FLW Bass Pro Missing, Competition Cancelled

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Nik Kaylor from Apopka, Fla. is missing following an apparent boating accident on Lake Okeechobee during the very first FLW bass tournament of 2018. (Photo: FLW)

LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Professional FLW bass angler Nik Kaylor is missing on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. At this time, air search and recovery operations are being conducted under the guidance of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and local authorities. FLW is assisting the search operations.

The two remaining days of the competition have been cancelled to aid in the search. Tournament organizers said that the winners of the tournament will de determined by the Day One (Thursday) Results. Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala. is the winner on the Pro side (21 lbs. 3 oz.) James Lehman of Oviedo, Fla. is the winner on the co-angler side (17 lbs. 8 oz.) (5)

Kaylor’s partner and boat owner, Bill Kisiah, was found alive around 11 pm Thursday night. Kisiah was suffering from hypothermia and possibly other injuries when he was found with his boat that drifted ashore about 40 miles from the tournament take-off location. Authorities have not released Kisiah’s condition as of Tuesday morning.

A fellow angler posted this Facebook video of Kisiah’s boat after he was found Thursday night.

FLW photographers captured this shot of Nik Kaylor (passenger) and Bill Kisiah (driver) as the competition began Thursday morning. (Photo: FLW)

The FLW Costa Series event on Okeechobee is the organization’s first tournament of 2018. There are 250 boats fishing in the event.

The search for the two anglers did not begin until late Thursday after officials determined that Kisiah (from Slidell, La.) and Kaylor (from Apopka, Fla.) did not return for the weigh-in at C. Scott Driver Park. FLW says both men are veteran tournament anglers.

The temperature was hovering near freezing when the Florida bass tournament began Thursday morning – an extremely unusual occurrence at Lake Okeechobee. (Photo: FLW)

The temperature Thursday morning at take-off time was near freezing. Lake Okeechobee is the eighth largest natural freshwater lake in the United States. The lake covers 730 square miles, approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island. Bass tournament regulations require all anglers to wear life preservers when the boat engine is running and drivers are required to wear kill switches.

Check back here for further updates.

Bill Kisiah was found alive, suffering from severe hypothermia and possibly other injuries, when his boat washed ashore late Thursday night about 40 miles from the tournament take-off location. (Photo: FLW)

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