American Couples Series
Susan and John Mills Lake Keowee Success
April showers eased long enough for the South Carolina Couples tournament on Lake Keowee.   Weather cleared on Saturday morning, April 18, and held through a beautiful afternoon.
Susan and John Mills, Leesville, SC, captured first place with 13 pounds.  Their shakey-head technique on grassy humps proved effective.   However, their greatest accomplishment was recovering from a dead cranking battery with less than 20 minutes and several miles to get to weigh-in on time.   They didn’t have jumper cables.   A likely record was set in locating the tool box, swapping cranking and trolling motor batteries, and safely flying back to the ramp with one minute to spare.
Second place was claimed by Sheri and Lorne DeBord, Warrenville, SC.  Sheri's 3.25 pounder was the Ladies Big Bass.  It was caught on a Carolina Rig, 18 feet deep.   All of the DeBord's fish came on a Carolina Rig.  Their bag of fish weighed 12.31 pounds.
John Branstetter, Lexington, SC, brought the Men's Big Bass to the scales.   His 3.19 pounder was caught with a light shakey-head rig, connecting his fluorocarbon leader to a braid main line.  John's fish was also caught in deeper water, 22 feet off the end of a dock.
Donna and John Branstetter were in third place with 12 pounds.  Tammy and J.B. Wicker, Pomaria, SC, took forth place with 10 pounds.   Martha and Don Goodfellow, Simpsonville, SC, claimed 5th place with 9 pounds.   All of the 14 teams weighed fish!
Kelly and Josh Wilcox, Catawba, SC, joined the Couples Series for the first time.   They were introduced to American Bass Anglers at the recent Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, SC.
The integrity award goes to Amanda and Vince Smith.   They hooked and released a 4.5 pounder.  They were sight fishing and hooked the fish in the tail.   Rules clearly specify that a fish caught sight fishing must be hooked inside the mouth.   It is said that a true test of honesty is to do the right thing when nobody is looking.  Amanda and Vince are certainly role models for us. 
At weigh-in, Kim Bryant shared her recent success in ABA's vehicle decal program.  She recently won a drawing, giving her an opportunity for a future drawing for a trip to Ray Scott's Trophy Bass Resort.   
Dinners on Friday night in Seneca, SC, and after the weigh-in on Saturday were well attended.   Feedback from folks about these get-togethers has been very positive.
Thanks to Strickland Marine for their continued support of ABA’s South Carolina Couples Series.   Three more gallons of Mercury oil were available for the drawing at weigh-in.  These gifts significantly increase the number of teams that go home with a nice prize.  Strickland has sales and service facilities in both Anderson and Seneca, SC.
South Carolina Couples next event will be held May 23, 2015, on Lake Russell, out of Richard B. Russell State Park.   For more information, call 864-630-3183 or email 
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 or call (256) 232-0406.



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