American Couples Series

Scotty Bartley Claims First Place on Clarks Hill

Thirty teams turned out for South Carolina Couple’s 2018 season opener on November 4.  The Clarks Hill tournament launched from the excellent Dorn facility. The weather was comfortable as the predicted scattered showers did not develop.  Half of the field weighed solid 5-fish limits.

Scotty Bartley took first place honors weighing 5 fish at 12.7 pounds.  He said he caught his fish with a “Whopper Plopper” early over main lake points with grass. He transitioned to a “Rattle Trap” as the sun came up.  Scotty and his daughter Morgan have been progressively improving their Couples Series team successes over the last few years.  Morgan had a previous commitment that interfered with her ability to fish with her dad in this event.

Jennifer and Dennis Parks got second place with 5 fish weighing 11.2 pounds. Dennis’ 5-pounder anchored their hefty sack.  This also yielded the tournament big bass and the Men’s Big Bass award.  Their fish came largely on jigs on rocky banks.

Michelle McLean and Larry Moss took third place with a 10.3 pound limit.  Michelle said her fish were caught on worms.  Larry said his fish were on a jig.  His biggest, a 3.5 pounder was caught 20 feet deep! 

Kate Hough and John Gutierrez claimed fourth place honors with 5 fish weighing 9.7 pounds.  Kate’s 2.9 pounder anchored their hefty sack.  It also took the Lady’s Big Bass award.  Their fish were caught over grass with a “whacky rig.”

Kris and Charles Townson had fifth place with a 9.2 pound limit.  Medium depth crankbaits over and around grass were the key to their success.

Julie and Jim Collins rounded out the top 20 percent of the field.  Their sixth place 5-fish sack weighed in at 9.1 pounds.   Their fish came on crankbaits in a variety of depths and colors on deep banks.

Welcome to seven teams new to the South Carolina Division Couples Series:
- Kate Hough and John Gutierrez  -  Aiken and Spartanburg, SC
- Kris and Charles Townson  -  Seneca, SC
- Vickie and Joey Hix  -  Anderson, SC
- Morgan Wright and Wil Collins  -  West Union and Townville, SC
- Angel and Travis Weathers  -  Seneca, SC
- Rhonda Berryman and Brad Smith  -  Norwood, GA and N. Augusta, SC
- Jennifer and Dennis Parks  -  Lincolnton, GA

There were several drawing prizes available at weigh-in.  These prizes were available to those teams not getting a cash prize.  Prizes included a Starbucks gift pack, a security lock-box from Cabela’s, two Weeble Lure gift packs (a t-shirt and 3 custom jigs), and two 50% off certificates for Costa sunglasses.

Susan and John Mills were recognized for their Angler of the Year accomplishment at the National Couples Championship last month.  Also recognized were the 3 South Carolina teams that were in the top 10 in the Championship:  Susan and John Mills, Missy and Tom Bancroft, and Sherri McGee and her son Jaris. 

A dinner was attended by 8 teams at the Hickory Knob State Park restaurant on Friday evening.  It appeared everyone was enjoying renewing friendships and meeting new folks.  There seemed plenty of traction for South Carolina’s theme of “Fun ~ Family ~ Friends.”  This theme has been borrowed from the creative North Carolina Couples Division.

The next South Carolina Couples tournament is scheduled for Lake Murray on March 3, 2018.

For more information on this or any future event in this division contact Don Goodfellow and Martha Goodfellow - 864-630-3183

All ABA American Couples Series events involve a team format with each team composed of one man and one woman.  Contestants between the ages of 14 and 16 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, the RAM American Fishing Tour, the Ram Weekend Bass Series, or the American Couples Series, visit

American Bass Anglers, Inc. is supported by Ram Trucks, Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Carlisle Tires, GEICO, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Best Western Hotels, Maui Jim, Power Pole, Simms, Garmin, and SiriusXM Marine Weather. 



Upcoming Events

Alabama Central 10/13/2018 Lay Lake Narrow Boat Ramp
Florida Northwest 10/13/2018 Choctawhatchee Black Creek Lodge
Alabama North 10/13/2018 Guntersville Goose Pond
Georgia 10/27/2018 Oconee Sugar Creek Marina
South Carolina 10/27/2018 Hartwell Green Pond
Tennessee Northeast 10/27/2018 Melton Hill Melton Hill Dam
Central Tennessee 11/04/2018 Percy Priest Fate Sanders Marina
Alabama Central 11/10/2018 Lake Jordan Bonnors Boat Ramp
Alabama North 11/10/2018 Guntersville Goose Pond
South Carolina 11/10/2018 Cooper River Cypress Gardens Landing
Tennessee Northeast 11/10/2018 Watts Bar Blue Springs
Georgia 11/17/2018 Jackson Berry's Boat Ramp
Florida Northwest 11/17/2018 Apalachicola White City
Alabama Central 12/01/2018 Lake Mitchell Higgins Ferry
Florida Northwest 12/08/2018 Choctawhatchee Black Creek Lodge
Alabama North 12/08/2018 Weiss Little River
South Carolina 12/08/2018 Wateree Clearwater Cove Marina

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