Sykora Secures Wilson Win

Huge performances on days one and two positioned Marcus Sykora for his BFL All-American win.

FLORENCE, Ala. - Current positions bass - everyone knows that. Just where today's Wilson Lake current positioned the massive school of bass he fished on days one and two - Marcus Sykora does not know that. What he does know: the 53 pounds, 15 ounces he tallied those first two days positioned him for a wire-to-wire victory in the Walmart BFL All-American. With trophy in hand and a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup, August 14-17 on South Carolina's Lake Murray, Sykora exclaimed: "It feels awesome." However, prior to the weigh-ins, the boater from Osage Beach, Mo. was concerned that after leading the field for two days, he might have let victory slip through his grasp. Here's the picture: Day one, Sykora weighed in 26 pounds, 11 ounces. A day later, he followed withExcessive current limited Marcus Sykora to 12-5 on day three. 27-4 - the tournament's biggest sack. Going in to the final round, Sykora carried a 14-pound, 6-ounce lead and many assumed he'd run away with the victory. Fate, however, had other plans. Despite fishing the same general area and throwing the same basic lure selection, Sykora managed just 12-5 on day three. Fortunately, the significant lead he had amassed provided enough of a cushion to absorb that day-three disappointment and Sykora ended up with a tournament total of 66-4 and a winning margin of 4-8. "You never know what to expect," Sykora said. "The first day, I had all those fish in the first hour of fishing. The second day, I stayed there about an hour and a half. But then, what happened today, my school was completely gone." Marcus Sykora is joined onstage by Mason and Madison.All three days, Sykora's primary spot was a long bar extending from the south wall of the Wheeler Dam lock. Current from the dam's water release schedule would break around this bar and stimulate the bass that were holding along its edges. Sykora surmises that increased current on day three pushed the fish off the bar and scattered them into parts unknown. Today, he spent the first couple of hours of his day looking for fish around an offshore hump south of the bar on which he did his damage the first two days. After letting his bar rest for a bit, he returned to the main spot and caught his final limit there. For the first two days, Sykora threw primarily a deep diving crankbait. The moving bait picked up a couple of day-three keepers with a Chompers jig and a Zoom Old Monster worm. "It's the Tennessee River - a crankbait a jig and a worm," Sykora said. "What else do you need?" Rampey improves to second FLW Tour pro Jayme Rampey, of Liberty, S.C., took a chance that nearly paid off in a big way. UnlikelyFLW Tour pro Jayme Rampey finished second on Wilson Lake. to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup through the Tour's points standings, Rampey opted to forego the Tour event on nearby Lake Pickwick and instead devote his efforts to the All-American. After placing 19th on day one with 15-10, Rampey stepped it up on day two with a limit of 20-4 and moved up to eighth place. In the final round, he caught the day's biggest sack - 25-14 - and pushed his tournament total to 61-12 for a second-place finish. Rampey caught most of his fish cranking ledges, but he discovered an important tactical point on day two that greatly impacted his performance. "There was one key that everybody was missing and when I figured that out it was instant (success)," he said. "It was boat positioning. Everybody was fishing these places out deep, throwing up shallow. I got up shallow in 2-3 feet of water, put my Power Poles down and threw out to that deeper water. "As soon as my bait would clear the ledge, they would crush it. I figured that out on one of those random casts where you throw out into the middle to (clear) a backlash and I caught a 6-pounder. I figured it out from there." Moutogiannis finishes third Third place went to Dino Moutogiannis.Dino Moutogiannis, of Newington, Ct. joined Sykora and Rampey as the only boaters to break 20 pounds twice in the All-American. On day one, he placed eighth with 17-15, but rose to second on day two by adding 21-10. In the final round, his 21-15 gave him a three-day total of 61-8 for a third-place finish. All three days, Moutogiannis caught his fish on Carolina rigs, football jigs and crankbaits. He fished ledges and found his best action over areas with shell beds. "Wilson Lake is awesome," Moutogiannis said. "I've never seen so many 15- to 20-pound bags." Castledine improves to fourth Todd Castledine was probably the most pleasantly surprised angler in the top-10. The boater fromSticking to one spot paid off for fourth-place Todd Castledine. Nacogdoches, Texas said he started day three without a solid game plan on where he'd find his fish. As he explained, Castledine just went fishing and ended up finding enough for a respectable performance. "I only got two days of practice in before the cutoff and I think I caught three fish over three pounds," Castledine said. "I think that was my worst practice ever." Despite being less prepared than he would have liked, Castledine hovered in the top-5 throughout the event. He placed third on day one with 20-8, slipped to fifth on day two with 16-3 and rose to a fourth-place finish on day three after catching 18-4 and totaling 54-15. Crankbaits and Texas-rigged Kicker Fish Hightail Hole Shot worms were his top baits. Edwards finishes in fifth The lack of big bites hampered fifth-place boater Kevin Edwards.Kevin Edwards, of Knoxville, Tn. got off to a good start with 18-2 on day one. He added 20-10 on day two and moved up from seventh to third. In the final round, he caught 15-5 and settled into fifth place with 54-1 "I had a blast - this place is full of fish," he said. "I didn't have a lot of places - I had one, actually. But I made the most of it." Edwards caught all of his big fish on a Strike King 10XD deep diving plug. A Texas-rigged Zoom Old Monster worm produced the rest of his fish. Best of the restCarolina rigging was the go-to tactic for Lloyd Pickett Jr. Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American: 6th: Lloyd Pickett Jr., of Bartlett, Tn., 53-5 7th: David Nichol, of Gainesville, Ga., 52-14 8th: Bobby Padgett, of Lagrange, Ga., 52-11 9th: Mark Richardson, of Eastanollee, Ga., 50-0 10th: John Talton, of Georgetown, Tenn., 49-4

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 »