Sykora Slams ‘Em on Wilson

Marcus Sykora grabbed a lead of more than 5 pounds on day one of the BFL All-American.

FLORENCE, Ala. - Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo., got off to a blistering start on day one of the Walmart BFL All-American on Wilson Lake with a five-bass limit of 26 pounds, 11 ounces that leads the boater division by a margin of 5-6. Targeting ledges in the mid-lake area, Sykora said he found his fish relating to a V-shaped notch on the side of a point in about 15 feet of water. He had his weight by about 9 a.m. and was pleasantly surprised by what he found on the two waypoints he fished today. "I showed up on my first spot and it was going crazy and then I left," Sykora said. "It was awesome. I had 18 pounds probably in the first six minutes, and my co-angler (Evan Barnes, second place) had 15 pounds in the first six minutes." Sykora said he caught his fish on a jig and a crankbait. The former was his primary bait, but he usedA crankbait and a jig produced Marcus Sykora the latter to squeeze out a few final fish before departing. "These fish were fresh," Sykora said. "There were actually two schools that had moved in, and one of them had been there for a little while, and some of them were brand new. You could tell, because they looked postspawn, and some were filled out already. "I threw the crankbait in there first, and then I'd pick up a couple of stragglers with a jig, and it just all worked out," he adds. So frantic was that morning action that Sykora recalls a moment where he had three fish in the net at one time. This big kicker helped propel Marcus Sykora to the day-one lead."My co-angler netted a 5-pounder for me, and then he had a double and I netted his fish for him," Sykora said. "He had a 4-pounder and a 3-pound smallmouth on [the same crankbait], so we needed three in one scoop." Jumping out to a huge day-one lead gives Sykora more than a numerical advantage for day two - it also allows him more flexibility. "I think it's going to give me a little bit of comfort level," he said. "The key to these events is to be able to just go fishing. Having a lead gives me the confidence to know that I don't have to make up that margin." Looking ahead to the next round of competition, Sykora said he feels good about the prospect of another productive day on the same spots. "I left my fish early today and nobody was around, so hopefully there's plenty there [for day two]," he said. Feller spans Wilson for second In second place, Okeechobee, Fla. boater Timothy Feller described Wilson Lake's lack of grass as "a Football head jigs and crankbaits did the trick for second-place Timothy Feller.whole different world" compared to his weedy home waters. Nevertheless, he adapted and brought in a limit weighing 21-5. "It was mostly ledge fishing today," Feller said. "My co-angler was fortunate enough to catch a 4-pounder on a dock, but everything else I caught was ledge fishing." Feller reports catching fish in the morning and afternoon, but struggling during a slow midday period. He caught his fish on a crankbait and a football head jig. "Generally after I would not get bit after about 20 minutes, I'd switch to a jig and get a bite," Feller said. "After that would die down, I'd switch back over to a crankbait." Feller said his day spanned the length of Wilson Lake, as he fished dam-to-dam and hit about 6 spots. Castledine casts into third Third-place boater Todd Castledine caught two big fish at the tail end of his day. The day started well for third-place boater Todd Castledine, of Nacogdoches, Texas, but it was a big finish that put him in third place with 20-8 "I had a good morning bite and then at the very end of the day, I caught a couple of key fish," Castledine said. "I literally caught a 4 1/2-pounder with 20 minutes left and then I caught a 3-pounder on my last cast." Targeting ledges, Castledine caught his fish on a crankbait, a jig and a Carolina rig. Nichol nabs fourth Ledge fishing was also the game plan for David Nichol, of Gainesville, Ga., but his was a different Finesse tactics produced a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth for fourth-place boater David Nichol.approach than most of his competitors. While many relied on crankbaits and jigs, Nichol employed an unnamed finesse bait. The result was a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth bass. His first-round total of 19-12 landed him in fourth place. "We caught them through the morning and then there was a lull and we caught them again in the afternoon," Nichol said. "I left them biting and then I went looking." Caption takes fifth A morning topwater bite proved valuable for fifth-place boater George Kapiton.FLW Tour pro George Kapiton surmised that his chances of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup were batter in the All-American than the Tour event also running this week on Pickwick Lake. It seems he made the right call, because the boater from Inverness, Fla. sits in fifth place with 19-5. Kapiton got off to a quick start by catching a limit of bass on a Zara Spook fished over an offshore hump. After the topwater bite subsided, he upgraded a couple of times with a Medlock football jig and added a 6-pounder on a Strike King 6XD crankbait. "That topwater bite is what did it for me," Kapiton said. "I'm glad I went with my gut on that one. If we get the same conditions tomorrow, I should be able to catch 15-18 pounds again. There's a lot of fish there." Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: Chris McCall, of Brookeland, Texas, 18-14 7th: Kevin Edwards, of Knoxville, Tn. 18-2 8th: Dino Moutogiannis, of Newington, Ct., 17-15 9th: Mark Richardson, of Eastanollee, Ga., 17-14 10th: Lloyd Pickett Jr., of Bartlett, Tn., 17-6 Maynard cranks his way to top of co-angler field Co-angler leader Brandon Maynard, of Cookeville, Tn. enjoyed a strong start to a day that rewardedLeading the Co-angler Division, Brandon Maynard caught his fish on a Strike King 6XD crankbait. him with a limit weighing 21-3. Fishing areas with abundant forage, he said, was the key to his success. "We started out this morning with the 6XD and I had a good sack in the first 30 minutes," Maynard said. "I culled one more time up in the day, but it got pretty slow after lunch. "The morning bite was really good. I think it was the current coming from (adjacent) Lake Wheeler; it had the shad pushed up there and the big fish moved up in there. We were marking a lot of bait on the bottom." Maynard found the sexy chartreuse color most productive for him. He also caught fish on a Carolina rig, but none were of the quality he caught on the crankbait. Evan Barnes, of Hot Springs, Ark. placed second with 20-7; Brett Anderson, of Woodlawn, Ill., took third with 19-3; Ethan Flack, of Cullman, Ala. was fourth with 18-9 and John Bedingfield of Loganville, Ga., had 15-13 for fifth. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: Lee Black, of Danville, Ala., 15-10 7th: Jim Budde, of Waterloo, Ill., 15-8 8th: Daniel Brock, of Anna, Texas, 14-15 9th: Sam Overton, of Heiskell, Tn., 13-12 10th: James R. Wilcox, of Cincinnati, Ohio, 13-5 Day two of BFL All-American on Wilson Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Central) at Waterfront Marina located at 4451 Florence Boulevard in Florence.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-05-02-hanselman-trifecta-tops-texoma

Hanselman Trifecta Tops Texoma

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman made history on Lake Texoma with a victory that completed his sweep of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division. With victories in the previous two divisional events on Lake Amistad and Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Hanselman caught a 5-bass limit that weighed 18 pounds, 9 ounces today and finished with a tournament total of 58-13 and a 12-pound winning margin. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-02-hanselmania-closing-in-on-texoma-title

Hanselmania Closing in on Texoma Title

It aint’ over ’til it’s over. The fat lady has yet to sing. All the cliches still apply, so in fairness to nine other talented pros, we’ll make no predictions or insinuations about day-two leader Ray Hanselman and possible outcome of the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-big-bag-pushes-hanselman-ahead

Big Bag Pushes Hanselman Ahead

It’s the question of the day, the question of the week; indeed, it’s the question of the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division season: Will we see the trifecta from Ray Hanselman? With the Del Rio, Texas pro leading the final division event on Lake Texoma with 40 pounds, 4 ounces, it appears that the stage is set for a third installment of Hanselmania. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-top-5-patterns-from-lake-texoma-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 2

Del Rio, Texas pro Ray Hanselman stormed into the lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Texoma by adding 23 pounds, 2 ounces to the 17-2 he weighed on day one for a total of 40-4. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-01-texoma-midday-report

Texoma Midday Report

Lake Texoma is showing its stingy side as Rayovac FLW Series anglers ply this Ouachita River reservoir for day two of the final Texas Division event. The weather is nice, with sunny skies and moderate wind, but the first half of the day was painfully slow for the handful of boats we followed. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-setina-takes-day-1-lead

Setina Takes Day 1 Lead

Joe Don Setina, of Pittsburg, Texas leads day one of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with a limit catch weighing 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina caught his fish by flipping flooded brush. Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La. leads the co-anglers with 12-4. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-top-5-patterns-from-lake-texoma-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Texoma Day 1

Pittsburg, Texas pro Joe Don Setina took the day-one lead in Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division action on Lake Texoma with 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Setina was targeting spawning fish in flooded brush. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-buzzbait-brings-reitzell-some-hardware

Buzzbait Brings Reitzell Some Hardware

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-natural-colors-key-for-stegall

Natural Colors Key for Stegall

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-ledford-wallen-tie-for-title

Ledford, Wallen Tie for Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-kicker-carries-anders-to-top-spot

Kicker Carries Anders to Top Spot

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-poteat-fishes-conditions-to-net-title

Poteat Fishes Conditions to Net Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-hensley-targets-bank-for-active-fish

Hensley Targets Bank For Active Fish

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-30-lake-texoma-midday-report-day-1

Lake Texoma Midday Report Day 1

Early goings on Lake Texoma seem to be pretty tough for the Rayovac FLW Series field. From the water, FLW Website Content Manager Jesse Schultz reported seeing several anglers bed-fishing in the GrandPappy Point Resort & Marina area. Most were putting in a lot of time on each fish, which means the bass weren’t exactly snapping. Today’s calm, sunny, post-cold front conditions are, no doubt, helping anglers see their targets clearly, but the visibility works both ways. Someone’s going to find the right bank with just enough water tint to relax the fish and deliver a nice sack, but it’s likely that many will struggle through a tough day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-arey-does-it-again

Arey Does it Again

Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., wowed the crowed in Rogers, Ark., today with an incredible 17-pound, 3-ounce five-bass limit to come from behind and win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake. This is Arey’s second consecutive Beaver Lake FLW Tour victory. Arey’s final-day surge was enough to surpass two-time reigning Angler of the Year Andy Morgan, who led yesterday but weighed in only 9-08 today and fell to third. Arey’s four-day total was 55-06, earning the pro $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-26-beaver-lake-day-4-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-gordon-and-gagner-crowned-tbf-champs

Gordon and Gagner Crowned TBF Champs

Two more anglers qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup today by winning the 2015 The Bass Federation National Championship on Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Ark., earned the TBF crown on the boater side by catching a three-day limit of 50 pounds, 2 ounces, capped by the largest limit caught today – 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Gordon earned $5,000 for his win, but more importantly, he’ll be competing against the best pros in the business in August at the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Gordon also won the TBF “Living The Dream” package, which includes paid entry into the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour, a travel stipend, and use of a wrapped truck and Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-morgan-maintains-his-lead

Morgan Maintains His Lead

One of Andy Morgan’s fishing mottos is to make the best of what you have got “in front of you” to survive and fish another day. Beaver Lake doesn’t give much. So when an angler as resourceful as Morgan gets to a lake that doesn’t give out many resources, the two work well together. Instead of worrying about hitting it out of the park or putting immense pressure on himself to come up with a grand winning strategy, Morgan just scraps, scrapes and claws at the ground right in front of him, making the best of what he’s got. Morgan’s performance on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake was a prime example of his “make the best of it” attitude. After burning up the spawning fish he had located in practice during the first two days of the tournament, he was forced to fish by the seat of his pants today – something he thoroughly enjoys. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-top-5-patterns-from-beaver-lake-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Beaver Lake Day 3

Andy Morgan didn’t light up the world on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Rayovac on Beaver Lake, but he caught what he needed to maintain the lead and put a 1-pound, 9-ounce cushion between he and Matt Arey. Most of the rest of the top 20 scrambled today, abandoning their patterns and trying new options to try and make the final-day cut. Here’s how the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-25-beaver-lake-day-3-coverage

Beaver Lake Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. READ MORE »