(Mar 14, 2016 - OSAGE BEACH, Mo.)
Local angler Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 15 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament of 2016 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Sykora took home $6,336.
Sykora said he focused on the Bagnell Dam area, fishing steep banks that led into flatter pockets.
“The bass were grouped up in transition areas along an 18-mile stretch,” said Sykora, the 2014 BFL All-American Champion. “I used a chartreuse and white-colored War Eagle Spinnerbait and a 6th Sense Crush Flat 75X Crankbait. I threw the spinnerbait on the steeper structure, and the crankbait when it flattened out.”
The Missouri angler said his bait color was crucial to his catch and he caught 12 keepers throughout the day.
“With the stain we had in the water, those colors ended up attracting the largest fish,” said Sykora. “Even if the bite was slow, I knew I had to keep pushing on and sooner or later I’d trip over a big one. I ended up hitting nearly 25 different spots.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 24-15, $6,336
2nd: Wes Endicott, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 22-8, $2,668
3rd: Jeremy Johnson, Kansas City, Kan., five bass, 20-10, $1,780
4th: Jason Rhyne, Foristell, Mo., five bass, 20-3, $1,245
5th: David Ryan, Levasy, Mo., five bass, 20-0, $1,067
6th: Mark Dunbar, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 19-12, $978
7th: Caleb Spinks, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 18-8, $889
8th: Steve Ruff, Wentzville, Mo., five bass, 18-5, $800
9th: Shawn Kowal, Linn Creek, Mo., five bass, 18-4, $712
10th: Jake Seifert, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 18-2, $623
Greg Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, caught a 6-pound, 9-ounce bass – the biggest of the tournament in the pro division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $840.
Joshua Pullins of Bonne Terre, Missouri, weighed in five bass totaling 17 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to earn $2,668 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Joshua Pullins, Bonne Terre, Mo., five bass, 17-12, $2,668
2nd: Michael Montgomery, Cuba, Mo., five bass, 16-13, $1,334
3rd: Cody Millican, Highlandville, Mo., five bass, 16-10, $888
4th: Brian Wilbert, Donnellson, Iowa, five bass, 16-2, $623
5th: Ronald Smith Jr., Kansas City, Kan., five bass, 15-14, $534
6th: Johnny Ward Jr., Waynesville, Mo., five bass, 15-5, $489
7th: Robert Loyd, Strafford, Mo., five bass, 15-0, $445
8th: Bob Keeth, Dixon, Mo., four bass, 14-15, $400
9th: B.J. Hicks, Richmond, Mo., five bass, 14-8, $356
10th: Michael Carter, Raytown, Mo., five bass, 14-7, $311
Rick Dahlman of Mokena, Illinois, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $420.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 27-29 Regional Championship on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.