Aiken weighed in 17.35 pounds to win the $5,000 first-prize money. His catch including a 4.58-pound lunker that earned the $205 big-fish prize.
Aiken said he was mostly running and gunning, spending no more than 15 to 20 minutes on a spot before moving on.
Randy Childers of Anderson finished second, taking over the division points lead with a limit that weighed 15.71 pounds, winning $1,030.
The top five finishers included: 3. Bobby Stanfill (Greenwood), 5 bass, 14.22 pounds, $687; 4. Larry Martin (Anderson), 5, 13.80, $481; and 5. Daniel Richey (McCormick), 5, 13.62, $412.
One of the two youngest anglers in the division, 17-year-old Brad Rutherford of Lavonia, Ga., won the co-angler division with a pattern almost identical to Aiken's - using pencil poppers and twitch baits to land a 3-fish limit that weighed 9.10 pounds, taking home $956.
The rest of the top five co-anglers included: 2. Bryan Waddell (Taylors), 3, 7.98, $478; 3. Maliek Carrington (Lake Wylie), 3, 7.48, $319; 4. Dale Ball (Asheville, N.C.), 3, 7.21, $223; and 5. Drew Baskins (Danielsville, Ga.), 3, 7.15, $191.
Top qualifiers will move on to the Division Championship on Sept. 13-14 at Clarks Hill. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers, based on year-end point standings, advance to regional competition on North Carolina's Kerr (Buggs Island) Reservoir on Oct. 10-11. The top 20 percent of that field will advance to the national championship on Lake Norman in November.
One week after the Hartwell tournament, Johnny Barfield of Hartsville took the $5,000 first-place prize in the South Carolina Division 9 Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament on Lake Wateree with five bass that weighed 15.39 pounds.
The top five anglers included: 2. Ray Winans (Manning), 5, 10.84, $1,055; 3. Greg Rickard (Leesville), 5, 9.83, $703; 4. Chris Abbott (Lexington), 4, 9.70, $702; and 5. Sean Skey (Sumter), 5, 9.37, $422.
Abbott also had the big bass of the tournament at 5.27 pounds. Rusty White of Rock Hill, who finished sixth with four fish that weighed 8.91 pounds and won $387, had the tournament's second big bass at 4.43 pounds.
The top five co-anglers included: 1. Dustin Powell (Lake City), 3, 7.86, $1,076; 2. Steven Christie (Gray Court), 3, 6.24, $491; 3. Johnny Holloway (Bluffton), 3, 5.99, $328; 4. Carlito Silvania (Shaw AFB), 3, 5.41, $229; and 5. Ershaun Turner (Great Falls), 3, 4.76, $197.
Powell had the co-angler big bass at 4.78 pounds. Darrell Shull of West Columbia only caught one fish, but it was the second big bass at 4.12 pounds. Shull finished tied for seventh with Jeremy David Cabe of York and won $82.
Top fishermen will move on to the Division Championship on the Santee Cooper Lakes Sept. 6-7. The top 40 boaters and co-anglers based on year-end point standings will advance to the regional competition Oct. 3-4 on Georgia's West Point Lake.
Rodgers: 'awesome' experience in Detroit
Dearal Rodgers of Camden had two of the best moments of his tournament career on July 10, the first day of the FLW Tour event on the Detroit River. He got to fish with "the most awesome guy I've ever fished with," and he caught "the biggest smallmouth bass I'd ever seen."
Rodgers fished with Clay Dyer of Hamilton, Ala., the legendary tournament angler who was born with no legs, no left arm and only a partial right arm.
Rodgers caught the big brown bass in 15 feet of water in Lake St. Claire, basically with a "do-nothing" technique - albeit quite by accident.
"We had been fishing for about an hour with no bites so I decided to change baits," he said. "There are so many fish in St. Claire that I decided to just throw out my drop shot and let it sit while I hunted for a different type worm."
He located the worm he wanted and picked up his rod to reel in the slack when a huge bass jumped about 75 feet away.
"I had no idea that it had my bait, and I thought it was a musky," Rodgers said. Dyer thought otherwise.
"Man, you've got a big one," he yelled.
"That's not me," Rodgers said, just as the line tightened and pulled his rod down.
"I jerked back. The fish was so far out that it took forever to get it in. I'll bet that big brownie jumped 10 times."
Dyer readied the net, while Rodgers prayed for the big bass to stay hooked. His prayer was answered.
"I was using a 1/0 hook, and it was almost completely straightened out by the time we got the fish in," he said. "It took Clay and me several minutes to quit shaking and start fishing again."
Rodgers finished 30th in the tournament with a total of nine bass that weighed 29 pounds, 7 ounces; he won $1,200. More importantly, that big smallmouth, which weighed 5.2 pounds, boosted him into 13th place in the co-angler standings for the year.
Lance Spencer of Hanahan finished 19th in the co-angler division with 10 bass that weighed 30 pounds, 6 ounces, and won $1,400.
Attaway, Williamson thrive at Clarks Hill
Although a couple of South Carolina anglers with a lot of experience on Clarks Hill Lake were nipping at his heels, Tony Postell of nearby Appling, Ga., won the American Bass Anglers Southeast Division Grand Slam tournament on June 21. He won a Mercury-powered Triton TR196 bass boat with a MotorGuide trolling motor.
Postell edged Norm Attaway of Clearwater by 12 ounces, weighing in a second-day, 5-fish limit of 14.13 pounds to finish with 27.57 pounds. Attaway finished second with 26.81 pounds.
The rest of the top five included: 3. Tom O'Bryant (Cedar Gove, Tenn.), 10, 26.65; 4. Jason Williamson (Aiken), 10, 26.22; and 5. J. Todd Tucker (Moultrie, Ga.), 10, 25.55.
Williamson, who had the big bass of the tournament at 4.71 pounds, had the heaviest catch on the second day with five bass that weighed 14.92 pounds. O'Bryant had second big bass at 4.45 pounds.
Eric Mora of Evans, Ga., was the only co-angler to weigh in a limit both days, winning that division with 10 bass that weighed 21.45 pounds.
The top five co-anglers included: 2. James Draffin (Cumming, Ga.), 9, 17.50; 3. Chris Abbott (Lexington), 8, 16.43; 4.David Reuwer (Ellerslie, Ga.), 8, 14.71; and 5. Carl Pope (Hodgenville, Ky.), 6, 14.60 pounds.
Barker Plake of Hodges had the big bass of the tournament on the second day at 5.43 pounds. He finished sixth overall with six bass that weighed 13.43 pounds. Pope had second big bass at 4.94 pounds.
Six qualify for Stren Series Championship
Led by Ken Ellis of Bowman, six South Carolina anglers have qualified from the Stren Southeast Division for the Siren Series Championship to be held Nov. 5-8 on Table Rock Lake at Branson, Mo.
Ellis, who won $8,377 for the season, finished fifth in the Southeast Division rankings, followed by: 11. Steve Jeffords (Sumter), $3,370; 15. Ronnie Watts (Florence), $2863; 18. Michael Maxfield (North Charleston), $1,633; 25. Dearal Rodgers (Camden), $2,874; and 27. Nick Gainey (Charleston), $1,712.
Michael Murphy of Gilbert finished highest among South Carolina anglers at Lake Pickwick in the final qualifier of the season. He took sixth with four 5-bass limits that weighed 59 pounds, winning $5,107. It was his only check for the season, and he finished 42nd in the standings, missing qualifying by two spots.
Jeffords and Watts both finished the Pickwick tournament in the top 25. Jeffords was 19th with 15 bass that weighed 36-12, winning $1,490. Watts was 22nd with 15 bass that weighed 36-2, winning $1,235.
Maxfield was the only other South Carolina fisherman to win a check, finishing 31st with 15 bass that weighed 34-7, winning $851.
S.C. non-boaters cash checks on WBT
Two non-boaters from South Carolina finished in the money in the Women's Bassmaster Tour tournament on Old Hickory Lake in June.
LaShea Raynor of Lexington finished eighth with nine bass that weighed 11 pounds, 5 ounces, winning $1,000. Lesley Childers of Anderson finished 13th with seven bass that weighed 9-8, winning $625.
'Jon Boy and Debbie' win at Lake Murray
Harold and Debbie Alewine of Rock Hill, who fish as "Team Jon Boy and Debbie," won the June 21 Midlands Striper Club Tournament on Lake Murray with four fish that weighed 27 pounds, 12 ounces.
They also had the big fish of the tournament at 9-1. They won the Lake World of Lexington team award and the Nichols Store of Rock Hill big fish prize.
Team Wildman, captained by Donnie Christopher of Rock Hill, took second with 19-10. Other team members were Justin Christopher and Skip Morgan of Rock Hill and Danny Young of Sumter.
Team Fog-Don, captained by Don Jackson of Lexington, finished third with 18-8. Jackson's teammate was James "Fogman" Lindler of West Columbia.
Other bass tournaments
Carolina Anglers Team Trail
Lake Wateree June 21, 2008
1. Steve Phillips (Lugoff), 5 bass, 15-15, $830; 2. Mickey Hayes (Kershaw)-Travis Kelly (Camden), 5, 15-1, $320; 3. Steve Keller (Winnsboro), 5, 14-14, including big fish, 6-8, $396; 4. Wayne King (Sumter)-Cliff Cantey (Olanta), 5, 14-7, $150; 5. Joey Bramlett- Fred Gibbs (Darlington), 5, 13-6, $100. Second big fish: Cleve Yarborough (Hartsville)-Mack Kitchens (Sumter), 5-14, $84.
Carolina Anglers Team Trail
Lake Wateree, July 12, 2008
1. Tim Haven-Craig Haven (Lugoff), 5, 13-3, plus bonus, $2,000; 2. Randall Driggers (Turbeville)-Josh McGregor (Lynchfield), 5, 12-14, $1,000; 3. Skeebo Kelly-Joseph Kelly (Hartsville), 5, 11-14, $620; 4. Joey Bramlett-Fred Gibbs (Darlington), 5, 11-14, $400; 5. John Cowart (Jefferson)-Sam Jacoby (Marshville, N.C.), 5, 10-12, $300. Big fish: Walt Almond (Camden)-Pat Clark (Lugoff), 5-12, $296. Second big fish: Mark Richardson-Garby Black (Irmo), 4-15, $296.
National Bass Circuit,
Pro Series Southern Division
Lake Wateree, June 21, 2008
1. Steve Phillips (Lugoff), 5, 15.91 pounds, $1,050; 2. Adam Williamson-Justin Kijak (Ridgeway), 5, 14.85, including big bass at 5.14 pounds, $870; 3. Jay Keith (Camden)-Donald Hinson (Lugoff), 5, 12.27, $425; 4. Wayne King (Sumter)-Cliff Cantey (Lake City), 12.10 pounds, $239. Big bass: Steve Phillips, (tie), Billy McIntosh (Wedgefield)-Gene DuBose (Sumter), 4.08 pounds, $38 each.
National Bass Circuit,
Pro Series Upstate Division
Lake Hartwell, June 22, 2008
1. Jeff Rohaley (Greer)-Barton Aiken (Greenville), 5, 16.27, $1,050; 2. Todd Pearson- Glenn Kimbrell (Anderson), 5, 14.90, $680; 3. Rodney Chastain (Fountain Inn)-Robbie Hipps (Simpsonville), 14.39, including second big bass at 4.61 pounds, $501; 4. Casey Reeves-Ryan Bowman (Easley), 14-0, $239. Big bass: Tommy Riddle-Shane Riddle, 4.86 pounds, $190.
National Bass Circuit,
Pro Series Santee Division,
July 12, 2008
1. Wade Grooms (Moncks Corner)-Albert Pieper (Hanahan), 5, 25.92 pounds, $480; Tom Bancroft (Goose Creek)-Jim McClure (Charleston), 2, 3.42 pounds, $220; Bill Holmes (Moncks Corner), 1, 1.87 pounds.
Tournament directors: Send your schedules and results in the format shown as soon as possible after your tournaments. Be sure to include names, hometowns, number of fish caught, total weight, prize money and big-fish information. Email to Pat Robertson: email@example.com.