Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Ben and Ashley Sutton Triumph at Lake Russell

November 18, 2023 – Elberton, Georgia

Ben and Ashley Sutton, hailing from Beech Island, South Carolina, secured a resounding victory at the American Couples Series South Carolina Division tournament, presented by American Bass Anglers. This event unfolded against the picturesque backdrop of Richard B. Russell State Park near Elberton, Georgia.

The dynamic duo demonstrated their angling prowess by skillfully presenting a limit of five bass, which collectively weighed 10.90 pounds. Anchored by an impressive 4.00-pound kicker, Ben and Ashley Sutton secured their first-place position and earned a substantial cash prize of $979.

The Suttons embarked on their successful fishing journey by targeting standing timber down the lake, where they managed to secure three of their five-fish limit, including Ben’s noteworthy 4.00-pound catch. To further enhance their haul, they skillfully maneuvered through brush piles on their way back to the landing.

Ben and Ashley Sutton expressed their gratitude to their sponsors for their unwavering support throughout their journey to victory.

Securing the second-place spot was the formidable team of Darren and Amy Taylor, who presented five bass weighing a total of 10.69 pounds. Their tenacity and skill earned them a well-deserved cash prize of $544.

The Taylors navigated their way to success by fishing stumps on river channel swings with shaky heads, overcoming the challenges posed by the lake’s recent turnover.

Tom and Missy Bancroft clinched third place with a five-fish limit weighing 10.28 pounds, securing a cash prize of $325. Their strategic shift to fishing creek mouths, where they targeted laydowns with plastics on Texas rigs and drop shots, proved to be a fruitful endeavor.

Jason and Leann Carnley claimed fourth place with five bass weighing a total of 10.20 pounds, earning a cash prize of $218. The Carnleys skillfully caught their fish using swim jigs and soft plastics in the Coldwater Creek area, focusing on laydowns and shaded banks to secure their limit by 9:30.

In fifth place were Rudy and Melanie Smith, who presented five bass with a cumulative weight of 10.06 pounds, earning a cash prize of $109. The Smiths strategically targeted main lake rocky points with deep water nearby, relying on Texas rigged senkos pegged with a 3/8 tungsten weight and a 3/0 hook to secure their catches.

Ben Sutton’s catch of a 4.00-pound bass earned him the Men’s Biggest Bass of the tournament award, accompanied by a cash prize of $145. Melanie Smith’s impressive 4.32-pound bass secured her the Ladies’ Biggest Bass of the tournament award, earning her $140.

Notably, Ben and Ashley Sutton also won the G-Line $100 Bounty, an honor reserved for the highest finisher using a G-Line Lithium Battery to power their trolling motor.

Furthermore, the generosity of Berkeley Outdoors, one of the event’s sponsors, ensured that even teams with smaller limits had a chance to receive a payday. Robert and Sally Young received the Berkeley Outdoors $50 Smallest Limit Award for their five bass weighing 4.60 pounds.

wdt_ID PL Team F BB Total Pnts Payout
2 1 David Sutton-Ashley Sutton 5 4.00 10.90 200 979
3 2 Darren Taylor-Amy Taylor 5 3.04 10.69 199 544
4 3 Thomas Bancroft-Melissa Bancroft 5 2.76 10.28 198 326
5 4 Jason Carnley-Leann Carnley 5 10.20 197 218
6 5 Henry Smith-Melanie Smith 5 10.06 196 109
7 6 Timothy Cothran-Kristina Cothran 5 2.76 9.43 195
8 7 J B Wicker-Tammy Wicker 5 2.47 9.21 194
9 8 Jim Collins-Julie Collins 5 3.39 9.19 193
10 9 John Mills-Susan Mills 5 8.98 192
11 10 Harry Johnson-Kimberly Johnson 5 8.90 191
12 11 Trad Whaley-Daelyn Whaley 5 8.73 190
13 12 Keith Camak-Angela Beatty 5 8.32 189
14 13 Rodney Bratcher-Patti Dennison 5 3.78 7.92 188
15 14 Craig Sahms-Mary Ann Sahms 5 2.33 7.70 187
16 15 Michael Criminger-Kinzie Criminger 5 2.33 7.53 186
17 16 David Lanier-Candace Lanier 5 7.49 185
18 17 Daniel Brown-Melissa Brown 5 7.34 184
19 18 Camron Chesney-Jill Chesney 5 7.14 183
20 19 Donald Brooks-Melanie Blair 5 2.07 7.06 182
21 20 Chris Seigler-Wanda Seigler 5 1.62 6.83 181

Special Sponsor Awards

wdt_ID Sponsor / Prize Team Weight Award
2 Ladies Big Bass Henry "Rudy" & Melanie Smith 4.32 $140.00
3 Men's Big Bass Ben & Ashley Sutton (Gline) 4.00 $145.00
4 Berkeley Limit Robert & Sally Young 4.60 $50.00
5 Gline Bounty Ben & Ashley Sutton (Gline) 10.90 $100.00

This event was made possible through the support of various sponsors, including Yo-zuri, Phantom Outdoors, Five Bass Tackle, McElveen Buick GMC, TruCarts, ALX Rods, Choo Choo Custom Baits, and JC’s Outdoors products.

Anglers and enthusiasts can anticipate the next tournament in the South Carolina Division, scheduled for December 9th, at Lake Murray, launching from Siesta Cove.

For additional information about this event or the division, please reach out to the local directors, Tom Bancroft at (843) 697-6232 or Missy Bancroft at (843) 697-3441. You may also visit www.americanbassanglers.com for more details.

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, including the American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, Professional League, ABA Team Series, and Top 150 Solo Tour, all proudly presented by Caymas Boats, please visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

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