acres, Lake Murray has plenty of places to find a bite. Dialing in the better ones is a process of elimination that favored home-state pro Patrick Walters. Sacking up a limit of 25 pounds, 8 ounces, the pro from Eutawville, S.C., leads Day 1 of the Minn Kota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray.

“There are a lot of shallow fish still left and there are a lot of fish moving deep,” said Walters, who anchored his limit with a 5-5. “It was about being able to go back and forth between shallow and deep.” Walters said he fished Murray top to bottom. While the lower end of a reservoir typically offers the clearest water, Walters said that was not his focus. Ultimately, for the post-spawners he sought, it was all about the food. “They bit today really well, but the fish are going to get pressured and the pods of fish are going to get broken up,” he said.

Lee Livesay of Longview, Texas, is in second place with 22-5. Starting his day on Murray’s lower end, Livesay caught most of his bass by targeting baitfish spawns, then moved uplake to fish riverine habitat. “I like the lower end in the morning because the water’s clear; then I think it’s a little easier to get bit up the river later in the day because the water’s dirtier,” Livesay said. “I caught four of my fish in the lower end and one in the upper end.”

Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., is in third place with 22-1. After enjoying a quick start to his day, Huff started running a mix of shallow targets and finished his opening round effort. “I had a limit of 19 pounds pretty quickly and then I caught two big ones in the afternoon,” he said. “It was just one of those days when your moves just feel right.

Joseph Webster of Hamilton, Ala. is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-6.

Cole Sands of Calhoun, Tenn., was found in violation of an element of the Bassmaster Sportsmanship rules. His first day’s catch was disqualified.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings with 480 points. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., is in second with 444, followed by Huff with 412, Chris Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, with 407, and Jacob Foutz of Charleston, Tenn., with 403.

McKinney also leads the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Dreher Island State Park. The weigh-in will be held at the park at 3 p.m., with only the Top 50 anglers advancing to Semifinal Sunday. Join in the angling fun at the family-friendly FREE* Bassmaster Elite Community Expo, on Saturday & Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Enjoy booths/exhibits from The Gamecock Bass Fishing Team, Realtor-Cat Thornton, Lews/Strike King fishing simulator, South Carolina Wildlife Federation (Saturday only), Armed Forces Fishing League (AFFL), and many more. Come hungry for Big Boys BBQ, Cinnamon Hill Kitchen, and Sarah’s Rockin’ Kitchen food trucks. Exhibits from B.A.S.S. sponsors include the Toyota Experience, Minn Kota/Humminbird, Dakota Lithium, Power Pole, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Daiwa, and Garmin. *Parking on Dreher Island is $3 (per adult), $1.50 (Adults 65 years and older), and $1 (Ages 6-15).

Follow all the action on FS1 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET. On Semifinal Sunday, watch live coverage on FS1from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 12:30-3 p.m. On Championship Monday watch live coverage on Bassmaster.com from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country.

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events, and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs, and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation, and youth fishing. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

 About Capital City/Lake Murray Country
CCLMC is the official source for all things Lake Murray Country. Find information on attractions, dining, hotels, outdoor recreation, fishing, golf, and events to plan your next trip. Explore The Top Southern Destinations of Columbia, Richland, Lexington, Newberry, and Saluda. For more information about CCLMC visit LakeMurrayCountry.com or call 803-781-5940 | 1-866-SC-Jewel.