Michelle and David Ashmore Master Lake Murray
Athens, AL - Lake Murray lured 18 teams for the season opener of South Carolina's Couples Series on March 7. A chilly 28 degree morning led to a 62 degree afternoon with plentiful sunshine.
Michelle and David Ashmore took first place honors. The Ashmore's winning 4-fish sack weighed in at 15.4 pounds. In the sack was David's men's big bass (7.4 pounds). Their success came in front of docks with jigs and shakey-heads in the clearer water toward the dam. They only had 4 bites all day, but got them all in the boat. Michelle and David live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
Janette and Charles Rodgers, from Cayce, South Carolina, claimed second place. Their 3 bass weighed 10.3 pounds. This included Janette's 5-pound Ladies Big Bass. Their fish came on a crankbait and a jerk bait.
Third place went to Tami and Jimmy Raper of Easley, South Carolina. Their 4-fish sack weighed 8.8 pounds. Tami and Jimmy also caught their fish on docks in clearer water. A shakey-head was their bait of choice.
Susan and John Mills (Leesville, SC) finished fourth with two bass weighing 7.9 pounds, including Susan's 3.1 pound runner-up Ladies Big Bass. Missy and Tom Bancroft (Goose Creek, SC) were fifth. They weighed only a single fish, but it was a hefty 6.6 pounder!
The highlight of the weigh-in was seeing the replay of Michelle and David Ashmore's big fish catch. Michelle's tale clearly illustrated David's intensity during the battle. David described Michelle's jabbing the net like a spear at the uncooperative fish as it flashed around the boat. The fish obviously made it to the livewell, but not before testing the strength of their relationship. A fun show!
Tom and Susan Beavers took the honors for the longest drive. They drove from Centre, Alabama, to fish the Lake Murray event.
We had several new couples at this Lake Murray event. Bill and Patti Shreve, Landrum, SC, recently moved from Wisconsin. Owen Jepsen and Kim Bryant, Liberty, SC, are corporate nomads who recently settled in South Carolina. Brandon and Julie Smith (Demorest, GA) and Donna and John Branstetter (Lexington, SC) fished their first South Carolina couples event.
Some couples returned to our South Carolina Couples after a year or two off: Michelle and David Ashmore, Melissa and Tom Bancroft, Sheri and Lorne DeBord (Warrenville, SC), MaryAnn and Craig Sahms (Taylors, SC), Beverly and Gary Heinly (Chapin, SC), and Janet and Vernie Haltiwanger (Lexington, SC).
Many couples made it to dinner on Friday night before the Saturday tournament. Even more folks made it to the Hawg Heaven BBQ in nearby Prosperity after the weigh-in.
We had some couples that were able to take advantage of the new Dodge Ram and Triton promotions. Their ABA membership cost was covered by these great sponsors.
Special thanks to our local sponsor, Strickland Marine. They contributed 3 gallons of Mercury oil for drawing prizes. Strickland Marine has facilities in Anderson and Seneca, South Carolina. They have a solid reputation for sales and service. Their interest in delighting customers is particularly clear to the three couples taking home Mercury oil instead of prize money in our tournament.
South Carolina Couples next event will be held March 28 on Lake Hartwell, Broyles Landing, Anderson, SC.
For more information visited www.americanbassanglers.com or call the tournament director: at .
All ABA American Couples Series events involve a team format with each team composed of one man and one woman. Although many married couples compete together as teams, some teams consist of boyfriend and girlfriend combinations, parent-child combinations or just two friends. Contestants between 14 and 18 years old may participate with a parent’s written permission.
The top angling couples from across the nation earn the right to compete in the annual American Bass Anglers Couples Series National Championship tournament.
American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Weekend Bass Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
Learn More About the American Couples Series
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