WAGONER, Okla. – Local angler Cameron Foster of Wagoner, Oklahoma, crossed the stage with five bass Friday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Foster’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 56-11 earned him the win by a commanding 14-pound, 6-ounce over second-place angler Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour angler Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, and earned Foster the top payout of $27,149 in the second tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Southwestern Division.
Though Foster says he’s probably walked most, if not all, of the shoreline of Fort Gibson over the years, he chose to run up the Grand River to a single bend with brush piles, pea gravel and mud. Nearly all of his keeper fish came from that spot—one he had never fished before.
“I had been catching them on the lake [in practice],” Foster said. “But I knew 80 percent of the field was going to be fishing the lake, so I needed to find some different ways to get a big bite. I hadn’t seen a 4-pounder out here in weeks, but I had seen a lot of 3s. So, I knew if I could get 13 or 14 pounds in the boat and get a kicker fish that I would be alright, and that was my goal.”
Foster found the fateful honey hole the weekend before the tournament. He rolled up, shook about 20 fish off—including two big bites—then left.
“I didn’t know what was there,” he recounts. “Or if anything else was there.”
Now, he figures that hole is just about fished out after three days of pounding through tough conditions that left many experienced anglers in the field scratching their heads. While most of the field chased shallow fish with topwater baits, Foster enticed bass hugging the bottom with a 1/2-ounce Okeechobee craw Bass X football jig with a wire weed guard and a green pumpkin Strike King Rage Craw trailer.
Foster guessed that fish in the area see a lot of jigs with weed guards, but very few with the two-pronged wire version he utilized this week. That primary bait, along with a white, 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait with a white 3.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT trailer did the majority of Foster’s damage throughout the event.
The spot was so productive that only four of Foster’s 15 keepers came outside of the bend.
For Foster, today’s FLW win is the culmination of years of work on the water and countless hours of studying off of it. And, it’s a double victory of sorts. In less than a month, he’ll finally start work at a dream job: a full-time position as a firefighter in the city of Muskogee, one that required a year of intense preparation, as well as EMT and firefighting classes. However, the job means Foster’s podium finish comes with a bittersweet price.
“I will be on probation for the next year, so I won’t be fishing a lot of multi-day tournaments,” said Foster. “After a year passes, I will be able to take off days and get back to fishing again.
“It’s a dream come true,” Foster said of the win, the job and getting it done this week on the lake that meant so much to him as a son of Wagoner.
The top 10 pros on Fort Gibson Lake finished:
1st: Cameron Foster of Wagoner, Okla., 15 bass, 56-11, $27,149
2nd: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 42-5, $10,490
3rd: Terry Hawkins of Corsicana, Texas, 15 bass, 42-1, $9,321
4th: Dakota Ebare of Denham Springs, La., 15 bass, 39-9, $6,767
5th: David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, 15 bass, 38-15, $6,091
6th: Brett Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., 15 bass, 38-12, $5,414
7th: Kyle Cortiana of Coweta, Okla., 15 bass, 38-5, $4,737
8th: Jacopo Gallelli of Florence, Italy, 13 bass, 35-6, $4,060
9th: Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla., 13 bass, 31-14, $3,384
10th: Blake Capps of Muskogee, Okla., 12 bass, 29-15, $2,707
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Hawkins took home an extra $1,000 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Spring, Texas’ Robert Kessler won the Co-angler Division Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 37 pounds, 5 ounces. Kessler took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard motor.
The top 10 co-anglers on Fort Gibson Lake finished:
1st: Robert Kessler of Spring, Texas, 14 bass, 37-5, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat w/115-hp outboard
2nd: Monty Phillips of Eufaula, Okla., 13 bass, 35-5, $3,492
3rd: Joe Landers of Okemah, Okla., 11 bass, 30-10, $2,794
4th: Eli Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., 13 bass, 29-14, $2,445
5th: David Lansford of Muskogee, Okla., 12 bass, 25-9, $2,095
6th: Brennon Sharp of Folsom, Calif., 11 bass, 25-4, $1,746
7th: Mitch Hawkins of Corsicana, Texas, nine bass, 24-10, $1,397
8th: Tate Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., nine bass, 23-3, $1,222
9th: Donny Davis of Livingston, La., 10 bass, 20-8, $1,048
10th: Billy Eubanks of Bunch, Okla., eight bass, 19-12, $873
The Toyota Series at Fort Gibson Lake was hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2020 for Southwestern Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place next weekend, Sept. 10-12 – the Toyota Series at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For a complete schedule, visit FLWFishing.com.
The 2020 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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