Meet the Champ: Marcus Sykora

Veteran angler Marcus Sykora walked away with the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Wilson Lake. He won by almost 4 1/2 pounds.

Marcus Sykora is joined onstage by Mason and Madison. Marcus Sykora epitomizes the all-America dream of a working guy working on his bass fishing career. How's he doing? Well, last weekend's victory at the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Wilson Lake pretty much sums it up. The $100,000 paycheck will certainly help with everything from future tournament expenses to all those things this dedicated family man likes to do for his wife, Andrea, 6-year-old daughter, Madison, and 4-year-old son, Mason. But beyond the immediate cash flow, Sykora says he's thrilled with that elusive prize - punching his ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup on South Carolina's Lake Murray, August 14-17. "Earning a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup means everything to me," he says. "It's the highest platform - the pinnacle of our sport. Starting through the grassroots level of the BFL and getting to that pinnacle is very exciting. It's something I'm very proud of. Hopefully I'll represent the BFL nation proudly." Marcus Sykora, the 2014 All-American champion, earned a ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup with his win on Wilson Lake Sykora, who qualified for the All-American through the Illini Division, has 22 top-10 finishes in the BFL, with eight victories to his credit. In 2012, he claimed a trio of victories on Lake of the Ozarks, Truman and Barkley. In addition to his BFL accomplishments, Sykora has also been a solid competitor in the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division. Here, he has two top 10s on Lake of the Ozarks (seventh in 2010, third in 2013). Is he pondering a step up to the Walmart FLW Tour? The State Farm Insurance agent says it's coming, "at some point in time." "I don't know if my timing is right," Sykora says. "I have young children at home, and I have an important business to run. It's definitely something that's on my mind. There are a lot of moving parts, and I don't want to be on Tour and have to worry about anything stressful back home. "I'm 37, and I think I'm just now entering my prime fishing years," he adds. "You have to have enough experience to be consistent. The more seasoned you become, the more of a weapon you can be." Making his home in Osage Beach, Mo., Sykora says his Lake of the Ozarks home waters have provided a diverse training arena in which to hone a broad range of fishing skills that will serve him well in just about any scenario he faces when fishing on the road. "We're doing everything from flipping way up underneath docks in a foot of water to fishing structure in 25," Sykora says. "Also, we have four distinct seasons, and I think this is what makes Midwestern fishermen very successful. We get to see a lot of different phases that the fish enter, so we get a good idea of their habits, movements and forage base. "The only thing we don't have is grass," he continues. "If we had grass in Missouri, I think we'd have it all." Sykora says he was a Tennessee River fan long before his win on Wilson. But with an assortment of Ozark powerhouses within easy reach, Sykora says he's lucky to have his roots planted in such an awesome fishing region. "We have Truman Lake, which is a lowland reservoir that's really flat with lots of timber, stumps and wood; we have Lake of the Ozarks, which I would call a borderline highland reservoir with a lot of fish at a lot of different depths; and we have Table Rock, which is a highland reservoir with crystal-clear water," he says. "So within an hour's drive of my house, I could be fishing a tournament one day where I'm fishing less than 5 feet, and the next day I'm fishing more than 40, and I don't skip a beat. I think that's really what the Ozark-style fisheries have done for me as far as preparation outside the state of Missouri." Another dominant performance kept Marcus Sykora on top at the BFL All-American at Wilson Lake. With the whirlwind of All-American "love and support" still swirling around him, Sykora admits he's had little time to start planning for Lake Murray. Nevertheless, he points to the pressure-cooker mentality of his BFL roots as a refining tool that should help him perform in multiday events like the four-day Forrest Wood Cup. "I like that in the BFLs you don't have the time constraints of a multiple-day event, so you're not away from home as much," he says. "But what I think makes the BFL such a challenging format is that you have to catch big fish and catch them now. You're not fishing for points; you're fishing for the win. "Also, you're not only fishing against guys who travel out of their zip codes, but you're also fishing against the top sticks on that lake," adds Sykora. "You have to make quick decisions. Everything has to go right, and you only have eight hours to make it go right." If things go well, this All-American champ will have four eight-hour opportunities to earn another trophy - a much bigger, brighter trophy - at the Forrest Wood Cup Aug. 14-17. For the complete story of Sykora's All-American victory, click here. For more about the Forrest Wood Cup, go to ForrestWoodCup.com.

Tags: article 

/tips/2015-03-21-guntersville-midday-update

Guntersville Midday Update

With numerous local boats on the water, a number of the top 10 pros have been unable to fully capitalize – Cameron Gautley didn’t have a limit at noon and Trevor Fitzgerald, Jay Kendrick and Rob Digh had yet to complete theirs as well. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-21-college-open-day-2-midday-update

College Open Day 2 Midday Update

The sun is shining, the weather is warmer and the bass aren’t biting, at least not for most of the first-round leaders here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open. As the second and final day of competition unfolds, the leaders are struggling to maintain their positions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-19-day-one-midday-update-from-guntersville

Day One Midday Update From Guntersville

With cooler weather blowing in, patches of mist and rain whisking over the lake, and whitecaps in the main channel, day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Mercury on Lake Guntersville is proving to be a challenge for the field. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-murray-state-high-school-fishing-open

Murray State High School Fishing Open

The Bass Federation (TBF) and FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, will host a Student Angler Federation Murray State High School Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, March 28 with the winning team receiving $4,000 in scholarships to Murray State from Independence Bank and FLW. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-walmart-bfl-tournament-preview

Walmart BFL Tournament Preview

The weekend of March 21 will feature four Walmart BFL tournaments. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-college-open-heads-to-kentucky-lake

College Open Heads to Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Kentucky Lake March 20-21 for the inaugural FLW College Fishing Open tournament. This is the first time FLW has hosted a college tournament that allows open registration from any eligible college teams, regardless of division or location. Anglers who finish within the top 10 automatically qualify for the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship while the champions take home a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-weekend-wrap-up

Weekend Wrap-Up

A recent warming trend and resulting rising water temperatures across the country had many anglers targeting fish that were moving back into spawning areas. Both the LBL and Okie division tournaments proved that the big girls are moving shallow. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-episode-68

Episode 68

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-10-best-shots-from-toho

10 Best Shots from Toho

Photos, photos and more photos. All totaled, FLW's media crew, which is composed of staff and freelance contributors, snapped more than 16,000 photos at the Lake Toho opener of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. FLW Graphic Designer and Photo Editor D.W. Reed II managed the flow of every photo from the camera, through a review and editing process, and eventually uploaded only the best shots to the website - and he did a fine job of it too. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-australian-wins-lake-toho-flw-fantasy-fishing

Australian Wins Lake Toho FLW Fantasy Fishing

FLW Fantasy Fishing player Tom Slater of Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia, correctly picked four of the top 10 anglers the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Toho presented by Mercury. For his picks, Slater won the season’s first FLW Fantasy Fishing event and its $5,000 top prize. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-11-walmart-bfl-tournament-preview

Walmart BFL Tournament Preview

March 14 will host six different Walmart BFL events around the country. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-10-weekend-wrap-up

Weekend Wrap-up

With the Walmart FLW Tour kicking off on Lake Toho over the weekend, all eyes were on central Florida. Toho didn’t disappoint. The system kicked out numbers of giant bass, which led to a final weigh-in that turned out to be a nail-biter. What you might not have realized is that Lake Guntersville also churned out a plethora of giants in a Walmart Bass Fishing League event held there on Saturday. Here’s a recap of last weekend’s tournament action. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-04-episode-67-shane-lehew-and-jt-kenney

Episode 67 - Shane Lehew and JT Kenney

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-04-boat-bling-renews-with-flw

Boat Bling Renews with FLW

In conjunction with their FLW sponsorship, Boat Bling recently announced the “2015 Boat Bling Challenge – Beat a Pro, Win a Boat” contest. One lucky winner will win a VIP trip to the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Airfare, hotel and VIP access will be given to the winner, as well as the opportunity to fish against a Boat Bling pro on Monday, August 24th. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-03-weekend-wrap-up-march-2-2015

Weekend Wrap-up – March 2, 2015

This weekend was all about anticipating the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho. Though the pros haven’t started competing yet (competition begins Thursday), we’re beginning to see reports of great catches from practice and photos of some beautiful scenery, which has revved up preseason excitement to an all-time high. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-03-easy2hook-s-new-flipping-hook-

Easy2Hook’s New Flipping Hook

This no-knot technology has already converted many professional anglers from traditional, closed-eye circle hooks that you tie your line to. It eliminates the weakness inherent traditional knots, and gives anglers 100 percent true line strength. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-02-pre-tournament-interviews-lake-toho

Pre-Tournament Interviews - Lake Toho

Cody Meyer and David Dudley provide their thoughts on Lake Toho after day two of practice. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-flw-launches-new-website

FLW Launches New Website

In conjunction with the start of the 20th-anniversary season of the Walmart FLW Tour, FLW is proud to showcase its newly redesigned website. Located at a new URL, FLWFishing.com features a clean, organized look that is responsive on all viewing platforms and devices. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-flw-fishidy-team-up-again-

FLW, Fishidy Team Up Again

Fishidy allows anglers to explore real-time interactive fishing maps and fishing reports, track catches, and engage with an exclusive community of other anglers, captains, guides and bait shops. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-26-kentucky-high-school-athletic-association-regional-registration-now-open-for-fishing

Kentucky High School Athletic Association Regional Registration Now Open for Fishing

READ MORE »