The Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite tournament at Winyah Bay in Georgetown got off to a roaring start Thursday morning, weather-wise that is.
A nasty line of thunderstorms moved through about 7 a.m., disrupting the tournament’s blastoff and causing a 1 1/2-hour delay. The skies cleared quickly, but the anglers were greeted by rain again early Friday morning before the skies cleared again.
In all, windy conditions have prevailed during the first two days of fishing.
“The front came through and it’s been windy ever since,” said Conway’s Chris Jones, who is serving as a marshal during the four-day event. “It's been rough getting from place to place.”
The leader after two days of fishing is a South Carolinian – 41-year-old Britt Myers of Lake Wylie. Myers weighed in a five-fish limit both days for a 10-fish aggregate of 37 pounds, 15 ounces. Myers was one of 45 anglers out of the field of 109 who caught a limit both days.
The tournament marks the first Bassmaster Elite event staged out of Georgetown with the Carroll Ashemore Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River serving as tournament headquarters. Many anglers weren’t sure what to expect.
“For the most part the guys are shocked at the quality of fish we have here,” said Jones. “Of course, there were some that haven't done that well and didn't get it figured out.”
Fishing continues Saturday and Sunday out of the Campbell Marine Complex. The field was trimmed to the top 51 anglers for Saturday’s round of fishing and will be cut to the top 12 for Sunday’s finale.
Rounding out the top five behind Myers are Kelly Jordon (32-12) of Flint, Texas, Brett Hite (32-2) of Phoenix, Az., Keith Combs (26-1) of Huntington, Texas and Randall Tharp (25-8) of Port St. Joe, Fla.
A couple of well-known Bassmaster anglers – Kevin Van Dam (21-8) of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Shaw Grigsby Jr. (16-7) of Gainesville, Fla., – were well off the pace set by Myers.
Weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River, just off U.S. Hwy. 17.
To monitor the weigh-ins online, visit www.bassmaster.com/leaderboard/tournaments/bassmaster-elite-winyah-bay.