WAGONER, Okla. – The 2020 Toyota Series Southwestern Division will continue with a tournament next week in Wagoner, Oklahoma, Sept. 2-4, with the Toyota Series at Fort Gibson Lake. Hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner.
“This is going to be a fun tournament – the entire lake will be in play,” said Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler Kyle Cortiana of Coweta, Oklahoma, who has finished in second place twice at Fort Gibson Lake in Toyota Series competition. “I think the backs of the creeks will be a big player – we’ve had some rain water coming in – and of course there are plenty of fish out on the main lake.
“Topwater baits, flipping docks, fishing brush piles – I don’t think it will be one specific pattern that wins,” Cortiana continued. “It’s not going to be easy fishing. The key to separating yourself from the pack will be getting a big bite or two each day.”
Cortiana said that he thinks the key to doing well in the tournament will be overcoming the stretches of time with no fish but still sticking to the gameplan.
“Not spinning out is going to be the key,” Cortiana said. “The most important decision will be knowing when to stick to your gameplan or when to scrap it. We’re hitting the water a little earlier than usual – the last few events have been later-September and more of a fall bite.
“Any way you want to fish it, Fort Gibson Lake is a lot of fun and we’re going to see some good fish caught,” Cortiana went on to say. “I just hope I can get over my second-place curse and get a win one of these years.”
Anglers will take off daily at 7 a.m. CDT from the North Dock at Taylor Ferry Marina in Wagoner. Weigh-ins will also be held at the marina and will begin at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the “FLW Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at FLWFishing.com.
In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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