Batson Wins Central Georgia Championship
Aaron Batson, from Mansfield, GA, emerged as the winner over the top Georiga anglers in the AFT D72 championship held on June 10th and 11th, 2023. The tournament took place on Lakes Sinclair and Oconee, where Batson showcased his exceptional angling skills to claim the title. With a remarkable two-day total weight of 33.44 pounds, Batson secured the first-place trophy along with a cash prize of $1,640.
Batson's success was attributed to his impressive performance on both days of the tournament. On Day 1, he brought five of his best catches to the scale, totaling 19.46 pounds. Day 2 witnessed another impressive haul as Batson presented a sack containing five bass weighing 13.98 pounds. Notably, Batson's outstanding catch of a 7.54-pound bass on Day 1 at Lake Sinclair also earned him the optional Big Bass pot, adding $560 to his winnings.
In total, Batson amassed $2,200 in cash rewards over the two days, in addition to receiving two well-deserved trophies. His exemplary performance and dedication to the sport have solidified his reputation as a formidable angler.
Darren Taylor, representing Lexington, GA, also had a notable achievement in the tournament. Taylor secured the Day 2 Big Bass optional pot, winning $560 in cash, along with the esteemed Big Bass trophy, for his impressive 5.94-pound catch on Lake Oconee.
The tournament attracted a substantial turnout, with 56 skilled anglers vying for their share of the total cash payouts amounting to $5,488, awarded to the top nine positions. Additionally, trophies were presented to the top seven contestants, further acknowledging their exceptional performance.
The event was not only about fierce competition but also fostered a sense of camaraderie among the participants. During the weigh-in process, a delightful spread of pizza, salad, and cookies was served, enhancing the overall experience. The organizers express their gratitude to Myra Taylor for her valuable assistance in coordinating the event and extend their appreciation to Danny Taylor and Jason Cheek for their meticulous work in weighing the fish, as well as Bob Clark for conducting morning boat checks.
Top 25 PL Angler Fish Penalty Big Bass Total Points Payout 1 Aaron E. Batson 10 7.54 33.44 400 1640 2 Grant T. Kelly 10 31.63 398 1182 3 David H. Lowery 10 4.88 31.17 396 648 4 Lance Collins 10 4.97 30.40 394 548 5 Gregory C. Yarbrough 10 5.79 29.08 392 462 6 Jamie M. Fountain 10 5.26 28.56 390 390 7 Carl H. Hayes III 8 5.76 24.95 388 302 8 Jim C. Windham 10 0.50 6.51 24.60 386 172 8 Randall E. Woodham 10 0.50 4.65 24.60 386 144 10 Travis D. Clay 10 0.50 24.50 382 11 Carl A. Wilson 10 24.40 380 12 Steve B. Dobbs 10 23.86 378 13 Clayton D. Faircloth 10 5.54 23.21 376 14 Les R. Charles 10 0.50 4.77 22.64 374 15 Alan Swink 9 20.92 372 16 Chad L. Wilson 10 20.28 370 17 Darren l. Taylor 10 5.94 20.15 368 18 Larry W. Cason Jr 10 19.83 366 19 John B. Stalnaker 10 0.50 18.81 364 20 Richard Carey II 9 4.39 18.53 362 21 Brian W. Garner 10 5.31 18.39 360 22 Wayne Garner 10 18.22 358 23 Zachery l. Bennett 10 0.50 18.08 356 24 Mike D. Blackshear 10 17.84 354
The 2023 season also featured special awards to recognize outstanding achievements. Director Benny Howell presented $100 cash rewards to each of the six anglers who participated in all the tournaments for D72, showcasing their unwavering commitment to the sport. Additionally, Kip Carter was honored as the season's Big Bass winner, receiving $100 in cash for his impressive 7.73-pound catch on January 28th at Lake Sinclair.
Angler of the Year (AOY), Grant Kelly, received accolades and rewards for his remarkable performance. Director Benny Howell presented him with $250 in cash, and Shawn Hendrix of Kissel Krafts Custom Rods contributed an additional $250 in cash as a token of appreciation.
The tournament also featured exciting draw prizes, adding an element of anticipation and surprise. Bill Payton and Jimmy Golden were the lucky winners of $100 Sugar Creek gift cards, generously provided by William. Les Charles was the recipient of a $50 Sugar Creek gift card. Moreover, five lucky participants, namely Mike Blackshear, David Mitchell, Brain Garner, Bob Clark, and Travis Clay, each walked away with $50 in cash. Notably, Alan Swink was honored with a certificate from Kissel Krafts Custom Rods. Lastly, two American flags adorned with the ABA logo were won by Zachary Bennett and Wayne Garner.
If you have any questions, please contact Director Benny Howell at 770-365-4795.
Georgia Central Division 72 is the home of the current reigning King of the Hill, Benny Howell, and his team.
Benny Howell was the 2022 King of the Hill, an award presented at the end of each season to the top director of that season.
These anglers earn 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 at the AFT Championship. In addition, the top 500 anglers from the various divisions will earn the right to compete in the three-day ABA, AFT National Championship tournament.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, 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
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