ATHENS, Ala. – Darren Taylor, of Watkinsville, GA, won the American Fishing Tour, presented by American Bass Anglers, South Carolina Division 96 qualifier tournament, held October 6, 2013, on Lake Russell, running out of the Hwy 72 Ramp Park near Elberton, GA.
It was a mostly sunny day on Lake Russell with a 5 to 10 mph wind out of the northeast and 86 degrees by the 3:00 pm weigh-in. Water temp averaged at 76 degrees. The main lake was clear but stained a little in the backs of creeks and up river.
Our winner, Darren Taylor, of Watkinsville, GA, caught his fish from middle part of the lake flipping and pitching a prototype creature bait that looked like a cross between a Sweet Beaver and a spider jig. He also caught some schooling fish on top. Darren weighed in five fish at 10.89 pounds. Darren also had the tournament big fish at 4.17 pounds. that came on the creature bait. Darren took home a check for $465.
Second place, Gene Parker, of Asheville, NC, fished the middle part of the lake as well. Gene’s fish came on a spinnerbait (his Gene Parker Spinnerbait used to win the 2011 AFT National Championship on Lake Murray). His five fish weighed in at 5.97 pounds. Gene took home a check for $203.
All in all a tough tournament with only four anglers having a five fish limit. Some fish were caught on top out of schools and some were caught on Carolina Rigs, drop shots, shaky heads ans crankbaits.
These anglers accrued valuable points toward the divisional angler of the year title. The points champion from each division will compete in the annual American Bass Anglers AFT Angler of The Year Final Round Fish-Off. In addition, the top 500 anglers from the various divisions will earn the right to compete in the three-day ABA, 2014 AFT National Championship tournament.
The next Division 96 tournament will be held for the 2014 season on November 10th, 2013 on Lake Greenwood out of Greenwood State Park near Ninety Six, SC.
The American Fishing Tour offers low cost, close to home bass tournaments that are designed for the weekend angler. All ABA anglers fish for money and points. The points advance the angler to their divisional championship and the top 500 anglers in the US are invited to the American Fishing Tour National Championship.