Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division event on Truman Lake. For his victory, Sykora earned $4,766.
“My day started out a little rough,” said Sykora. “I lost three kicker bites while fishing a topwater bait right away in the morning. Coming into this event, I had figured out three strong patterns – topwater, structure fishing and flipping. The topwater bite really went south due to the weather, so I switched it up and started structure fishing. I ran the brush piles near the dam and was able to catch a limit using a Gene Larew Hoo Daddy. Once I had my limit, I started flipping isolated stumps and trees with a ½-ounce Chompers Brush Jig trailered with a dark melon-colored Chompers Twin Tail Grub. I found success with that as well, and was able to catch 11 keepers on the day.
“The keys to my victory were my Triton Boat and Humminbird Electronics with side imaging,” Sykora continued. “I wouldn’t have been able to locate the fish that I did without them. I really thought it would take around 19 or 20 pounds to win this tournament, which I would have had, had I not lost those topwater fish in the morning. This tournament for me was really about being in the right place at the right time, and being able to switch off of the topwater pattern which wasn’t producing like it had in practice.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: David McCormick, Lee’s Summit, Mo., five bass, 15-3, $1,883
3rd: Michael Stetich, Omaha, Neb., five bass, 14-8, $1,256
4th: Steve Ruff, Wentzville, Mo., five bass, 14-0, $816
4th: Tom Silber, Labadie, Mo., five bass, 14-0, $816
6th: David Ryan, Levasy, Mo., five bass, 13-9, $659
6th: Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan., five bass, 13-9, $659
8th: Mark Thompson, Pleasant Hill, Mo., five bass, 13-6, $565
9th: Lance Williams, Billings, Mo., five bass, 13-1, $502
10th: Tom McGovern, Warsaw, Mo., five bass, 12-14, $439
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Joe Waggoner of Carthage, Mo., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win $1,883 in the co-angler division.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Jeffrey Risinger, Bridgeton, Mo., five bass, 10-11, $942
3rd: Dewey Larson, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 10-5, $627
4th: Dennis Meyer, Ballwin, Mo., five bass, 10-1, $439
5th: Jay Myers, Fenton, Mo., five bass, 9-4, $377
6th: Johnnie Cook, Houston Lake, Mo., three bass, 8-10, $345
7th: Jeff Davis, Rolla, Mo., four bass, 8-5, $298
7th: Cory Schuh, Hillsboro, Mo., four bass, 8-5, $298
9th: Nick Hoelting, Merriam, Kan., four bass, 7-8, $251
10th: Craig Hulsey, Park Hills, Mo., three bass, 7-6, $220
The final 2012 BFL Ozark Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 8-9 on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo. After that tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 11-13 Regional Championship on Lake Barkley in Kuttawa, Ky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy Silverado, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518 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 40 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the EverStart Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.