BURNSIDE, Ky. – Pro Chris Malone of Ironton, Ohio, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to claim the title of Toyota Series Champion at the 2020 Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Malone, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 41 pounds even, won by a 1-pound, 3-ounce margin over second-place angler Cameron Lineback of Mount Airy, North Carolina, who caught a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 39-13. Malone held steady in third place the first two days of competition before shooting to first on Saturday to walk away with $235,000, including the lucrative $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus.
Saturday’s final weigh-in marked the finale of the 2020 Toyota Series season, which featured thousands of anglers from across the globe.
“I opened a boat shop in 2010 and took some time off from competitive fishing, but when I saw the championship was at Lake Cumberland again, I knew I needed to fish the Toyota Series,” said Malone. “I wanted to see if I could compete because I haven’t competed against these guys for a long time.
“I really thought Ryan Davidson was going to win this tournament – he’s the best winter fisherman I’ve ever fished with. I told him that if I actually won, I would pay his 2021 entry fees (to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit). That $30,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to how I feel right now.
“I’m on a high you can’t come off of – I honestly wasn’t going to fish next year, but how do you not fish after you just won a quarter of a million dollars?”
Malone said he caught pretty much all of his fish this week on the main lake with main-river channel swings.
“The fish are super shallow, but they are on top of 25 to 40 foot of water in some of these places,” Malone said. “I’ve been catching them cranking and on a ½-ounce Big Daddy Baits tail-spinner. After getting six or seven keepers, I picked up a big bull shad and tried to catch big ones for the last two hours. I used a G. Loomis IMX Pro rod with a Shimano Curado reel with 15-pound Seaguar InvizX line. I weighed in three on the RkCrawler and 12 on the spinner.
“I went for broke – I went to win,” said Malone.
The top 10 pros at the 2020 Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland finished:
1st: Chris Malone, Ironton, Ohio, 15 bass, 41-0, $237,500
2nd: Cameron Lineback, Mount Airy, N.C., 15 bass, 39-13, $40,000
3rd: Drew Boggs, Lebanon, Tenn., 15 bass, 37-4, $30,000
4th: Dakota Ebare, Denham Springs, La., 12 bass, 35-11, $25,000
5th: Eric Olliverson, Lampe, Mo., 13 bass, 34-15, $20,000
6th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 14 bass, 34-12, $14,000
7th: Michael Caruso, Peoria, Ariz., 12 bass, 32-0, $13,000
8th: Trent Palmer, Cumming, Ga., 12 bass, 28-15, $12,000
9th: Hunter Eubanks, Inman, S.C., 11 bass, 28-7, $11,000
10th: Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., 11 bass, 28-4, $10,000
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Co-angler Matt Greene of Ventura, California, weighed in three bass totaling 10 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the top co-angler prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard engine, with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 24-6. Second place went to co-angler Mario Riojas of Blanchard, Oklahoma, who weighed in a three-day total of nine bass weighing 19-11, good for $12,500.
The top 10 co-anglers at the 2020 Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland finished:
1st: Matt Greene, Ventura, Calif., nine bass, 24-6, Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard
2nd: Mario Riojas, Blanchard, Okla., nine bass, 19-11, $12,500
3rd: Travis Otto, Jefferson City, Mo., nine bass, 17-7, $10,000
4th: Landon Huff, Madison, Ga., nine bass, 16-3, $7,500
5th: Larry Elliott, Enoree, S.C., eight bass, 15-4, $5,000
6th: Justin Kimmel, Athens, Ga., five bass, 14-0, $4,000
7th: Don White, Columbus, Miss., six bass, 13-15, $3,500
8th: Mason Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., eight bass, 13-11, $3,000
9th: Morgan Brown, Spanish Fort, Ala., six bass, 13-0, $3,000
10th: Jarvis Ellis, Albany, Ga., four bass, 12-3, $2,000
The 2020 Toyota Series Championship at Lake Cumberland was hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission. The three-day, no entry fee tournament featured a field of 221 boaters and co-anglers from each of the eight Toyota Series divisions and tournament winners, the highest finishing boater and co-angler from each regional at the All-American, the College Fishing National Champions and second-place team, and the top pros and co-anglers from the FLW International Division.
“Somerset tourism in conjunction with Burnside tourism is thrilled to host the 2020 FLW Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland,” said Leslie Ikerd, Director of Tourism, Somerset & Convention Commission. “The excitement to host anglers from across our country was palatable and everyone we have encountered has been so complimentary of our event staff and community. The FLW team has been outstanding and a complete joy to work alongside throughout this process – we look forward to having them back to Lake Cumberland in the future.”
Lake Cumberland boasts more shoreline than the coast of Florida and attracts over 4-million visitors per year.
“We love having the spotlight of the United States and other nations directly on Lake Cumberland, Burnside and Somerset, Kentucky,” said Frank Crabtree, Executive Director of Burnside Tourism and Recreation Commission. “Lake Cumberland continues to grow as one of the best fisheries and a top vacation spot within a days’ drive in the Eastern part of the nation. Launching the 2020 Toyota Series Championship from the beautiful Burnside Island continues to showcase our easily accessible natural beauty and amenities.”
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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