Wagner wins at Lake Hartwell
ANDERSON, S.C. – Emil B. Wagner won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, South Carolina Division 9 third tournament of the season, held March 11, 2023, at Lake Hartwell on the Savannah River straddling the Georgia-South Carolina line.
Launching at Green Pond Landing in Anderson, S.C., the angler from Marietta, Ga. brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 19.10 pounds. Wagner anchored that bag with a 5.45-pounder. That boosted his average to 3.82 pounds.
“I caught a bunch of bass up shallow,” Wagner advised. “I pulled into a ditch in the morning and they were schooling right and left. I caught a lot of bass on a little swimbait in the morning and a shaky head later in the day. I probably caught about 60 fish and did a lot of culling.”
In second among the boaters, Brad C. Benfield from Demorest, Ga. also landed his 5-bass limit. He finished with 17.83 pounds, topped by a 5.79-pound kicker.
“The day started pretty slow,” Benfield said. “I didn’t catch my first fish until about 9:30 a.m. Most of my fish came by sight-fishing with a swimbait. I caught one under a dock.”
Taking the third spot for the anglers, Joe W. Anders of Easley, S.C. brought in five keepers for 16.17 pounds.
“I dragged around a football jig all day,” Anders reported. “I just got lucky.”
Tracy B. Watkins of Belton, S.C. found five good keepers to take fourth place with 16.07 pounds. Rounding out the top five boaters, Kyle Ricker from Greenville, S.C. put a 5-bass limit on the scales for 15.76 pounds.
Derek J. Lehtonen of Woodruff, S.C. placed sixth among the boaters with five bass going 14.87 pounds. One of them weighed 6.44-pounds, giving Lehtonen bragging rights for the tournament big bass.
In the Co-Angler Division, Damon J. Phillips from the hosting town of Anderson, S.C. landed a 3-bass division limit for 11.74 pounds. He capped that catch with a 4.88-pounder to take the division lunker honors and finish with a 3.91-pound average.
“I threw a worm all day,” Phillips revealed. “With that worm, I tried a little bit of everything, including a wacky rig. I caught eight fish and culled some.”
Also from Anderson, S.C. Robert D. Parton finished in second place for the co-anglers. He brought in three keepers for 9.87 pounds. He topped that sack with a 4.03-pounder. .
“I caught fish on shaky heads fishing offshore,” Parton said. “I caught 12 fish. I culled some fish.”
In third for the co-anglers, Gerald Glouse from Easley, S.C. landed three keepers going 9.58 pounds including a 4.75-pound kicker.
“I caught my fish in the morning using a jighead fluke,” Glouse said. “I only caught five fish and broke one off.”
Bobby T. Williams from Greer, S.C. took the fourth spot among the co-anglers with three bass at 8.35 pounds including a 4.34-pound kicker. Right behind in fifth place, Bobby R. Littlejohn of Gaffney, S.C. also found a limit for 7.71 pounds topped by a 3.20-pounder.
The division concludes its 4-event regular season at Lake Murray near Columbia, S.C. on June 10, 2023. That tournament runs out of Dreher Island State Park, located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity, S.C. To register for the June 2023 tournament, CLICK HERE.
Anglers can sign up to fish ABA Open Series divisional events and a 2-day division championship. In a Pro/Am format, boaters fishing the Open Series pay $210 in entry fees for each divisional 1-day tournament. Co-anglers pay $105 per 1-day event.
Anyone who wishes to fish an ABA event, must become an ABA member. ABA members can receive discounts from some sponsors. For example, Optima Batteries will give ABA members 25 percent off and free shipping on any battery. Membership costs $35 a year, but anglers can save money by signing up for multiple years. A life membership costs $450.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Rodney Michael at (256) 497-0967.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.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.
This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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