Howard & Ellis Win Military Event on Santee Cooper
ATHENS, Ala. –The team of John “Chuck” Howard and Kenneth Ellis won the 2021 Military Team tournament, held May 5th-7th on Santee Cooper. The final day of competition was shortened due to a lake wind advisory that was issued early Friday morning and anglers began weighing in at 11:00am when the advisory went into effect.
Running out of Blacks Camp in Cross, SC the Elloree, SC anglers caught fifteen bass weighing 58.44 pounds They were one of only two teams to have a five bass limit each day of competition. Sitting in third place after day one with 19.74 pounds, Howard and Ellis took the lead on day two and never looked back. For their victory, Howard and Ellis took home a check for $4000 for their win.
“We caught most of our fish on a spinnerbait and a few on a shaky-head and the rest on a trick worm. 90% of our fish came on trees, we mainly fished the upper lake and managed to catch limits each day. We had a good group of fish on the lower lake but couldn’t fish there due to the wind so we concentrated on the upper lake and probably caught 80 bass over the three days but had to weed through lots of little fish.” Ellis said.
“We made some good decisions this week that made the difference for us. We knew with the wind blowing the way it was Friday morning that we were going to the upper lake and fish a protected area.” Howard
In second place, the team of Brandon King of Castroville, TX and Larry Spencer of Niceville, FL landed a three-day total of twelve bass going 47.55 pounds. The team had the early lead on day one of the event with 25.35 pounds but faltered on the second day with only 10.90 pounds and third day with 11.30 pounds. “We caught our fish on the first day on a black blue Pro-Z popping frog. We had one area that we could catch big fish, not a lot of bites but quality fish. Three fish over 6-pounds on day one. On day two, the wind changed directions and our frog bite was gone and we went flipping to catch our fish. On day three, we were able to catch fish on the frog again but just didn’t have enough time. We caught most of our fish in the afternoon and only one 6-pounder in the morning this week.” King said.
In third place, the team of Steven Jarrett of Valrico, FL and Steve Horvath of Oldsmar, FL landed a three-day total of twelve bass going 44.53 pounds. Sitting in 23rd after day one with 13.10 pounds, Jarrett and Horvath kept their heads down and caught 22.46 pounds on day two and 8.97 pounds on day three.
“We caught our fish on cypress trees using a PB&J Strike King Zero weightless in the winds. Today, we only had one fish with fifteen minutes to go and stopped at the mouth of the canal and threw that Strike King Zero in there and caught a 6.32-pound bass that saved our day.” Jarrett said.
Finishing fourth, the team of Shane Lundien of Crestview, FL and Timmy Chapel of Niceville, FL landed thirteen bass for totaling 44.52 pounds.
“We caught our fish on a buzz bait and a buzz-tail shad in 1 ½ ft of water all week. We fished the lower lake this week and found a spot by accident. We fished points and looked for grass and lily pads together.” Lundien said.
The team of Steven Pizzino of Jackson, SC and Dave Murdock of Sumter, SC rounded out the top five teams with fifteen bass at 43.76 pounds. Murdock collected $500 for being the highest finishing Garmin user.
“We found some fish during practice about 40 miles away on the upper lake and caught our fish on a frog and when they wouldn’t bite the frog, we threw a spinnerbait. The frog fish came in the lily pads and the grass. We fished all three days in the same area.” Murdock said.
The big bass award went to the team of Christopher Rabb of Denver, NC and Blake Morgan of Clover, NC that weighed 8.55 pounds caught on day two.
“We only had one fish in the live well on day two and with 45 minutes to go, we pulled up on a point, cast near a cypress tree and caught that big bass on a Z-Man Bang Stick. Pretty much got lucky.” Rabb said.
Slated for May 1st through May 6th, 2022 the next Military Team event will be held on West Point Lake out of Pyne Road Park in LaGrange, GA.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at 256-230-5632 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On-line, see www.americanbassanglers.com
American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for weekend anglers and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Triton Boats, Mercury Motors, Motor Guide, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Power Pole, Garmin, Monster Energy, Lucas Oil, Engel Coolers, OPTIMA Batteries, REKS Sunglasses, and HotelPlanner.com.
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