fishing boats on lake at sunrise

More than 200 anglers compete in FLW Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

Ohio resident Chris Malone wins by 1‑pound, 3‑ounce margin, takes home top prize of $235,000

BURNSIDE, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2020) – 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.

Man holding large check for two hundred thirty five thousand dollars
Ohio’s Chris Mal­one won the FLW 2020 Toy­ota Series Cham­pi­onship with a three-day total of 41 pounds.

“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.

Anglers fish near a rocky shoreline on a lake

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.

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