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Nik Kayler remembered at Lake Okeechobee with 'Light up the Dike' event

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 07:52:48-05

Lake Okeechobee was lit up Sunday night for fisherman Nik Kayler, whose body was found Wednesday.

He went missing while participating in the Fishing League Worldwide Tournament. Officials said he and his fishing partner Bill Kisiah encountered rough waters, causing Kayler to be ejected from the boat.

Communities from around the lake, where Kayler's body was found, lit up the dike Sunday in his memory.

The event was planned before Kayler's body was found. The woman who organized it says she wanted to light up the dike, hoping it would lead to his return home, but Sunday was more about keeping his memory alive.

The men and women around the lake Sunday didn't know Kayler personally, but they shared a special bond.

"Anybody who fishes is a friend," one man said. 

The vigil attracted people from all over the lake. 

"We're glad to be out here," another fisherman said. "We wouldn't think to be anywhere else."

Other community members told WPTV they are planning a tournament to honor Kayler.