Two tournaments into the fall trail, the Benjamin Russell anglers have turned in two team titles and haven’t been far behind in individual results.

The Wildcats won the Logan Martin Lake tournament this past weekend, with their top boat, featuring anglers Stihl Smith and Slade Davis, capturing first place individually.

“It’s a great feeling to start off the year with back-to-back wins,” Benjamin Russell fishing coach Josh Williams said. “It puts us in a really good position moving forward in the fall. We only have to count our four best tournaments out of the five for the trail championships, and we have two first places right now.”

Reeltown anglers Lane Burns and Hunter Simpson finished as runners up at the event. The Rebels placed ninth as a team.

Logan Martin Lake hasn’t played host to an ASABFA fishing tournament for several years, Williams said. Benjamin Russell had no experience on the body of water.

In preparation for competition day, Davis and Smith fished the lake on multiple occasions on their own time, figuring out the best baits or lures to use, what spots got the best bites and overall how to approach the weekend’s competition.

“That’s what people typically don’t see, the amount of time and money that they put into it to be able to secure that first-place win. I was really proud of them for doing that,” Williams said.

The duo and the rest of the field were thrown a curveball on the day of the tournament, however.

Previous practice runs had been taken on hot days and the best fish were caught in shaded spots beneath vegetation and peers. Saturday brought temperatures in the 60s and a drizzling rain.

ASABFA tournaments feature a limit of six fish per boat. Only nine of the 69 boats in the event hit this mark.

For Davis and Smith to finish as not only the top boat once again for Benjamin Russell this season but to take home an individual title, Williams said, is a testament to their preparation, consistency and adaptability.

“They’ve been super consistent, which has been really good for us as a team, to know that we’ve got that consistency to rely on,” Williams said. “Honestly, one of our strengths the last few years has been that it’s been team wins. It’s not always the same people up there in the top three.”

Davis and Smith posted a total weight of 10.44 pounds, the only duo to clear double digits and one of just three to surpass nine pounds. 

Davis Barnett and Jackson Fuller posted the next best finish for the Wildcats with a combined weight of 9.14 pounds to land in fifth.

Benjamin Russell’s 889-point total defeated Geneva by 19.

Fall fishing season continues for Benjamin Russell and other area fishing teams on Lake Eufaula Nov. 6.

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