Ben and Ashley Sutton Win On Russell
April 22, 2023 - Elberton, Georgia. Ben & Ashley Sutton of Warrenville, SC won the 8th American Couples Series South Carolina Division tournament presented by American Bass Anglers. Running out of Richard B. Russell State Park near Elberton, GA. Ben & Ashley brought back 5 bass that locked in the scales at 12.65 pounds anchored by a 3.55-pound kicker. For the victory the Suttons took home a check for $911.
Ben tells us, “First thing that morning we sat at the boat ramp because of the rain, once the rain let up we made the run down to the dam and pulled up on a hump. Ashley threw out a shake head and caught a 3.55. We then went 4 hours without a bite. Once the sun came out we went school fishing throwing top water and caught 3 more. We missed several schooling fish because they kept just knocking the bait out the water and wouldn't connect. We didn't get a limit until 2 o'clock after dropping down on some brush and catching another 3 pounder. We would like to thank Tom and Missy for another great tournament and our sponsors. We really enjoy fishing with everyone and looking forward to the next tournament.”
Second place was claimed by Will Price, fishing solo for the team of Will & Ashley Price, with 5 bass weighing a total of 12.27 pounds. For his efforts Price took home $506 in prize money.
Will shared, “I concentrated on long points and shoals. I would catch the occasional schooling fish. Mostly using my Lowrance active target with a drop shot. Seemed like they were 4 to 6 fish on these places, usually all the same size. I just tried to catch the better ones and leave the ones I knew wouldn’t help me. The location didn’t really matter as much as the points themselves.”
Don and Martha Goodfellow took third with 5 bass for a total weight of 10.95 pounds to earn $304 in prize money.
Martha and Don Goodfellow fished shallow points and shoals all day. Their best fish came early in the day on a Fluke and Baby Brush Hog (1/4 ounce Texas rigged). There was a light breeze following the heavy rain in the morning. And, this was when the bite was best for them. As the high winds picked up later, they were literally blown off their hot spots. Thanks again to Kissel Krafts Custom rods and Lew’s as these "tools" came into play for them. These are also South Carolina Couples sponsors.
Robbie and Debbie Hoover took fourth with 5 bass for a total weight of 10.72 pounds to earn $203 in prize money.
Robbie and Debbie tell us, “We focused on points and chased herring fish all day. Debbie mainly used a Fluke and Robbie used top water jerk bait. This is our first time fishing a tournament trail together. Robbie actually gave up fishing his club tournament on Russell to fish the couple’s tournament.”
John and Susan Mills took fifth with 5 bass for a total weight of 10.67 pounds to earn $101 in prize money.
Susan tells us, “We started out a little slow, but caught a limit on a spinnerbait. Culled on a worm in the afternoon. We fished up the lake and fished trees and points. A huge thank you to the best directors Tom and Missy Bancroft. They make this trail so much fun. We really enjoyed getting together for dinner and got to know some couples better. We have such a great fishing group.”
The Men’s Biggest Bass of the tournament was caught by Bob Brown. His fish locked in the scales at 3.59-pounds earning him $135.
The Ladies Biggest Bass of the tournament was caught by Sharon Waddell. Her fish locked in the scales at 3.76-pounds earning her $130.
John and Susan Mills won the G-Line $100 Bounty for being the highest finisher powering the trolling motor with a G-Line Lithium Battery.
Everyone has those days on the water when you catch fish but they all seem to be fanners or you just never get that kicker you’ve been looking for. Well, thanks to Berkeley Outdoors, one of our generous sponsors, our couples can still get a payday if they weigh in the smallest 5-fish limit. Abraham and Joanne Greyling were the recipients of the Berkeley Outdoors $50 Smallest Limit Award with 5 bass weighing 4.77 lbs.
Thanks to our sponsors we can provide drawings for those teams that do not earn a paycheck.
Our sponsor items for this event included products from Yo-zuri, JC’s Outdoors, McElveen GMC Buick, Five Bass Tackle, Phantom Outdoors, Choo Choo Custom Baits, Strike King, and Berkley Baits.
The next tournament for the South Carolina Division will take place on May 6, 2023, launching from Black’s Camp on Santee Cooper.
For more information on this event or division please contact your local directors Tom Bancroft at (843) 697-6232 or Missy Bancroft at (843) 697-3441 or visit www.americanbassanglers.com
Top 20 Teams PL Angler Fish Penalty Big Bass Total Points Payout 1 David Sutton
5 0.50 3.14 12.65 200 911 2 Will Price
5 3.45 12.27 199 506 3 Don Goodfellow
5 3.10 10.95 198 304 4 Robbie Hoover
5 2.30 10.72 197 203 5 John Mills
5 10.67 196 101 6 Darren Taylor
5 3.17 10.56 195 7 Harry Johnson
5 9.82 194 8 Bryan Waddell
5 9.74 193 9 Chris Seigler
5 0.50 2.20 9.62 192 10 Thomas Bancroft
5 2.66 9.55 191 11 Nathan Whitfield
5 2.72 9.10 190 12 Craig Sahms
5 8.99 189 13 David Chapman
5 8.73 188 14 Dolton Wiggins
5 3.04 8.56 187 15 Benny Howell
5 3.38 8.48 186 16 Daniel Brown
5 2.67 8.47 185 17 Bob Brown
5 3.59 8.41 184 18 Zach Waddell
5 7.90 183 18 Tim Whitfield
5 7.90 183 20 Robert Young
5 2.23 7.89 181
In the American Couples Series, anglers pair up for a team effort. Most teams consist of a husband and a wife, but that’s not a rule. Teams can consist of a boyfriend and girlfriend combination, a father and daughter duo, or any combination of one male and one female.
The teams compete in several regional or state divisions throughout the year. Once a pair forms a team, however, the two must fish together as a team throughout the season to be eligible to accumulate points and qualify for the annual national championship.
The entry fee for the American Couples Series one-day events is $100 and the top teams are invited to compete in the championship each fall.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, RT Outdoors, Atlas Hydraulic Jackplate, Power Pole, Optima Batteries, HotelPlanner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments for the weekend angler and, at the same time, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression.
For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406
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