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South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Country Will Pay You to Fish

Black's Fish Camp

While anglers fish because they love it, wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for it? Well, here’s your chance.

Santee Cooper Country has announced their third annual Big Fish Big Bucks Fishing Derby, which will run from March 28 to April 24, 2016.

In all, there’s a total of $39,200 up for grabs in cash and prizes to be awarded for fish caught on Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, and the Diversion Canal of the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina.

Santee Cooper
Santee Cooper

These waters are known for world-class fishing. In fact, Santee Cooper anglers currently hold more than half a dozen state records.

The South Carolina records for largest largemouth bass (16.2 pounds), black crappie (5 pounds), chain/jack (6.4 pounds), shellcracker (5.7 pounds), warmouth (2.25 pounds), channel catfish (58 pounds), Arkansas blue catfish (109.4 pounds) and flathead catfish at (77.3 pounds) were all set at Santee Cooper.

Additionally, they held the world records for striped bass until 1993 at 55 pounds, and the Arkansas blue catfish record of 109.4 pounds was held until 1996.

Both in-state and out-of-state residents will have the opportunity to participate as long as they are licensed and registered. Registration for licensed adults is only $10 and children under 16 can register for just $5. Once registered, South Carolina residents are good for the entire duration of the derby.

Visiting out-of-state anglers fishing with a guide can register for $5. However, their registration is only valid for the length of the hire.

Prizes for the biggest fish in four categories: bass, crappie, catfish and striper (rock fish). There is a daily prize of $100 up for grabs and one weekly prize of $500 for the biggest fish in each class.

Facebook / Santee Cooper Country
Facebook / Santee Cooper Country

At the end of the derby, whoever lands the biggest fish in each class will earn $5,000 dollars. With the number of chances to win, your odds at putting a few extra bucks in your pocket are pretty good.

March is just around the corner so grab your favorite rod and reel, spool some fresh line and hit the water to scout for your honey holes now. Registration will begin on March 21, 2016 and can be purchased at the following locations, which will also serve as weigh stations throughout the derby:

Black’s Fish 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
Santee Cajun Guide Service, Vance SC
Capt. Doug 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 Big Fish Big Bucks website.

NEXT: A Fish Worth $10,000? This Lucky Angler Caught One!

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South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Country Will Pay You to Fish