Sykora Works Wonders on Wilson

Another dominant performance kept Marcus Sykora on top at the BFL All-American at Wilson Lake.

FLORENCE, Ala. - To say that Marcus Sykora is leading the Walmart BFL All-American on Wilson Lake is tantamount to calling Michelangelo a church painter, or terming Noah just a boat builder. Without question, the seasoned angler from of Osage Beach, Mo. is on something really special and his performance thus far has been nothing short of complete dominance. Sykora blasted out of the gate with a day-one limit of 26 pounds, 11 ounces and established a lead of 5-6. Impressive, huh? Well, hold on cowboy, this bull's just get warmed up. Consider these numbers: Sykora again blew away the field with a second-round catch of 27-4 that pushed his two-day total to 53-15. His day-two weight was 5 pounds, 10 ounces heavier than the next largest bag and Sykora's new lead of 14-6 is more than the average daily weight of more than half the field. "It's unreal," Sykora chuckled. "It's like there's a little button down there and every time my crankbait hits it, the spot kicks out a 5-pounder." Fishing about a quarter mile downstream of the Wheeler Dam, Sykora caught his fish in about 15 feetMarcus Sykora watches as his massive sack of fish goes through the bump tank. of water over an underwater bar. Both days, he found his greatest concentration of fish in an area with a half-moon shaped notch on the side of a point. He surmises that the spot benefits from current created by the dam's water releases, while eliminating the churning mayhem of the tailrace. "To be honest, I've never seen anything like this before," Sykora said of his spot's abundance. "I think it's the subtlety of that indent in the bar. Also, I think that the current is coming through and there's something that funnels or reroutes that current. The only time I've seen anything remotely like this, it was current-related." Sykora had his first day's weight by about 9 a.m. but securing today's pot of gold required traversing one rocky rainbow, as Wilson Lake delivered a humbling dose of heartache en route to happiness. In a span of about 45 minutes, Sykora lost three fish between 6 and 7 pounds. Normally, I'm reticent to report on the big ones that got away, because we only lose big'ns, right? This time, your humble correspondent witnessed the losses from a media boat. All three fish got big air and all three had jaw-dropping girths. Two threw the crankbait; one came upbuttoned when the O-ring on the rear treble detached. Crankbaits produced all of Marcus SykoraSykora's not easily rattled, but that kinda stuff gnaws at one's confidence. Fortunately, persistence rewarded the tournament leader and within five minutes of his third loss, Sykora boated a 3 1/2-pounder that culled. About five cast later, a solid 5 got him back on track. "I was so blessed to be able to get off to such a good start that I really do feel that regardless of the size of fish that I lose, I'm going to get another opportunity," Sykora said. "You can never dwell on the past. You have to be looking to the future and you have to have a positive outlook. "Is it aggravating? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. Does it hurt? Yes. But at the end of the day, it is what it is and there's nothing you can do about it so let's move on." Sykora's certainly hoping for plenty of chances on day 3. The first two days, he laid off his fish once he had what he thought he needed. In the final round, he said he'll work the spot for all he can get. Moutogiannis moves up to second Dino Moutogiannis, of Newington, Conn., placed eighth on day one with a limit weighing 17-15. On theA big day-two effort moved Dino Moutogiannis up from ninth to second. second day, he upped his game and weighed in a limit that went 21-10. This earned Moutogiannis a final-round berth with a tournament total of 39-9. Edwards advances to third Kevin Edwards, of Knoxville, Tn. moved up to third from his seventh-place spot on day one. His second-round weight of 20-10, paired with his 18-2 from day one gave him a total of 38-12. A mix of crankbaits, football heads and Carolina rigs produced a 20-pound, 10-ounce bag for Marcus Sykora.Edwards said he basically stuck with the same ledge-fishing game plan he followed on day one - cranking a Strike King 10XD and slowly dragging a big Texas-rigged worm and a Zoom Brush Hog on a Carolina rig. Today, the fish showed some preferential differences. "Yesterday, I did better on the dragging baits, but the big fish came on the crankbait," Edwards said. "Today it was the opposite; I did better on the crankbait. I had a limit dragging but then I culled when I had three big ones on the crankbait. "It was just timing today - I threw it at the right time. I picked it up and it was bam, bam, bam. I caught all of my (weight) in the afternoon. I struggled today and I probably didn't have a fish until after 12." Nichol nabs fourth David Nichol, of Gainesville, Ga., caught a limit of 18-11 and placed fourth with 38-7. Nichol reported adjusting his tactics from what he did on day one. He started with the finesse jig he used yesterday, but had to adjust that presentation when he determined that the fish had moved deeper. Today, a ¾-ounce jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer did the trick. Mechanical issues claimed valuable fishing time and Nichol said an early letdown brought lasting impact. "I lit them up early and caught a couple of fish early, but I lost a 7 pounder about 30 minutes into the day and I think that spooked the school," Nichol said. "After that, it was just one here and one there." Castledine slips to fifth Committing to a single spot worked best for Texas boater Todd Castledine.Todd Castledine, of Nacogdoches, Texas caught a limit of 16-4 and slipped a couple of notches to fifth with a total weight of 36-11. Castledine fished crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastics. "Yesterday, I drove around and killed a whole bunch of time looking for stuff that never helped," he said. "I pulled back up on one of my spots and caught two big ones. Today, I was worried about how much traffic it would be getting so I figured if I stayed on it, I'd be the only one on it. "It worked out for the top-10 (cut). I caught them early in the morning and I only culled once after 9:30 a.m. Tomorrow, without as many boats, I'm going to hit spot and then go fish everywhere. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: Lloyd Pickett Jr., of Bartlett, Tn., 36-2 7th: Mark Richardson, of Eastanollee, Ga., 36-2 8th: Jayme Rampey, of Liberty, S.C., 35-14 9th: Bobby Padgett, of Lagrange, Ga., 35-8 10th: John Talton, of Georgetown, Tenn., 34-7 Cothran clobbers co-angler field Paired with Sykora, co-angler leader Bryan Cothran enjoyed the great opportunity of a fish-rich spot Co-angler leader Bryan Cothran sacked up his divisionand sacked up his personal best limit - 24 pounds, 13 ounces - to take the lead with 36-11 and a margin of 2-5 over second-place Justin Sward, of Birmingham, Ala., who tallied 34-6. Cothran caught his fish on crankbaits and soft plastics. "It was an incredible day - it was non-stop action until we left the fish," he said. "The key was my boater. He just found that huge school of fish. "I had my limit by 9 o'clock and my 11 o'clock I had my weight. I told my boater that when I got that kind of weight I'd sit down (and stop fishing), so I stopped fishing at 11 o'clock." Lee Black, of Danville, Ala. took third with 33-9. In fourth place, John Bedingfield, of Loganville, Ga. had 33-0 and Brandon Maynard, of Cookville, Tenn. took fifth with 32-12. Best of the rest Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: Daniel Brock, or Anna, Texas, 30-6 7th: David Blackstock, of The Colony, Texas, 27-15 8th: Ethan Flack, of Cullman, Ala., 27-13 9th: Evan Barnes, of Hot Springs, Ark., 25-14 10th: Nicholas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mi., 25-1 Day three of BFL All-American on Wilson Lake continues at Saturday'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/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »