UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Chickamauga

12 Questions with Kyle Alsop

12 Questions with Kyle Alsop
Kyle Alsop

Just a little over a month ago, Kyle Alsop and his partner Travis Blenn took home the second YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship title for the Kansas State Wildcats on Wheeler Lake. The two then went head-to-head in order to find out who would punch their ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray this August. Alsop prevailed and in just a few weeks will be fishing in the biggest tournament of his life.

FWC details page

FWC event schedule

FWC event map

We took some time to fire a few questions at the 23-year-old champ before he takes the big stage Aug. 11-13.

 

So, how’d you get started fishing in general?

My dad. Since I could walk I had a fishing pole in my hand. I more or less grew up living in a boat. My dad [Tom Alsop] started getting into tournament fishing before I was born, so had an awesome teacher. He and his partner Keith [Leftridge] are two local sticks so I had some great fishermen to learn from. When I was about 10 years old I really started getting into tournaments. Even when we went fun fishing, I still had to fish behind my dad and Keith who are really, really good fishermen and it taught me to think on my feet or I wouldn’t catch anything.

 

What’s it like to be the first person to win the B.A.S.S. and FLW college championships?

You go into every tournament with the mindset to win and we’ve definitely put in plenty of work before each tournament with map study and reading articles, no doubt about it. So, it is pretty special for that work to pay off. When Ryan Patterson won the FLW College National Championship right before I started at K-State I knew I wanted to win one for the college. That really drove me. Plus, my friends and family have supported me and it’s been an incredible ride. It gives me a little extra confidence at trying to qualify for the pro tours.

 

Now that you’re done with college, what’s the plan?

Well, I started full-time with U.S. Engineering about a year ago and they have been extremely supportive. I worked as an intern with them in college for a few years and I was lucky enough that it turned into a career.

Next year I plan on fishing both the B.A.S.S. Open and Costa FLW Series central divisions. I love working, but my dream is to fish and I’m going to do everything I can to get there.

 

What’s your best memory from College Fishing?

The friendships I’ve made are huge. I love the fishing and the competitiveness, but the friendships I’ve made from Wisconsin to Texas are awesome. Just to be able to call so many of these guys and chat with them about whatever is awesome.

Plus, the two championship wins is hard to beat. The first one I was a lot more nervous for and the shock was a lot more. For the second one I was a lot calmer for until the very end of the weigh-in. Both have a special place with me.

 

Who is the best friend you made from college fishing that’s not from K-State?

Every tournament we went to we made a new friend from. I’m good friends with the guys from Winona State, Murray State and the University of Evansville to name a few. Those are the guys I Snapchat with, text with and check in with. They are just awesome guys.

I also met Daniel Montgomery, who is probably the best friend I made that’s not a tournament guy. He hooked us up with a guy named Ryan Methvin who loaned us a boat to use during the Collegiate Bass Championship a few years ago when we had motor issues the day before the event. We still keep up every couple of weeks and it’s unbelievable.

 

What’s your favorite Kevin Hunt (the College Fishing tournament director) memory?

Riding to the fish-off with him in his truck. It was the first time I actually had time to sit and chat with him and he’s an awesome guy and a class act. The amount he does for the college guys is incredible. All of the college guys are very appreciative of him.

 

If you had to fish for any other college fishing team, which one would it be? Why?

Honestly, it would probably be Murray State or Carlton State or Auburn because they are centralized around world class fisheries. Any of the schools that are right in the heart of the major fisheries would be a fun place to attend and fish for.

 

Is the K-State Fishing program in good hands now that you’re gone?

Absolutely. We now have a new advisor who is all about doing anything he can to help us out. There are a lot of incoming freshmen who are very interested in the team now with our three championships in last five years. I imagine in next few years the school will be making a big push for college fishing with all the interest there is. 

 

Do you have any superstitions?

Yeah, I do. But I’d say they are more little precautions you take. I check all my knots. I like to fill the boat up the night before a tournament, so don’t I don’t get gas on my hands. Not having a banana in the boat has stuck with me since I was a little kid. And the curse of putting a cull ball on a fish before you have a limit. That’s about it.

 

What’s your favorite boat snack?

I’m always loaded down with water. I’m not a big eater on the water unless we got a sack. Peanut butter crackers, peanuts, or a candy bar maybe. Otherwise, I just focus on fishing.

 

The Forrest Wood Cup is the biggest stage in professional bass fishing. Do you feel prepared both mentally and physically?

Not gonna lie, since I won the fish-off I don’t go five minutes without thinking about the Cup. When I was younger I could be a head case and spin out, but I have gotten better about that. Not getting awestruck with who you are competing against is a factor, but I’m ready to roll.

On a physical note, I’ve got the body of a 40-year-old man from all the hours I’ve spent fishing, but you don’t think about that when your fishing. I love every second of sleep deprivation, being in the heat, driving on the road and catching bass.

 

No college angler has ever made a cut at the Cup. Will you?

If I can show up and compete like I know I have the ability to do, then we’ll see what happens. A lot of success comes in preparation on the front end, so I have an idea of areas and techniques to try. Fishing is a very instinctual sport and it comes with time on the water, so you gotta be able to adapt on the fly to be successful. I might finish dead last or not even weigh a fish, but you got to have the mindset that you’ll win every tournament. Can’t be afraid to take some chances and gamble a little.

Tags: kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2017-08-11-forrest-wood-cup 

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

After two days on the Harris Chain for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance, McKendree University’s Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis backed up their 22-pound, 10-ounce performance from day one with another 20-2 today to take the lead. READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 Mississippi Division schedule at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 7. Ross Barnett is an annual early season stop for FLW and the first crack at gaining essential points in the race to qualify for this fall’s Regional. This time around, anglers might have to navigate tricky conditions due to a wet and rainy winter. READ MORE »

National Championship Starts This Week

National Championship Starts This Week

With the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event over, the best college fishing teams from across the country are starting practice on the Harris Chain for the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College National Championship presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Harris Chain

FLW Live Schedule for Harris Chain

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit picks up with stop No. 2 this week in Leesburg, Fla., at the Harris Chain of Lakes. This tournament is presented by Bad Boy Mowers. With it comes another weekend of FLW Live broadcasts with hosts Travis Moran and Todd Hollowell. READ MORE »

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

To say Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Tim Frederick loves fishing in Florida would be an understatement. The Leesburg local and fifth-year Pro Circuit veteran calls the Harris Chain of Lakes home, and his only FLW win came just a bit farther south on Okeechobee in 2018. After a 22nd-place finish in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River last week, Frederick has fully turned his attention to his home bodies of water. READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Spring can be one of the best times to launch a boat in the clear waters of Lake Hartwell. That’s why the Georgia-South Carolina border reservoir might be the perfect venue to start the Eastern Division of the Toyota Series on March 3.  READ MORE »

Perfect Practice Conditions at Harris

Perfect Practice Conditions at Harris

Ask Matt Becker how his practice is going for this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain, and the Pennsylvania pro has nothing to complain about. For starters, he’s in the Sunshine State, and it’s about 80 degrees. The 50-degree swing compared to what folks back home in Finleyville, Pa., are experiencing is certainly pleasant. The fishing has also been pretty good through a day and a half of practice. READ MORE »

Timing Right for Giant Weights at Chickamauga

Timing Right for Giant Weights at Chickamauga

If it’s big bass you want, late winter and early spring are ideal times to catch them at Lake Chickamauga, which is why the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division opener is perfectly timed to be a big-bass slugfest. The tournament, which runs Feb. 27-29, could produce some of the biggest five-bass limits FLW will see all year. Just how good the fishing will be depends on the weather, and whether the region ever sees an end to the rain that’s been falling recently.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

The general consensus before the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division stop on Toledo Bend was that local knowledge could go a long way being the Sabine River impoundment was a little fickle. That was spot on. Aside from winner Cody Huff, the rest of the top 10 was an all-star cast of locals.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Fishing offshore was the way to go for the majority of the top pros and because of that a Carolina rig, football jig and deep-diving crankbait were the main players for most of the field. Getting the win, Cody Huff relied on a jigging spoon and his graphs to hunt down suspended fish, proving that heavy metal never goes out of style for bass. READ MORE »

Choo Choo Season Continues at Lewis Smith

Choo Choo Season Continues at Lewis Smith

Stop No. 2 of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Choo Choo Division is Lewis Smith Lake. Smith is one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the east, and late winter should provide some really good fishing. READ MORE »

Huff Wins it on Toledo

Huff Wins it on Toledo

Cody Huff has had a heck of a run these last few weeks on Toledo Bend. It started when he and Dakota Pierce of Bethel University won the Bassmaster College Series event last week. This week, Huff went solo and loaded up a 61-pound, 11-ounce total for a $35,395  payday in the opening event of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division. READ MORE »

Toledo Bend Midday Update – Day 3

Toledo Bend Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Toledo Bend is an absolutely glorious one, in terms of weather. A light breeze and sunny skies greeted anglers for the first time all week, and while it may be pleasant to be outside in, it hasn’t done much to help the fishing. READ MORE »

Kessler Takes Co-angler Title

Kessler Takes Co-angler Title

Any co-angler worth their salt knows that having faith in finesse presentations is a must, no matter the lake. Robert Kessler went all-in on that this week and it paid off with a win in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Cody Huff has been red hot on Toledo Bend for the last week and with one more day to go it’s his tournament to lose. That being said, there is a laundry list of local pros looking to take full advantage of any slip he may have in the final round of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener. READ MORE »

Toledo Bend Midday Update – Day 2

Toledo Bend Midday Update – Day 2

It was another cloudy, cool morning to start day two of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Toledo Bend. With water temperatures hovering around 52 degrees, the fish weren’t in much of a biting mood throughout much of the morning. READ MORE »

Huff Hauls Ahead at Toledo Bend 

Huff Hauls Ahead at Toledo Bend 

Cody Huff appears to be unstoppable on Toledo Bend. Last week, the Bethel University angler won the Bassmaster College Series event on Toledo with his partner Dakota Peirce. This week, he's weighed 43 pounds, 12 ounces through two days and appears to be cruising toward the win in the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division event of the year. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 1

Everyone knew this tournament wouldn’t be the slugfest Toledo Bend is known for, but that didn’t stop the top pros from assembling some decent catches on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division opener. READ MORE »