Bill and Kathy Beard Win on Santee Cooper
May 6, 2023, Cross, SC. Bill and Kathy Beard of Prosperity, SC, won the American Couples Series South Carolina Division tournament presented by American Bass Anglers. Running out of Black’s Camp near Cross, SC. Bill and Kathy brought back three bass that locked in the scales at 13.38 pounds, anchored by a 5.99-pound kicker. For the victory, Bill and Kathy took home a check for $475.
Bill and Kathy tell us, “Santee Cooper lakes is such a special place with so much “fishy” cover that even on a tough day like yesterday you feel like you could catch a giant on every cast. We only had 7 bites all day and two of those were short fish, and two were blow ups on a frog at first light. We caught our keepers on a frog, wacky rigged senko and a war eagle buzz toad. The six pounder came on the buzz toad off a current break in a backwater area off the diversion canal. We love fishing with the South Carolina ABA couples tour. It’s a great group of genuine people who come together for good, spirited competition and fellowship. Tom and Missy go well above and beyond to make everyone feel welcome, help others, and run a superb trail that is enjoyed by couples of all ages and demographics.
Second place was claimed by Abraham and Joanne Greyling with five bass weighing a total of 12.78 pounds. For their efforts Abraham and Joanne took home $300 in prize money.
Abraham and Joanne tell us, “We had a great time exploring and experiencing the Santee Cooper lakes for the first time ever. During practice day we only had a breakthrough at 3pm with our first bite, and a 2.5 lb bass. That was all we needed to give us some hope for tournament day and the confidence to keep doing more of that all day to catch a 5-bag limit. The trick for us was a wacky rig with a green stick bait at the base of a cypress tree.
We set out in the morning to just have fun and fish with no expectations. We had made that decision the night before on the way to the hotel, after having a trailer tire blew out, and we had to change it on the side of the road. And that made a big difference in our day of fishing. We are so thankful to be of good health and able to fish the couples trail for the first time and hope we can do it for many years to come. Meeting new friends and the friendships we hope to make is what we like most about this trail. Thanks to everyone that contributes to make this so enjoyable.”
Mike and Deanna Blalock took third with four bass and a total weight of 11.92 to earn $125 in prize money.
Mike and Deanna shared that they had to change their initial plan because the fish were not biting what they threw the day before. The fish had moved up and suspended. They caught their fish using a small swim bait and zoom super fluke halfway back in a creek on points and drop-offs. Their main obstacle was pleasure boat traffic and being patient waiting for the bite to turn on. When asked what they enjoy about the South Carolina Couples trail they tell us, “What we enjoy about the trail is the friendly competition and camaraderie with our fellow couples. We also like the diversity of fisheries.”
The Men’s Biggest Bass of the tournament was caught by Bill Beard. His fish locked in the scales at 5.99-pounds earning him $60.
The Ladies Biggest Bass of the tournament was caught by Deanna Blalock. Her fish locked in the scales at 4.93-pounds earning her $60.
Top 10 Teams PL Angler Fish Big Bass Total Points Payout 1 Bill Beard-Kathy Beard 3 5.99 13.38 192 475 2 Abraham Greyling-Joanne Greyling 5 5.19 12.78 191 300 3 Mike Blalock-Deanna Blalock 4 11.92 190 125 4 John Mills-Susan Mills 4 4.11 11.62 189 5 Dolton Wiggins-Bertie Wiggins 4 4.96 11.44 188 6 Thomas Bancroft-Melissa Bancroft 5 10.81 187 7 Harry Johnson-Kimberly Johnson 4 4.63 10.56 186 8 Michael Criminger-Kinzie Gilreath 2 3.91 6.49 185 9 Chase McClain-Brittany Brainard 2 3.34 5.52 184
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 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. Tom and Missy Bancroft received the Berkeley Outdoors $50 Smallest Limit Award with 5 bass weighing 10.81 lbs.
Thanks to our sponsors for providing draw prizes for those teams that do not earn a paycheck. Our sponsor items for this event included Yo-zuri, Phantom Outdoors, Five Bass Tackle, JC’s Outdoors, Choo Custom Baits, McElveen Buick GMC, Berkley Baits, and Strike King products.
The next tournament for the South Carolina Division will take place on May 20th, launching from Hickory Knobb on Clark’s Hill. This will be the division season final to be followed by our Banquet and lots of Sponsor Give-Aways. Due to the early closing hours of the restaurant, we will be blasting off as soon as safely possible and holding weigh-in at 1:30 for this event.
For more information on this event or division please get in touch with your local directors Tom Bancroft at (843) 697-6232 or Missy Bancroft at (843) 697-3441 or visit www.americanbassanglers.com
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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