Batson Rocks Lowrance Eliminator Series Round One At Sinclair
Former champ catches 14.67-lb. limit and 8.42-lb. big fish.
Cold, muddy water didn’t bode well for the 32 boaters and their non-boater partners during Round 1 of the Lowrance Eliminator Series tournament at Lake Sinclair this morning (March 4). Somebody forgot to tell 2008 Eliminator Series champ Aaron Batson — and several other anglers who had great half-day catches under rough conditions. Batson anchored a 14.67-lb. five-bass limit with an 8.42-lb. bass that earned him Round 1 Big Fish honors and a quick $110 check. Batson and 15 other boaters are back on the water competing in Round 2 at Sinclair this afternoon.
The Lowrance Eliminator Series is a unique heads-up fishing tournament created by Georgia Outdoor News magazine where anglers compete against one other angler in each round and move forward in brackets, much like the NCAA basketball tournament brackets. During the first three rounds, two half-day events at Lake Sinclair on March 4 and a full day at Oconee on March 5, a non-boater tournament is conducted as well. During Round 1, the top non-boater weight of 7.49 pounds was caught by David Johnston. The non-boater Big Fish award and $110 went to Mitchell Cardwell, who moved on to the second round of the series.
Also advancing in the Boater bracket were Russell Lugwig, who beat last year’s champ Mark Cornwell and earned a $250 bounty. Another $250 bounty was picked up by Brian Jamison, who topped 2006 Eliminator champ Mark Massey. In addition to Batson, Lugwig and Jamison, boaters moving on to Round 2 were John Duvall, Bo Talley, James Beasley, James Kilby, Buster Slocumb, Mike Strickland, 2007 champion Butch Pitts, Jay Carter, 2009 semi-finalist Billy Boothe, Keith Hutto, David Sansbury, Chris Jones and Alvin Keith Lewis. Lewis actually lost his heads-up match to Batson, but he advanced with the best losing weight, 7.05 pounds, when two boaters competing in a bracket both zeroed.
Non-boaters advancing in addition to Johnston and Cardwell were Toby Houston, Steve Holt, Ronald Smith, Mark Christopher, Jim Lee, Wayne Markham, Wayne Jones, Kelly Draffin, Frank Kerns, Samuel Wilder, Mike Mincey, Kris Kirkpatrick, Clay Wilson and Tom Healan.
The Round 2 weigh-in begins at 6 p.m. today at Little River Park on Lake Sinclair.
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