Sabbagha Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Santee Cooper

March 6, 2023
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

SUMMERTON, S.C. (March 6, 2023) – Boater Joey Sabbagha of Prosperity, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League (BFL) Tournament on Santee Cooper . The tournament, hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, was the second event for the BFL South Carolina Division. Sabbagha earned $6,000 for his victory.

“During practice I found some fish in the lower lake that were staging in some shallow depressions on some flats,” said Sabbagha, who notched his second BFL win. “So, I ran that pattern of five depressions I found that had fish laying in them. I just rotated through them with a Berkley spinnerbait.”

Sabbagha said he targeted flats in 3½ feet of water, where the subtle depressions lay in four feet of water. The method provided Sabbagha with his weigh fish within his first two stops on tournament day. He said he caught nine keepers during the day, but wasn’t able to improve his weight. That early weight, however, turned out to be enough for the win.

“I expected it to take 26 to 28 pounds to win,” Sabbagha said. “But we had a storm come through the night before the tournament and it muddied up some of the water, and I think that affected the fish.

“To get the win on my favorite lake is pretty awesome,” added Sabbagha. “I’m very surprised and happy with it.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

                1st:        Joey Sabbagha, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 23-3, $6,000
                2nd:       Mark Hutson, Moncks Corner, S.C., five bass, 21-1, $3,000
                3rd:       Robert Clarke III, Pineville, S.C., five bass, 20-10, $2,000
                4th:        Jack Belt, Fountain Inn, S.C., five bass, 19-12, $1,400
                5th:        Chuck Howard, Elloree, S.C., five bass, 19-10, $2,200
                6th:        Greg Rikard, Leesville, S.C., five bass, 18-12, $2,570 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
                7th:        Bryan Cook, Vance, S.C., five bass, 17-15, $1,000
                8th:        Matt Wieteha, Miami, Fla., five bass, 17-14, $900
                9th:        Corey Hymer, Bridgeton, N.J., five bass, 17-5, $800
                10th:     Freddie Gibbs, Darlington, S.C., five bass, 17-3, $700

Chuck Howard of Elloree, South Carolina, caught a bass that weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $1,000. Jerry Robbins of Asheboro, North Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $3,000 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 17 pounds, 12 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

                1st:        Jerry Robbins, Asheboro, N.C., five bass, 17-12, $3,000
                2nd:       Samuel Jones, Fuquay Varina, N.C., four bass, 13-5, $1,500
                3rd:       Bobby Henderson, Charlotte, N.C., five bass, 13-2, $1,400
                4th:        Alan Bennett, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 12-10, $700
                5th:        Scott Bowers, Woodbridge, Va., four bass, 12-7, $600
                6th:        Jeff Bissen, Lugoff, S.C., four bass, 12-2, $550
                7th:        Dustin Powell, Lake City, S.C., three bass, 11-12, $500
                8th:        Justin Antley, Ladson, S.C., four bass, 11-3, $450
                9th:        Tyler Hensley, Bostic, N.C., four bass, 10-14, $400
                10th:     Wesley Mullins, Guyton, Ga., four bass, 10-1, $350

Joe Case of Easley, South Carolina, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $500, catching a bass that weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.