UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

 Cox Commits to MLF

 Cox Commits to MLF
John Cox

The announcement of the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour roster finally makes it official: John Cox will fish the Bass Pro Tour and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit.

Though the announcement also includes big opportunities for other top Pro Circuit anglers, the news that Cox is going to fish a full season at the Bass Pro Tour level is exciting for many. A perennial contender, Cox is unquestionably one of the best in the world and crushed a grueling 2020 schedule split between the Bassmaster Elite Series and the Pro Circuit. Back in 2016, Cox won the Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake, becoming the first to win the championship out of an aluminum boat. Just last year, Cox started the season by winning the first event of the newly re-named Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn.

More on the 2021 Bass Pro Tour field

Cox’s decision to base his pro fishing career at MLF in 2021 wasn’t an easy one. But the opportunities on the table and his history with FLW helped him make the call.

“I’ve been really kicking it around, it was a hard decision,” says Cox, who’s other primary option was the Elite Series and some combination of lower-level events. “But, at the same time, I like to fish, I like to fish tournaments, and the way I can fish the BPT and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit ends up being 13 guaranteed tournaments. I already knew there were two (Elite Series) tournaments conflicting with the Pro Circuit, so if I fished them I was not going to be able to fish the Pro Circuit. The Pro Circuit, that’s been the breadwinner, that’s how I’ve paid my bills the last 10 years. I like fishing it, I like Jody White, Kyle Wood, Rob [Matsuura] and Daniel [Fennel].”

2021 Bass Pro Tour schedule

2021 Pro Circuit schedule

Cox has fished for years on the Pro Circuit, wining multiple events and nearly winning Angler of the Year a few times. The field will certainly provide a challenge, but he’s familiar enough with the format that he’ll be a contender barring some unseen disaster.

John Cox

Fishing the catch, weigh, release format on the MLF side is a bit more of an unknown for Cox. The only time he’s done it before was at the Tackle Warehouse TITLE on Sturgeon Bay this summer, where he crushed the Qualifying Round and finished third in the Championship Round. Coming straight from a top five finish in the Elite Series event at St. Clair, Cox rolled in with his smallmouth rods already tied up and no practice.

“It was exciting, it was really fast paced, but I don’t know how good I’ll be at it,” says Cox. “At that one, it seemed like it worked really well, it was nice, I didn’t have any practice, and it fit perfect for not practicing. The way that format is, where you’re going to zero your weight, it really made me think about how to fish this year. So, I’m excited, I don’t know how we’re gonna do on the largemouth lakes, but it sure was fun fishing at Sturgeon Bay. It was probably one of the most exciting tournaments I fished all year.”

Another thing that has Cox hyped for 2021 is the schedule. For both circuits, Cox has a lot of good history on his side.

“You look at the schedule, the schedules are amazing,” says Cox. “There’s not one that I look at where I’m like ‘Oh gosh, what am I gonna do there, oh no.’ Every one of those are good lakes, I really enjoy fishing those lakes, I look forward to every one of them. Champlain is on there, honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever made a top 10 at Champlain, but with the different format, I might be able to fish Champlain differently and it be ok.

“The competition is going to be tough,” adds Cox. “You look at the guys fishing, it’s tough, but the way the top 10 for the BPT is going to pay out, if you get in the top 10, you’re making a good chunk of money. And, having the Pro Circuit as more tournaments to fish, that being the regular, five-fish limit, I’m not really worried about it.”

John Cox

Depending on how he finishes in 2021, Cox could end up fishing close to 20 tour-level events if he qualifies for everything that’s on the table (including championships and MLF Cup events). It’s a lot from an angler that was on the verge of washing out of fishing back in 2013. 

“I started on the FLW Tour in 2011, I kinda struggled there in ’12, and missed a bunch of tournaments in ’13,” says Cox. “You see it all the time, guys come up and kill it, and then they get low. Maybe they aren’t catching them, or stuff at home is messing them up. It’s hard to bounce back from that. Bouncing back, coming out of that, that was by far my biggest accomplishment. It wasn’t all me, a lot of stuff lined up, a lot of people helped out, I remember paying on the last day of practice for some tournaments. If I would have gave up in ’13, I don’t know where we’d be right now.”

Now, Cox is getting ready to rig a couple of aluminum boats up for what could be his biggest year yet. With a full season on the Bass Pro Tour and the Pro Circuit ahead of him, he’s got a chance to make his mark against the likes of Jordan Lee and Jacob Wheeler and put some serious money in the bank.

Tags: jody-white  article 

Lake Cumberland Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Cumberland Midday Update – Day 2

Wet conditions have defined day two of the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. To this point, it’s been cold and rainy almost without a break since takeoff. Somewhat surprisingly, it seems to have hurt the fishing, with fewer fish catches seen and reported, though it’s not the case universally. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Midday Update - Day 1

Lake Cumberland Midday Update - Day 1

Fairly calm and cool conditions haven’t provided the longed-for wind, but otherwise, the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland is off to a good start. After a short fog delay, the field rolled out, and anglers have seen success from near takeoff all the way down to the dam. READ MORE »

Off and Rolling on Cumberland

Off and Rolling on Cumberland

This is the second-straight year the Toyota Series Championship has been on Lake Cumberland, but this time it’s bigger than ever. With $200,000 cash on the line – plus a $35,000 FLW Phoenix Bonus if qualified – the field is more than ready to hit the water. Oh, and there’s also an additional $10,000 bonus for the highest-finishing pro from each of the eight U.S. Toyota Series divisions and the International Division. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff and anglers provide unofficial weight estimates for the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland.  READ MORE »

New Wild Card Division Announced, Entry Dates Approaching

New Wild Card Division Announced, Entry Dates Approaching

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the new Toyota Series Wild Card Division, a second-chance opportunity for Toyota Series pros and co-anglers to advance to the 2021 Toyota Series Championship – and the shot at winning up to $235,000 cash – along with upcoming entry dates, a perfect gift for the holiday season. READ MORE »

2020 Toyota Series Championship Roster

2020 Toyota Series Championship Roster

With the elongated 2020 season finally drawing to a close, the Toyota Series Championship is upon us. This year, the Toyota Series Championship field is made up of the top 25 pros and co-anglers from each division, plus top finishers from the Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship, The Bass Federation, the Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American and FLW’s international ranks. READ MORE »

Toyota Series Championship Preview

Toyota Series Championship Preview

The 2020 Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland is going to be a showdown of epic proportions. Taking place December 3-5, the event brings together hundreds of pro and amateur anglers from FLW’s various championship events, the best from the eight Toyota Series divisions, plus some international contenders. READ MORE »

Who’s Ready to Fish the Bass Pro Tour?

Who’s Ready to Fish the Bass Pro Tour?

For the Bass Pro Tour opener, the top four anglers based on the 2020 Pro Circuit AOY standings will get a chance to compete for $100,000, meaning Ron Nelson, Spencer Shuffield, Grae Buck and Matt Becker will head to Texas. READ MORE »

Varkevisser, Eastman Win 2020 FLW South Africa Championship

Varkevisser, Eastman Win 2020 FLW South Africa Championship

After three days of fishing on Witbank Dam, Justy Varkevisser and Reed Eastman of Team Beli VC took home the 2020 FLW South Africa Championship title with a total weight of 19.56kg (43.12 pounds). Taking place Nov. 19-21, Eastman and Varkevisser won over $1,300 for their efforts. READ MORE »

Phil Marks Passes at Age 55

Phil Marks Passes at Age 55

FLW is saddened to report that Phil Marks, Senior Vice President of Sales for Strike King and tournament angler, passed away at the age of 55 following a long battle with cancer. READ MORE »

2021 Bass Pro Tour Roster

2021 Bass Pro Tour Roster

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the 2021 Bass Pro Tour angler roster. The roster includes 75 returning anglers, headlined by 2020 Angler of the Year (AOY), Heavy Hitters winner and General Tire World Champion Jordan Lee, five-time MLF event winner Jacob Wheeler, Ott DeFoe, Edwin Evers, and the man considered by many to be the greatest professional angler of all-time, Kevin VanDam. READ MORE »

College Open Headed to Chick

College Open Headed to Chick

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that Dayton, Tennessee will host the 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on March 30-31 at Lake Chickamauga. The famed big-bass fishery has produced some of the best trophy bass fishing opportunities in the country and has served as a highly competitive playing field for many major bass tournaments over the years.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Though some largemouth entered the mix by happenstance, you really had to drop down to Jayme Rampey in fourth place to find someone who made a dramatic adjustment to pursue largemouth. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Most of the fish weighed on Hartwell in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP were spotted bass. As such, a lot of finesse baits made the team. Still, a few anglers attempted to mix in largemouths to varying degrees, and even for spots, it wasn’t all spinning rods. 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 »

16 Spots Filled For Toyota Series Championship

16 Spots Filled For Toyota Series Championship

With the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP wrapped up, the field for the Toyota Series Championship happening this December on Lake Cumberland can now take shape. While the full roster will be released soon, the highest-finishing boater and co-angler from each of six Regional Championships, the Wild Card and The Bass Federation (TBF) National Championship at the All-American now advance to Cumberland next month for a shot at winning $235,000 and $33,500, respectively. 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 »

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is shaping up to be a nail-biter. 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 »