Tyler wins on home waters
Muskogee, Okla.—Former Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Tyler cashed in his home-water advantage to win the Bass Pro Shops Central Open finale on the Arkansas River.
The Vian, Okla., angler hadn’t fished the river since last year’s Open at Muskogee, so he relied on five previous years of experience to catch the winning weight of 42 pounds, 14 ounces and take home a $40,000 Skeeter ZX200/Yamaha VF200LA rig and $6,101 in cash. Cattle ranching kept Tyler too busy to fish the river this year, but he estimated in the previous five years he spent about 100 days per year fishing the river.
“It was simple river fishing,” Tyler said of his winning pattern. “I just fished pretty much laydowns, little weed points and just shallow water cover—just like you would expect in a river system. The difference was I ran a bunch of spots that I have a lot of confidence in. From years of experience I knew a piece of wood I pulled up on would be a key piece.”
The local angler tried to stay on high percentage spots each day. “There really wasn’t anything complicated to my pattern because everybody was throwing at some kind of wood or shallow water cover.” The first two days he caught all of his fish on a variety of soft plastics such as plastic craws and worms. Saturday, he caught all of his fish on a square-bill crankbait.
Click To Read More