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      Couples championship set for Lake Eufaula

ATHENS, Ala. – The best anglers fishing the American Bass Anglers American Couples Series will compete for annual bragging rights and cash prizes on Lake Eufaula, announced ABA officials.

Set for Sept. 18-19, the 2014 ABA American Couples Series Championship will run out of Lakepoint Resort State Park in the town of Eufaula, Ala. Hosted by the Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce, the event actually begins Sept. 16, with the Directors Dinner at Lakepoint. Tournament registration will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 17, followed by a dinner and competitor meeting at Lakepoint.

The anglers will fish on Sept. 18 and 19. Each team may bring in up to five bass per day. The heaviest total bag wins the event, regardless of which person on the team caught the fish. The champion team will win their choice of $4,000 in cash or an exclusive trip to Ray Scott’s personal lake.

Officially named Walter F. George Reservoir, the impoundment covers 45,181 acres along the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia border. The main river and numerous creek channels combine to create 640 shoreline miles.

Lake Eufaula dates to 1962 and quickly garnered a reputation for producing big bass. Over the years, Lake Eufaula produced many double-digit bass. It still holds excellent numbers of 1- to 4-pound bass and plenty 5- to 8-pounders. It still produces occasional double-digit fish including a few up to 12 pounds.

Many anglers fish Cowikee Creek near Lakepoint. Some holes in the channel drop to more than 30 feet deep. About 25 miles downriver from Lakepoint, deep bluffs near the causeway or the riprap near the dam can hold fish. Many anglers also fish Sandy Branch or Pataula Creek, the largest tributary on the Georgia side just north of the dam, Hardridge, Thomas Mill, Barbour, Chewalla and Chenyhatchee creeks.

In the series, angling couples may compete in 15 divisions from Florida to Colorado and north to Massachusetts. Each entrant pays a $40 annual couple membership fee or a $25 individual membership fee to join the circuit. Then, each team pays $100 per event to enter a specific tournament.

Each division holds events within its area to qualify anglers to fish the championship. Teams bringing in the best catches during each event win cash prizes based upon the total entrants for that event with opportunities to participate in cash pots for catching the biggest bass. Some anglers may also win cash and prizes from sponsor bonuses. In order to participate in the championship, each team must fish at least three divisional events during the season.

One man and one woman must comprise a team. Although many married couples compete together as teams, some teams consist of boyfriend and girlfriend combinations, parent-child combinations or just two friends. Contestants between 14 and 18 years old may participate with a parent’s written permission. Any member can fish in any division tournament. Quite frequently, teams fish two or three trails throughout the season.

Once a team forms, that couple must fish together for the entire season. If for whatever reason, one member of a team cannot fish an event, the other member may fish that event alone, but not with another person. During the season, a representative of the original team may fish only two tournaments alone to accumulate points. These points count toward qualification to fish the championship. The top 200 teams nationally, based upon total number of points, may compete in the 2014 ABA American Couples Series Championship.

Coming up, the Alabama North Division will hold the first event of the new year on Feb. 1 out of Waterfront Landing on Lake Guntersville near the town of Guntersville, Ala. The South Carolina Division will hold an event on Feb. 15 out of Buffalo Creek Marina on Lake Murray near Columbia, S.C.

For more details on the American Couples Series, call ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com/Couples or www.abacouples.com.

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As the sport of fishing continues to lure in more people, couples across the country have found it to be one of the greatest hobbies available today. Spending time in the outdoors is one of the very best ways to not only enjoy the natural beauty of our lakes and rivers, but to enjoy that with special friends.



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