UPDATE: Body of Missing Costa Series Angler Recovered From Lake Okeechobee


Nik Kayler’s body was found by a commercial vessel early Monday morning near Clewiston, Florida.

After the first day of a Costa FLW Series bass tournament hosted on Lake Okeechobee, it was discovered that two anglers had gone missing.

William Kisiah and co-angler Nik Kayler failed to make it to check in time at the end of the day Thursday, which sparked a giant search and rescue operation by the Coast Guard, local sheriff’s offices and the FWC.

Authorities found William Kisiah alive late that night, but Kayler remained unfound.

On the morning of Jan. 10, a commerical vessel spotted the body of Nik Kayler in the vicinity of the Clewiston water tower.

The FWC released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“On Thursday, January 4, William Kisiah (DOB 4/9/1966) of Slidell, LA and Nicolas Kayler (DOB 1/1/1980) of Apopka, FL departed the C. Scott Driver boat ramp located on the Kissimmee River in Okeechobee, Florida aboard a 21’ Ranger Bass Boat. Preliminary information indicates that the vessel encountered rough waters and struck a wave and Mr. Kayler was ejected from the vessel. Mr. Kisiah made landfall at the Pahokee Marina later that evening when he made contact with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous agencies, including the FWC, United States Coast Guard, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search for Mr. Kayler. 

“Mr. Kayler’s body was recovered on the morning of Jan. 10 by a commercial vessel in the vicinity of the Clewiston water tower on the lake.

“All of the members of the FWC want to express our sincere sympathies to the victims and families of the victims involved in this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. The FWC would like to take this opportunity to remind all boaters enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways to do so safely. Please wear your life jacket and maintain 360-degree awareness at all times while boating. For boating safety tips, please visit MyFWC.com/boating. This incident is currently under investigation by the FWC.”

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