FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
More than 175 anglers began the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour season with hopes and dreams of making it to the Forrest Wood Cup. Only 35 of them will, and with just one tournament to go, on Kentucky Lake, a handful of pros within striking distance of 35th place will have to kick it into high gear if they want to be part of the show at Lake Murray August 14-17. They’re trying to replace those pros who are already above the cut line, but with too small a cushion to rest easily. This latter group is composed of the “bubble boys” – the anglers teetering dangerously close to the line separating in and out. And of course, the prospects of the 2014 standouts at the top of the list are unofficially sealed. Barring major catastrophe, they’ll finish with enough points. The goal of a handful of these fortunate few at Kentucky Lake is to try to run down and overtake current AOY leader Andy Morgan. All this considered, we decided to take a look at some of the pros currently sitting within 10 spots of 35th place in the AOY standings, and weigh their odds of making it to the Cup.
2014 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American Champion
Marcus Sykora epitomizes the all-America dream of a working guy working on his bass fishing career. How’s he doing? Well, last weekend’s victory at the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Wilson Lake pretty much sums it up.
David A. Brown
With BFL All-American Champ Marcus Sykora
Cowboy, Ozark, Shenandoah, South Carolina and Volunteer division events set for June 14
The 2014 Walmart BFL season continues with five tournaments on Saturday, June 14. The Cowboy Division will fish on the Red River, the Ozark Division is headed to Lake Truman, the Shenandoah Division will take on the Potomac River, the South Carolina Division will meet on Lake Wateree and the Volunteer Division will continue their season on Cherokee Lake. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing in each event for top awards up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively.
Big sacks on days one and two pace Missouri boater's BFL All-American win
FLORENCE, Ala. – Current positions bass – everyone knows that. Just where today’s Wilson Lake current positioned the massive school of bass he fished on days one and two – Marcus Sykora does not know that. What he does know: the 53 pounds, 15 ounces he tallied those first two days positioned him for a wire-to-wire victory in the Walmart BFL All-American.
David A. Brown
Big final-round finish leads to BFL All-American win
FLORENCE, Ala. – Everyone wants to be on top – and Justin Sward eventually got there at the BFL All-American presented by Walmart on Wilson Lake. But entering the final round one notch off the lead gave the co-angler from Birmingham, Ala., a sense of tranquility that no doubt contributed to his banner day
David A. Brown
Cothran tops co-angler field in BFL All-American
FLORENCE, Ala. – To say that Marcus Sykora is leading the Walmart BFL All-American on Wilson Lake is tantamount to calling Michelangelo a church painter, or terming Noah just a boat builder. Without question, the seasoned angler from of Osage Beach, Mo. is on something really special and his performance thus far has been nothing short of complete dominance.
David A. Brown
Co-angler Maynard on top in BFL All-American
FLORENCE, Ala. – Marcus Sykora, of Osage Beach, Mo. got off to a blistering start on day one of the Wal-Mart BFL All-American on Wilson Lake with a 5-bass limit of 26 pounds, 11 ounces that leads the Boater Division by a margin of 5-6.
David A. Brown
BFL All-American field must manage location and the clock
FLORENCE, Ala. – Fishing tournaments inherently rely on timed competition – get as much weight as you can within the allotted time frame. However, as the country's top 49 boaters and co-anglers take to Wilson Lake for the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy timing will greatly impact outcomes.
David A. Brown
MINNEAPOLIS (June 4, 2014) – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, and Ranger Boats, makers of the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water, announced today that Ranger has signed a multiyear extension of its exclusive sponsorship with FLW. FLW and Ranger have enjoyed the longest-running boat sponsor relationship in the sport, with a history that dates back to FLW’s formative years in the early 1980s as Operation Bass. Operation Bass was purchased in 1996 by Minneapolis businessman Irwin Jacobs and renamed FLW in honor of Ranger Boats founder Forrest L. Wood.
Top 49 boaters and co-anglers compete June 5-7
FLORENCE, Ala. – One of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing, the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, will visit Wilson Lake in Florence, Ala., June 5-7.
Sims nets co-angler honors
HENDERSON, N.C. – Scott Beattie of Lincolnton, N.C., and Scott Tate of Marion, N.C., each weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to tie for the win at the third Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2014 on Kerr Lake. For their victories, each earned $2,659, with Beattie taking home an extra $2,300 in sponsor contingency bonuses.
Sims wins co-angler title
SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. – Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tenn., weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2014 on Barren River Lake. For his victory, Fox earned $4,915.
Jordan wins co-angler title
MARBURY, Md. – Ed Stiefel of Mahwah, N.J., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2014 on the Potomac River. For his victory, Stiefel earned $5,472.
Mountain, North Carolina and Northeast division events slated for May 31
The 2014 Walmart BFL season continues with three tournaments on Saturday, May 31. The Mountain Division will fish Barren River Lake, the North Carolina Division will continue their season on Kerr Lake and the Northeast Division will meet for the second time on the Potomac River. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing in each event for top awards up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively.
You’ve heard them before, as you watched an FLW tournament weigh-in being streamed on the website – anglers invited by a weighmaster to say something to loved ones back home. If they’re not too nervous, most anglers who are asked take advantage of the opportunity. Almost invariably, they look into the camera’s lens, and the first words they utter go something like this: “I want to say hello to my wife and thank her for her support all these years. I wouldn’t be here without her.” Mike Gabel would give just about anything to be able to say that, knowing that his wife, Richay, was out there watching and listening. The last time he spoke of her, at a Walmart Bass Fishing League weigh-in, he also spoke of his wife’s battle with brain cancer, and how a surgeon had removed a malignant tumor two years previously and that Richay was finally going to get better. Except she didn’t, or at least not for long. In early January of this year Richay succumbed to pneumonia after being stricken with another brain tumor that wasn’t operable.
Finding the right angle for ledge bass
The best part of the ledge-fishing season is when bass first move out in late spring and early summer. The fish aren’t pressured too much yet so they’re not hugging the bottom and they’re more aggressive. When I find fish on a ledge, the first thing I’ll do is move to the outside and cast a crankbait in over the fish.
Life was good for Milner until 2013, but then it got great. He won the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American championship on Tennessee’s Lake Nickajack and earned $100,000 for first place, plus a Ranger Cup contingency award of $20,000. The Arkie Division angler also locked up an automatic berth in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, and that’s where his luck kicked into high gear.
Kyle Wood exposes the uses for multiple types of fishing line.
It’s not unusual to see the last name “Nixon” near the top of the standings in a bass tournament. But at the Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament at Lake Dardanelle on Feb. 22, the Nixon in the top five wasn’t the one most fishing fans are accustomed to seeing show out at tournaments. In his first career BFL event, Leland Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., youngest brother of Chevy pro Larry Nixon, sacked an impressive 21-pound, 3-ounce limit to finish third, supporting the argument that bass fishing talent often runs in the family.
Lederman nets co-angler title
HENDERSON, N.C. – Shawn Hammack of Gasburg, Va., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds even Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2014 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Hammack earned $5,199.