Santee Cooper Set to Host MLF Toyota Series South Division Tournament

Santee Cooper Set to Host MLF Toyota Series South Division Tournament


Major League Fishing (MLF) is set to return to Summerton and Clarendon County, South Carolina, for a tournament next week, April 7-9, with the Toyota series presented by ARE at Santee Cooper. The three-day tournament, organized by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerceis the second event of the season for the Toyota Series Southern Division.

The tournament will feature the area’s top bass fishing pros and fellow Strike King anglers for a top prize of up to $75,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 pro boat with an outboard motor. 115 horsepower Mercury board, in the fisherman co-division.

“It will be a fun event to watch,” said Bass Pro Tour angler Anthony Gagliardi, who resides in Prosperity, South Carolina. “Santee is still a bit ahead of Lake Murray in spawning, but I expect to see fish in all three phases. Whether post-spawning fish play or not – i.e. target shad spawn – will likely depend on the weather. But it’s a very good fishery and they’re going to catch a lot of big fish there next week.

Gagliardi said while some areas of the lake are historically good, he expects the majority of the terrain to be quite extensive.

“With the two lakes in play – and each one is really big – there’s definitely plenty of exploitable water,” Gagliardi said. “I think we’ll see some guys going back to the backwater ponds and some swampy areas up the river, but some will target the big flats at the lower end. Fish are also known to come out in these stump fields. Guys are really going to have a lot of options available to them.

When asked what baits he would cast if he entered this event, Gagliardi offered a trio of options he hopes will play a role for competitors.

“I would definitely have a spinnerbait attached, it’s really nice here at this time of year. I’d have a frog or some kind of surface bait, and I’d have a wacky rig ready to go – something for bed fishing, as there will definitely be spawners caught in this one.

Anglers will depart daily at 7:00 a.m. CT from John C. Lane III Landing, located at 4404 Greenall Road in Summerton, SC. Weigh-ins will also take place at the landing stage, starting at 3:00 p.m. on the first two days of competition – Thursday and Friday – and at 4:00 p.m. on the Saturday of the Championship. Fans are invited to attend and encouraged to follow the event online via “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage on

After an event in the Toyota Series South Division, Robert Branagh of Malabar, Florida leads the Pro Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 260 points, while Brent Jones of Okeana, Ohio leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY. race with 260 points.

In the Toyota Series regular season competition, payouts are based on the number of entrants competing in the event, increasing for 20 boats above 160 and decreasing for each boat below 160. With a field of 160 boats, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an additional $35,000 if the Phoenix MLF bonus has qualified. Strike King co-fishermen took home the top prize for a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115 horsepower Mercury outboard (worth $33,500). With a field of 260 boats, pros fish for a maximum prize pool of $65,000, plus an additional $35,000 if the Phoenix MLF bonus is qualified. Strike King co-fishermen took home the top prize for a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with 115 horsepower outboard (worth $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.

The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by ARE consists of six divisions – Central, North, Plains, South, Southwest and West – each hosting three regular season events, as well as International and Wild Card divisions. Anglers who fish in one of six divisions and finish in the top 25 – or top 12 in the Wild Card Division – will qualify for the Toyota Series No Entry Fee presented by the ARE Championship for a chance to win up to to $235,000 in cash. . Championship-winning Strike King co-fisherman wins a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115 horsepower Mercury outboard motor. The 2022 Toyota Series Presented by ARE Championship will be held Nov. 3-5 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama and is hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 Toyota MLF Series presented by ARE include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, ARE Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Outlaw Ordnance, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, TH Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For more details and updated information, visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF Toyota series on MLF5 social media at Facebook, instagram and Youtube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest fishing tournament organization, producing more than 250 events a year in some of the world’s most prestigious fisheries, while broadcasting in American living rooms on CBS, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network and on demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF list of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, the MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh-in and immediate release events to include the five biggest most powerful fish format tournament circuits in the sport. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television and live streams and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, to education, the improvement of fishing and the care of fish.

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