(Jul 2, 2018 - WARSAW, Mo.)
Boater Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Missouri, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division tournament on Lake of the Ozarks – his 11th career BFL victory, third-most all-time. For his efforts, Sykora pocketed $4,871.
Sykora made a long run from takeoff to the Grand Glaize arm of the lake, near Osage Beach, and worked through brush piles in 10 to 15 feet of water to catch his fish. He said he rotated between a ½-ounce Davenport Special-colored Chompers Brush Jig with a Root Beer Green Flake-colored Chompers Double Tail Grub trailer, a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog and a Gizzard Shad-colored Sixth Sense Cloud 9 Series C15 crankbait.
“I fished the jig or the Brush Hog first and then ran the crankbait before I’d leave,” said Sykora, who earned his seventh career win on Lake of the Ozarks. “I threw the jig because there was a bream spawn going on and it looks similar to one, but sometimes they wanted something bulkier like the Brush Hog.”
Sykora said he caught 10 keepers throughout the day.
“I probably hit 50 or 60 different piles,” said Sykora. “That’s what made the crankbait good. I could fish faster and cover more water, especially after that long run. It was about 172 miles round trip, but it paid off.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 18-3, $4,871
2nd: Stan Tucker, Festus, Mo., five bass, 17-12, $1,935
3rd: Mark Tucker, Kirkwood, Mo., five bass, 17-11, $1,224
4th: Jamie Edge, Pittsburg, Mo., five bass, 17-5, $1,326
5th: Rob Bueltmann, Osage Beach, Mo., five bass, 16-11, $734
6th: Wesley Myers, Raytown, Mo., five bass, 16-4, $673
7th: Brian Hansen, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 16-0, $612
8th: Andre Dickneite, Freeburg, Mo., five bass, 15-14, $551
9th: Brad Jelinek, Deepwater, Mo., five bass, 15-9, $489
10th: Darrell Durham, Saint Peters, Mo., five bass, 15-7, $428
Edge brought a 6-pound, 3-ounce, bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $470.
Christopher Fierce of Dixon, Missouri, won the Co-angler Division and $1,835 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Christopher Fierce, Dixon, Mo., five bass, 15-8, $1,835
2nd: Spencer Clark, Maryland Heights, Mo., five bass, 15-7, $918
3rd: Lane Becker, Steelville, Mo., five bass, 14-13, $612
4th: Kit Lueg, Olathe, Kan., three bass, 12-14, $428
5th: Jared McBride, Rolla, Mo., five bass, 12-13, $367
6th: Walter Hammond, Lees Summit, Mo., four bass, 12-4, $336
7th: Bobby Dennison, St. Louis, Mo., three bass, 9-2, $306
8th: David Jones, Mackinaw, Ill., four bass, 8-6, $275
9th: William Hoffert, Columbia, Mo., two bass, 7-5, $229
9th: Tom Lloyd, Springfield, Mo., three bass, 7-5, $429
Steve Heitman of Osage Beach, Missouri, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $235.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they 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 performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.