Most anglers don’t really need a monetary motivation to go fishing. By the same token, most anglers could use a few extra bucks in their pocket. You never know when that favorite rod and reel might come on sale and its nice to be prepared.
When you consider there are $39,200 up for grabs in cash and prizes it might jut be worth a go. The opportunity is the Big Fish Big Bucks Fishing Derby. Prizes are given for fish caught on Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie and the Diversion Canal of the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina.
The Third Annual Derby will run from March 28, 2016 to April 24, 2016. These are world-class fishing waters known for big fish. They held the world records for Striped Bass until 1993. The big striper weighed 55 pounds. The world record Arkansas blue catfish of 109.4 pounds was held until 1996.
More examples of the world-class fishing are the state records currently held by Santee Cooper anglers. They include largemouth bass at 16.2 pounds, black crappie at 5 pounds, chain (jack) at 6.4 pounds, shellcracker at 5.7 pounds, warmouth at 2.25 pounds, channel catfish at 58 pounds, Arkansas blue catfish at 109.4 pounds and flathead catfish at 77.3 pounds. Does that sound like a good place to go fishing?
Anglers must be registered to participate, but that is an easy obstacle to overcome. Licensed adults can enter for $10 and children under 16 can register for $5. Once local anglers are registered they are good for the entire derby.
Out of town and out of state anglers can participate too. If a visiting angler is fishing with a guide a registration can be bought for $5 and is good for the length of the hire. Of course all anglers must have a valid South Carolina Fishing License in their possession
Sponsored by Santee Cooper Country, the event offers prizes for the biggest fish in four categories: Bass, Crappie, Catfish and Striper (Rock Fish). One daily prize of $100 and one weekly prize of $500 will be awarded to the biggest fish in each class. When the derby ends the biggest fish in each class will earn $5,000 dollars.
Just to be on the safe side and keep everything on the up and up, the Grand Prize winners will be required to take a polygraph test. This step will assure the prize winning fish were caught legally and within the rules of the derby.
More than $39,000 in cash and prizes is pretty good encouragement to do something you like to do anyway. So, don’t be that guy or gal that catches the big one without being registered. That scenario has happened every year in the past; just don’t let it happen to you this year. Get registered!
Ticket sales will begin March 21, 2016. As of this writing the following establishments are lined up to sell tickets and serve as official weigh stations:
Tickets and Weight stations:
Blacks Camp, 1370 Blacks Camp Rd., Cross, SC
Canal Lakes Fish Camp, 139 Canal Landing Rd., Cross, SC
Hill’s Landing, 728 Hills Landing Rd., Cross, SC
Jack’s Creek Marina, 2226 Jack’s Creek Rd. Summerton, SC
Taw Caw Campground and Marina, 1328 Joyner Dr., Summerton, SC
Pack’s Landing, 9890 Pack’s Landing Rd. Pinewood, SC
Stumphole Landing, 18 Halter Ct., Elloree, SC
Weigh Station Only
Short Stay, 211 Short Stay Rd., Moncks Corner, SC
Ticket Sales Only
Cajun Guide Service, Vance SC
Capt. Dough Allan, Bonneau, SC
Bell’s Marina, 12907 Old #6 Hwy., Eutawville, SC
Santee Cooper Country Visitors Center, 9202 Old #6 Hwy., Santee, SC
For more information on the derby, including rules, last years winners and photos, visit the website at bigfishbigbucks.com.