American Couples Series

Victoria and Dale Goff Take First Place on Lake Murray

Forty-four teams braved the chilly conditions on Lake Murray for South Carolina’s March 3 Couples tournament.  Participation was a new high for the division.  A few 80-degree days 2 weeks prior to tournament day had the fish moving shallow.  But, a few days of near freezing temperatures with high winds made anglers adjust their approach.  135 bass were brought to the scales with all of them being released alive.  Seven bass over 5 pounds were weighed.  

Victoria and Dale Goff handled the conditions quite well with a first place 5-fish limit weighing 18.1 pounds.  Dale said the key to their success was approaching the tournament with “no practice.”  Some of their fish came shallow early in the day.  Then they moved to deeper water on secondary points to round out their limit.  Zoom’s Baby Brush Hogs continued to pay dividends for the Goffs.  This is a great start for them following their 2017 South Carolina Anglers of the Year success.

Ana and Brad Rutherford took second place with 5 fish weighing 17.4 pounds.  Their fish came on jerkbaits.

Michelle McClain and Larry Moss took third place honors with 16.2 pounds.   Their 5-fish limit was caught with a Texas rig.

Kristin and Charles Townson were in fourth place with 16.1 pounds.  Their “standard” shakey-head technique delivered this hefty 5-fish sack.








Scotty Bartley and his daughter Morgan claimed fifth place with 15.5 pounds. Scotty’s 6.8-pound Men’s Big Bass anchored their nice sack.  Another father-daughter team, Daelyn and Trad Whaley, were close behind in sixth place with 14.6 pounds.  Daelyn is also active on Abbeville High School’s fishing team.  It’s always great to see youth, especially young ladies, involved in fishing.

Jessica and Bo Price were in seventh place with 13.7 pounds. 

Missy and Tom Bancroft took eighth place with only 4 bass.  Missy’s nice 4-pound largemouth took Ladies Big Bass and put them “in the money.”  Tom and Missy managed the hot dog barbeque as weigh-in progressed.  They also provided Frito Lay chips for everyone.

Volunteers make the Couples Series work.  And this day was no exception.  Lorne and Sheri DeBord arrived early to help with parking and registration.  Sheri also handled pictures in the morning and at weigh-in.  Tammy and J.B. Wicker arrived at “zero dark thirty” to support the expected increase in registration.  The Mills helped keep the weigh-in moving.  Ana Rutherford got pictures rolling as weigh-in began.  Tom and Missy Bancroft managed to get everyone loaded with hot dogs and chips.  Kim Johnson and Donna Branstetter coordinated a fun Friday night social dinner at a nearby restaurant.  And, several more folks helped set up for weigh-in and the drawing prizes. 

Drawing prizes were available for folks that weren’t “in the money.”  Strickland Marine’s bottles of boat oil continued to be highly valued.  Yo-Zuri’s lure pack was picked up early in the drawing.  Sharp Phantom Fishing jerseys were provided through Susan and John Mills.  Hallmark prize packs were available through Tammy and J.B. Wicker.  A mug set from McWhirter, Bellinger and Associates was provided by Donna and John Branstetter.  

Twelve new teams joined the Couples Series for this March event:
   + Daelyn Whaley and her Dad Trad  -  Abbeville, SC
   + Jessica and Bo Price  -  Seneca, SC
   + Michelle and Joey Miller  -  Waterloo, SC
   + Brittin and Russ Padgett  -  Saluda, SC
   + Shelise and Johnathan Crossland  -  Chapin, SC
   + Ashley and Chris Marshall  -  Forest City, NC
   + Kate Hough and Jeffry Borne  -  Aiken, SC
   + Allie Camak and Collin Smith  -  Hodges and Honea Path, SC
   + Sarah
Mazurkewicz and TJ Keisler  -  Lexington, SC
   + Chrissy Dominick and Paul Smith  -  Greenwood and Ninety Six, SC
   + Dana and John Quarles  -  Columbia, SC
   + Robin Smith and Scott Reeves  -  Piedmont and Easley, SC

This tournament was dedicated to Janette and Charles Rogers.  The morning Safety Meeting was started by recognizing them.  They both passed away since South Carolina’s last tournament in November.  Janette and Charles were significant forces in growing the state’s Couples Series.  And, their 53 years of marriage is a model for all of us.  Jack Veal led a prayer to reflect on the wonderful team. 

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  American Fishing Tour, the  Weekend Bass Series, or the American Couples Series, visit

American Bass Anglers, Inc. is supported by Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards,  GEICO, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Best Western Hotels, Maui Jim, Power Pole,  Garmin, Optima Batteries 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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