Patrick Walters of Summerville put together a solid final-day catch Friday and captured the Bassmaster Eastern Open tournament fished on Lake Hartwell. Walters, a regular on the Bassmaster Elite circuit, had the third-largest catch of the 12 competitors who fished the final day with five bass that weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces and finished the three-day event with a total of 44-5. He earned $42,267.
Jayme Rampey of Liberty placed second, almost two pounds behind Walters with a total of 42-6, and earned $20,287. Andy Ricker of Pomaria was third at 40-12, winning $14,320.
This is Walters’ third Bassmaster victory. He and fellow University of South Carolina angler Tyler All won the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Winyah Bay. Walters also won the 2018 Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on the Red River.
“I really didn’t know how this week was going to pan out,” Walters said. “You can’t predict it; you just have to go fishing every single day and fish as hard as you can.
“That Red River definitely solidified that I could do it. But to do it here in Anderson, S.C., on Lake Hartwell, I absolutely love this lake. This means the world to me.”
Mark Grizzle of Cumming, Ga., won the co-angler division with a total weight of 21-10 and won $18,927. Cody Wilson of Ladson was third in the co-angler division with a catch of 18-5 and won $3,340. J.W. Smith of Goose Creek won the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass prize among co-anglers for his 6-0 catch.
Courtesy Tommy Brawell Special to The Post and Courier www.postandcourier.com