The History of
Santee Cooper Cats - Catfish USA
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The Early Days
A couple of North Carolina boys needed to know when the fish were biting on the
Santee Cooper lakes. Hugh and myself (Wayne) loved fishing Santee Cooper.
Wayne had an RV set up on permanently leased lot at Mill Creek Marina.
Hugh stayed across the lake in his RV at Taw Caw Marina.

In an effort to schedule more productive fishing trips, We decided to open a
Yahoo Message Board named "Santee Cooper Cats" so we could trade current
fishing reports, tips and techniques with other fisherman that were near the lake.
We used those boards for current information about lake levels, weather
forecasts, and fishing reports so that we could schedule our frequent trips
to Santee Cooper at the most productive times.
We knew that there were many cat-fisherman in the same situation as us, and
had a permanent residence elsewhere but also had second residences around
the lake. leased RV lots in the local Marinas or, at least drove in for day
or weekend fishing trips and stayed in the local motels.
Thus, Santee Cooper Cats was born in the early part of 2000.
A Slow Start
We got off to a slow start at that Yahoo Message board.  Through the early part
of 2000, We had a small group but it seemed that our close knit group were the
cream of the crop.  We assembled about 10 cat-fisherman that had more than
200 years of combined experience on the Santee Cooper Lakes.  We were
happy with what the Group had become.  Sure, We didn't have hundreds of
Members but the few we had became like family to us as we shared ideas, posted
pictures in our photo albums, developed email friendships and, helped each
other develop and hone our cat fishing skills.
The Birth of the website
ON April 6th, 2001 we realized that our Yahoo Group was a bit difficult to
navigate. We had many good postings but there was no easy way to review
past postings and easily find answers to specific questions.  Every posting went
to a common message board and there was no way to designate messages into
seperate meaningful categories.  The necessity to become organized gave birth
to our website at www.santeecoopercats.net  We also archived the old Yahoo
Group and opened a new board at Yahoo called the "Santee Cooper Cat Net".
With the new website, We now had a way to categorize all of our information in
an easy to find manner.  Our group was growing, We tripled our size to
aproximately 30 Members by this time.  We already were becoming more
popular than the founders had ever dreamed of.  We were still a small group
but we had quality people in that group and we were happy with the results.
The First Annual Santee Cooper Cats Day
April 21st, 2001
By the beginning of 2001 things were going very well.  We had made a
multitude of new friends but we really didn't know who they were since we
haven't met them in person.  We scheduled the very first Santee Cooper Cats
Day for
April 21, 2001 and began taking reservations.  It was a simple process.
We would all meet at Mill Creek Marina, use their Pavillion as a base camp, get
to meet each other in person and, have a full day of fishing with our new
friends and their families.  It was an incredible success!  We spent the morning
making introductions and greeting the arrivals as they trickled in.  Some hit the
lake with their families to fish, others gathered at the Pavillion to share stories
and build lasting friendships.  We had reserved an area in the restaurant for
just after Noon for a group lunch.  After lunch, everyone resumed fishing,
entertaining the children on the beach and chatting under the pavillion.
See the Santee Cooper Cats "Day by Day" history page.
The Growth Continues
Throughout the remainder of the year 2001, Santee Cooper Cats continued to
grow in Membership. We were constantly upgrading and maintaining the
website.  By the end of 2001, We had become a "Full-Service" website for the
lakes covering every aspect of Santee Cooper.  We now had up-to-the-minute
fishing reports, Marina & Guide Services information, an extensive photo
album, etc.  We were and still are the only website that covers the entire
Santee Cooper experience.
On
May 5, 2001... Our original "Santee Cooper Cats" message forums at
Yahoo got a new name and location.  Leaving behind some
1600 + postings at
the original group, We officially became the "Santee Cooper Cat Net". Yahoo
still carried our discussion forums under the same format as our original group
but we started fresh and new under our new name.
During 2001, Yahoo Groups decided that they would bombard us with pop-up
ads and un-solicited emails. We dealt with that for only a short time!  We
archived the "Santee Cooper Cat Net" at Yahoo with it's
890 postings on April
4th, 2002
and opened a fresh location at MSN Communities carrying the
Santee Cooper Cat Net name along with us. MSN gave us the opportunity to
now post pictures directly into our messages along with other dress up choices
we didn't have before.   Our Santee Cooper Cats website continued it's rapid
growth also.
Santee Cooper Cat Net moves the Message
Boards to an MSN Community
On March 8, 2002... Santee Cooper Cats officially moved it's  "Santee Cooper
Cat Net"  message boards from Yahoo Groups to a brand new MSN
Community.  We weren't really enthusistic about making yet another move but
Yahoo had bombarded us with so much pop-up advertising and un-solicited
emails that it made it necessary.  The decision wasn't taken lightly!  Making
another move would mean that we would be leaving nearly 2500 postings
behind to date.  We decided to archive the "Santee Cooper Cat Net" boards at
Yahoo, (available
HERE ), and keep them available for anyone that needed to
look back into the past.  Those message boards are still in use by our Members
as a way to research past fishing trends and are regularly used as a tactical
planning tool for planning current fishing trips. Looking back on the situation
now, We're extremely happy  that we made the move and we're hopeful that
MSN will be our home for the group discussion forums well into the future.
Just shy of one year, Our new location at MSN received posting #
1000 on it's
"General"  board.  The  
ONE THOUSANDTH posting was made by Dgwar (Don)
 on
February 2, 2002 at aproximately 7 AM.
Visit our "Day by Day" History page for  more
information on the progress of Santee Cooper Cats.
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