OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Toyota Series angler Corey Cook of Lebanon, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds even to win the three-day Toyota Series at Lake of the Ozarks tournament in Osage Beach, Missouri. Cook’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 49-13 earned him the win by a 2-pound, 14 ounce margin over second-place pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, and earned Cook the top payout of $33,619 in the second tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Plains Division.
“This is crazy,” said Cook, who earned his first career FLW victory. “Last year we won that boat, and that was the biggest thing. And I’ll never forget that, because it was with my dad. It’s super special. But to get this, man, this is super awesome. It’s what I always dreamed of.”
However, Cook said that dream was nearly a nightmare to start the day.
The moment they announced his name at takeoff, Cook’s motor stopped working as he went to pull away from the dock. Fortunately, he was able to swap into another boat, but his luck really never turned around much, from only catching three keepers by midday, to a lost big fish, to even making a few-mile run to hit one dock, only to have two guys stomp across it while he was fishing it.
Basically, Cook said, if it could go wrong for him, it did. Fortunately, he had a goal and stuck to it.
“There was definitely a moment or two this morning where I thought, ‘man, it’s just not my day,’” said Cook. “But I tried to keep my mind positive. I knew I just needed five good keeper bites because it’s usually tougher on Saturday.”
Cook ended the day catching seven and landed six keepers, which was more than enough.
Cook said he spent most of the year sinking brush piles around docks for this event in the Grand Glaize area and marking them, though only by memory. Some spots were in out-of-the-way places, according to Cook, but only one in five was any good, with less than 20 producing fish for him this event. Cook also said he only used two rods with a small tackle box full of homemade green pumpkin football jigs with matching Zoom Super Speed Craw trailers.
“That’s just what we do,” said Cook, who counted on his memory and simple tackle options when he quickly switched boats Saturday morning. “It keeps it simple. You’re not switching back and forth between a hundred things throughout the day. We have two colors: green and brown, but brown wasn’t as good this week; however, if you put it in front of the right fish, he’s going to bite it.”
Cook said he found just enough “right ones” today to hold on to his first big tournament victory and to seal the win.
“Words can’t describe how this feels,” said Cook.
The top 10 pros on the Lake of the Ozarks finished:
1st: Corey Cook of Lebanon, Mo., 15 bass, 49-13, $33,619
2nd: Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 46-15, $13,028
3rd: Shane Long of Willard, Mo., 15 bass, 45-12, $10,086
4th: Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Mo., 15 bass, 44-13, $9,405
5th: Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., 15 bass, 44-10, $7,621
6th: Lawson Hibdon of Versailles, Mo., 15 bass, 40-11, $6,724
7th: Brent Chapman of Lenexa, Kan., 15 bass, 39-10, $5,883
8th: Brian Wilson of Somerset, Ky., 11 bass, 29-10, $5,043
9th: Joe Wieberg of Freeburg, Mo., 11 bass, 28-13, $4,202
10th: Takayuki Koike of Ohtsu, Japan, 10 bass, 26-12, $3,362
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Newcomb 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.
Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Illinois won the Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces. Krekovich 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 the Lake of the Ozarks finished:
1st: Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., 12 bass, 27-12, Phoenix 518 Pro boat w/115-hp outboard
2nd: Adam Caldwell of Springfield, Mo., 10 bass, 24-9, $4,278
3rd: Mike Youngblood of St. Louis, Mo., nine bass, 20-10, $3,422
4th: Shannon McClelland of Springdale, Ark., 10 bass, 18-4, $2,995
5th: Tyrone Phillips of Little Rock, Ark., 10 bass, 18-4, $2,767
6th: Robert Shockley of Springfield, Mo., seven bass, 17-0, $2,139
7th: Robert Bogard, Jr. of Conway, Ark., seven bass, 16-12, $1,711
8th: Mark Shelton of Fayetteville, Ark., seven bass, 15-5, $1,997
9th: Matthew Cesar of Crane, Mo., seven bass, 15-4, $1,283
10th: Jeff Moss of Oronogo, Mo., eight bass, 15-4, $1,069
The Toyota Series at the Lake of the Ozarks was hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments in 2020 for Plains Division anglers. The next event for Toyota Series anglers will take place on Oct. 15-17 – the Toyota Series at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. 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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