On The Santee-Cooper Lakes
Motel, Restaurant & Tackle Shop
RANDOLPH'S LANDING 24TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CATFISH TOURNAMENT Manning, S.C.
Randolph's Landing, located in Manning, on Hwy 260 at the Santee Dam, Lake Marion in keeping with a tradition began 24 years ago by former owner, Jim Herring, held their 24th National Championship Catfish Tournament, Sept. 23rd & 24th, 2006. Owners, Nick & Lena Lucas, Randolph's Restaurant and Accommodations Staff, Cathy, Brook, J. T. "Dirt", Steve, and Johnny welcomed and enjoyed all the anglers and their great fishing experience stories. They're looking forward to seeing everyone and their family and friends for the State Championship Catfish Tournament- March 24-25, 2007.
Not only do anglers come to enjoy the excellent fishing at one of the top catfishing lakes in the country, they come to relax in very comfortable accommodations, get everything you need for an adventuresome fishing trip at their tackle shop, and eat their delicious food at the restaurant. That Friday's special was Catfish Stew. It was the best I have ever had. But, besides that- anglers come here to compete for the huge payouts that this tournament has earned the respect for over the years bringing in many fishermen. Seventy-One boats gathered for the 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning blast off of the 24th Annual Tournament to compete for a total purse of $7,100.00.
"The weather forcast was good. Blastoff was perfect weather. Later that day the temps rose into the high 80's- a little hot and the winds picked up pretty good Saturday evening making white caps," says Cathy Caudill of Randolph's. " This is a favorite tournament for the fishermen because they have a full day and night of fishing even though it got rough out there."
Last years winner, David Rorie woke up with bad luck.
"My bait was all dead, " he said.
Then after going all the way up the upper lake- he hit a stump and it began to fill his pontoon. "I opened her all the way up and kept coming- we were 5 mile markers up and I just got another engine on her, so I kept going as fast as I could and made it back in to the landing." Spectators ran to his rescue and sat on the bow of the boat trying to keep the one pontoon out of water while one of his teammates ran to back the truck and trailer down to the ramp and get it out before it sank.
This years and last years sponsor, C. J.' s Marine, Jimmy Kelly and his wife Connie, were on hand. One team's pontoon experienced electrical trouble and was towed back in. C. J. had the starter in stock- after a short delay they were back in the tournament.
Jimmy Kelly~ C. J. 's Marine- Manning
The tournament included an optional Catch & Release Big Fish Pot- 100% Payback. 1st Place Winner gets 60% of the pot. This years 1st Place Big Fish Catch & Release Pot Winner was Paul Osborne taking home $1,050.00. 10th Place- that's right- Tenth Place wins 40%. The 10th Place Catch & Release Big Fish Pot Winner was the team of Bajaraski winning $700.00.
"Randolph's encourages catch & release." says Lucas. "Each teams Big Fish has too be weighed in alive and released. The other 4 fish can be released, donated to a local children's home, or kept by the anglers."
At the Final 1 p.m. Weigh-in on Sunday, Sept. 24th the entire area was packed with spectators watching the big fish coming in by the wheelbarrows.
"I would like to thank the businesses who supported this tournament," said Lucas. "These are in no particular order. C. J. 's Marine, Lanes, and all of the participating Manning businesses. Bell's Marina, Yankee Clipper, Santee Grocery, Oliver's Liquor Store, Ned's Wholesale Bait Shop, Lebanon Quick Stop, Eutawville IGA, Holly Hill Ace Hardware, Buddy's of Eutawville, Bell's Marina Restaurant, Hill's Landing, Pete's Quick Stop, Cross Seafood, Canal One Stop, Black's Camp, Canal Lakes Fish Camp, Johnston's Landing, Cotton's Place Sports Bar & Grocery, Fisherman's Bar, Henry's Bait & Tackle, Blount's Landing, Jose's Performance Outboard, Rock's Pond Campground & Marina, Stop and Shop Liquors, Lakeside Marina and Resort, Mr. Dan's & Crossed Oars Tavern, Santee Cajun Guide, Stumphole Landing, Coasters, Smith's Chevron, Shoney's at Santee, Big Water, Santee Lakes, Cooper's Landing, Polly's Landing, Santee Cooper Country Tourist Information Center, Crazy Joe's, Mill Creek Marina, Campground & Restaurant, Jack's Creek, Fisheagle Tours, Santee State Park, Lonestar Barbeque & Mercantile, Carson Brothers Feed & Seed, Poplar Creek, Elloree Lake Marion Properties, & South By Southwest. Thank you. The tournament date for the State Championship Catfish Tournament has been set for March 24 & 25, 2007. See you all in March!""
Here are the results for The 2006 National:
71 boats %100 payback- Total Purse~ 7,100.00
Paul Osborne of Manning, S.C. landed the biggest fish weighing in at 48.0 lbs. winning 1420.00 and was also in the Big Fish Pot that took $1,050 for 1st Place Biggest Fish! He also placed 8th Total Weight for a prize of $71.00. Osborne, fishing alone, caught his biggest fish working the channels and drop offs in the lower lake using perch about midnight. Osborne said that the New Moon that night had influenced his luck. "If you look at all the Big Fish Moon most records fish been caught on that new moon," he said. "The rough wind beat me up. It was rough. I lost my anchor."
Osborne expressed concern over the number of anglers who did not release their fish. "Sportsman fishing these tournaments, I wish they would practice more catch and release, donate the smaller fish but release the rest back in the lake so that future tournaments will produce these big fish that everyone comes to see."
What a great weekend of fishing for Paul! His winnings totaled $2541.00!
Paul Osborne with his 1st Place Big Fish Trophy and Winnings being congratulated by Nick Lucas.
Paul Osborne weighing in his biggest fish.
Total weight 1st Place went to The Team of Hilderbran, Jerry Hilderbran and Kevin Custer from Sherrillsford, NC They caught their winning weight of fish fishing the lower lake in the swamps with herring and white perch. They caught their biggest fish at 8 p.m.. Total Weight 1st Place was 145.4 lbs taking home $1,420.00$.
Nick Lucas presenting the 1st Place Total Weight Trophy to Winners, Kevin Custer and Jerry Hildebran. from Sherrillsford, N. C.
Photographs by~ Carole Lee Hinten of South Carolina Traveler www.sctraveler.com
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