UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Sykora Works Wonders on Wilson

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: david-a-brown  headline-story  2014-06-05-wilson-lake 

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Culbertson Wins Wild Card

Boater Austin Culbertson of Columbia, Missouri, brought a two-day total of eight bass to the scale weighing 25 pounds, 9 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Wild Card Championship on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Fish-Intel.com. For his victory, Culbertson earned one of the final berths into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

Live Leaderboard - Lake Hartwell

FLW media staff and anglers provide unofficial weight estimates for the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Huff All the Way on Table Rock

Cody Huff didn’t even plan on fishing the final Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock, but being it’s only on 45 minutes from his house and he already filled a deer tag he figured why not. That decision turned out to be the right one as he’d take the lead on day one with 16 pounds, 15 ounces and never look back. READ MORE »

Poche Wins on Seminole

Poche Wins on Seminole

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole was tough on the folks heading down the lake and fishing around the grass. It was not tough on Keith Poche, who turned his small aluminum boat up the Flint River each day of the event to target shoal bass and largemouths north of Bainbridge. READ MORE »

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

Huff Cruising on Table Rock

After two days on Table Rock Lake for the final Toyota Series Plains Division event of the season, Cody Huff is in command, backing up his Thursday weight of 16 pounds, 15 ounces with a solid 13-15 for a 30-14 total overall. READ MORE »

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Dillon McMillan Smashes 24 Pounds on Seminole

Walloping 24 pounds, 4 ounces on day two, Dillon McMillan surged into the lead of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. With a 37-4 total, Dillon is ahead of Jared McMillan, his older brother, by a hair more than 4 pounds going into the final day. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 2

A head-scratcher. That’s the best way to describe the day two morning at the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. If you wonder why so many pros talk about how sensitive Lake Seminole is to fishing pressure, look at the second day of just about any event held there. For some reason, Seminole fish are just smart like that. They might bite well the first day, but they clam up the second day. READ MORE »

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Huff Ahead on Table Rock

Jumping out to a lead over a tightly packed top 10, Cody Huff weighed 16 pounds, 15 ounces on day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Table Rock Lake. Huff, who is a Bethel University student, has already won one Toyota Series event this year, and he’s now starting off another on exactly the right foot. Behind him, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit superstar Spencer Shuffield is tied with Corey Cook for second place with 14-5 and Dale Andrews is in third with 14-1. READ MORE »

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

J-Mac Sticks 21+ on Seminole

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jared McMillan dropped 21 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale to kick off the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole. The only pro to cross the 20-pound barrier, McMillan is ahead of Jason Smith, who weighed 19-3, and MLF Bass Pro Tour pro Keith Poche and Mikey Keyso, who both brought in 17 pounds or better. READ MORE »

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Seminole Midday Update – Day 1

There was plenty of fish catching happening on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Seminole; the problem was they were not the size fish Lake Seminole is known for. Instead of 5- and 6-pounders, there was an unusual number of line-burners being deposited in livewells READ MORE »

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Wagner Wins on Dale Hollow

Adam Wagner is approaching legend status in central Tennessee. Storming to the win from fifth place on the final day, Wagner put a limit for 16 pounds, 1 ounce on the scale for a 34-6 total and the win in the Toyota Series Central Division event on Dale Hollow. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

Dale Hollow Midday Update – Day 3

You’re not going to find a better day to be out on the lake in the fall. Unfortunately, the warming trend paired with bluebird skies, plenty of sun and very little wind hasn’t produced very good conditions for catching fish. READ MORE »

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Dale Hollow is fishing tough. That’s about the only constant across the field in the Toyota Series Central Division finale. Everyone in the top 10 has made it to this point by finding a way to battle the difficult conditions and tricky timing, and many have done that extremely well. READ MORE »