Conway High anglers with South Carolina championship

What first seemed an inconsequential catch proved the winning fish for Conway duo

Two weeks earlier, Austin Winburn and Chandler Brown had fished a spot on Lake Murray in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Youth Bass Fishing Championship, but with little luck.

The duo weighed in only one bass, and finished well down the standings in the High School Division.

Last Saturday, Winburn and Brown, both freshmen competing for Conway High School, returned to Lake Murray to fish in the South Carolina BASS Junior Bassmasters and High School Championship.

When the day dawned, Winburn was determined to fish the same, unproductive spot, but for good reason.

“We had seen big fish cruising along the bank – they were really big,” said Winburn. “We had seen a few beds in there and made a point to go back there. In the DNR Tournament we went to the same spot and lost a five-pounder. It just broke my heart the rest of the day.”

With Glenn Cribb, a friend of Austin’s parents, Matt and Sherry Winburn, serving as captain, the duo returned to the same spot that Cribb described as “a pocket off the main lake.”

Winburn got the day started by catching a 3.93-pound bass, their biggest of the day, on a buzz bait from a canal that flows into the pocket.

“That’s the only fish we caught blind-casting,” said Winburn. “The other fish we caught were on beds and we sight-casted (to them).”

They used a 1/2-ounce jig with a brownish craw trailer, mimicking a crawfish, to catch bedding bass.

“Whatever gets in their bed, they get mad at it and eventually will bite it,” said Winburn.

After enduring rain showers throughout the day, the duo had a limit of five bass in the live well, and Winburn had caught all five. However, one was a small male in the 1.5-pound range.

Brown proceeded to come through when it counted most, landing a female in the 3.5-pound range very late in the day, enabling them to cull the small fish. The turn of events gave the duo an excellent five-fish limit….Full Story