The search for missing angler Nik Kayler continues after the boat he and William Kisiah were on capsized during a fishing tournament in Lake Okeechobee.
They were competing in a three-day tournament hosted by Fishing League Worldwide at Lake O and were reported missing on Thursday night. Kisiah was found alive around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, but there was no sign of Kayler.
As a result of the continued search for Kayler, the Costa FLW Series Event is being canceled in order to respect the families affected by the boating accident.
While the U.S. Coast Guard called off its search on their side, air search and recovery operations are still being conducted and are being overseen by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and local authorities.
Kayler and Kisiah were in a dark-colored Ranger boat with a red motor at the time of the accident. Kisiah, along with the boat, was located within a couple hours after they capsized.
Anglers competing in the tournament were informed on Friday that the final two days of the tournament were canceled.
“I wouldn’t want to win under these circumstances,” said Terry Tucker, of Gadsden, Alabama, who weighed a 21-pound, 3-ounce bag limit of five bass Thursday and led the tournament after the first day.
Statement From FLW:
Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) regrets to confirm that a boat with two anglers that was competing today in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee did not check in at the designated weigh-in location at C. Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Florida, and has not yet been located.
The boat belonged to pro Bill Kisiah of Slidell, Louisiana, and co-angler Nik Kayler of Apopka, Florida. The boat that the anglers were competing is a dark-colored Ranger Z521 with a red Evinrude G2 outboard. It is believed that the boaters had planned to travel to the South Bay area from the north end of the lake.
Kisiah is a nine-year veteran boater of FLW Series competition, while Kayler had fished in 61 previous FLW events as a co-angler.
At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of the Okeechobee Police Department, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard assisting. Cell phone providers have been contacted and the search is continuing from the air. FLW is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.
FLW will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the FLW website.
If anyone has information on Nik Kayler’s whereabouts, the Clewiston police are asking you to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or local law enforcement.
Lake Okeechobee FWC: 561-357-4200
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office: 561-688-3400
Clewiston Police Department: 863-983-1474