Kessler Takes Co-angler Title - Major League Fishing

Kessler Takes Co-angler Title

Texas co-angler caught some bass on Toledo Bend
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Robert Kessler Photo by Kyle Wood. Angler: Robert Kessler.
February 1, 2020 • Kyle Wood • Toyota Series

Any co-angler worth their salt knows that having faith in finesse presentations is a must, no matter the lake. Robert Kessler went all-in on that this week and it paid off with a win in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener.

The Spring, Texas co-angler put a Neko rig in his hand on day one and never looked back. Paired with James Marsh on day one, Kessler scrounged up four bass worth 8 pounds, 15 ounces to sit in 22nd. He drew Skeeter Fowler on day two and caught a whopping 17-12 with four bass – thanks to an 8-13 that took big bass honors – to skyrocket to second place. Today, with local guide Justin Cooper, Kessler finally caught a limit weighing 10-2 and walked away with a new Phoenix 518 Pro with a 115 horsepower Suzuki.

Cody Huff’s winning pattern

Top 10 baits 

Complete results

“This was my first time fishing Toledo Bend,” Kessler says. “I took about a 25-year break from bass fishing and decided I wanted to get back into it and things have changed so much over the last 25 years that it really speeds things up for learning when you fish with guys like this.”

Though he’s been out of the game for a bit, Kessler knew that finesse would be a great way to catch bass no matter if he was fishing deep or shallow.

His Neko rig setup consisted of a YUM Dinger with a 1/8-ounce VMC Neko Weight and a VMC Weedless Neko hook on the business side.

A win gives you confidence no matter how long you’ve been competing and because of that, Kessler’s new boat may help make up those 25 years missed on the water.

“I’m a little speechless,” says Kessler. “But this is great. I have an older boat, but that might get replaced.”


Top 10 co-anglers

1. Robert Kessler – Spring, Texas – 36-13 (13) – Phoenix 518 Pro with a 115 Suzuki motor

2. Hugh Rose – Davis, Okla. – 33-7 (14) – $4,313

3. Dustin Robinson – Glendale, Ariz. – 33-5 (14) – $3,450

4. Rusty Harvey – Lumberton, Texas – 33-2 (12) – $3,019

5. Aubrey Hyde – Winnfield, La. – 27-11 (10) – $2,588

6. Lane Haymond – Cave Springs, Ark. – 27-7 (11) – $2,156

7. Rick Parker – Kaufman, Texas – 27-5 (11) – $1,925

8. Brian Bayless – Porter, Texas – 26-8 (11) – $1,510

9. Anthony Templeton – Beckville, Texas – 25-9 (11) – $1,294

10. Sam Sharp – Hillsboro, Ala. – 21-12 (7) – $1,078

Complete results