UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Gagliardi Overcomes

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi delightedly hoists the Forrest Wood Cup!

COLUMBIA, S.C. – How much is enough? For Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, it was an ounce. That’s what it took to edge Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury and win the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country with 51 pounds, 2 ounces. Gagliardi hoisted the Cup before a packed house at Colonial Life Arena.

Details on top finishers will follow, but here’s the upshot: Just 11 ounces separated first and fifth places. For fans of this sport, a weigh-in like this delivers memories not soon forgotten. Safe to say, that sentiment runs a good bit deeper for the local favorite from Prosperity, S.C.

“It just falls in line with everything else that happened this year,” he says. “I made it into the Cup by 1 ounce. It’s just fitting.”

Gagliardi was a statistical improbability from the start; and not the start of the tournament – the start of the season. His season began as horribly as an angler could imagine when he was disqualified at the Walmart FLW Tour opener at Lake Okeechobee due to an inadvertent rules infraction.

Suffice it to say that at that point qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup seemed an impossible dream. But it was a dream Gagliardi refused to relinquish.

“This is just a testament of faith and stick-to-itiveness,” he notes. “All that stuff, this was just a year that I probably needed from a personal standpoint and an emotional standpoint. I think I proved to myself that no matter what happens now, that staying positive will always bring about the best outcome.”

A win anywhere would no doubt equally merit that sentiment. However, Gagliardi says that doing so in front of his home crowd magnified the moment.

In addition to the impressive piece of hardware he now owns, Gagliardi won $500,000 – yet another reason to love his home waters.

“Lake Murray is known as ‘The Jewel of South Carolina,’ and it’s been my jewel for sure,” he says. “I’ve won a lot of money here.”

On days one and two, Gagliardi caught bass on a 5-inch Basstrix swimbait in scaled sardine paired with a 3/8-ounce Buckeye swimbait head over shallow grass points where bass were chasing blueback herring in about 5 feet of water. He also caught fish the first three days in the Saluda River on a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm Texas rigged on a 4/0 hook with a 1/4-ounce weight.

On the final day, he committed to casting Zoom Flukes and Yamamoto D Shads (white and olive shad colors) on a 4/0 weighted-shank hook with 10- and 12-pound-test Gamma fluorocarbon line. Fishing in about 15 to 20 feet down near the dam, Gagliardi opted for a single bait, rather than the “double fluke” rig often used on blueback lakes.

“I like the single because I like to make precise, accurate casts,” he says. “The double rig is good sometimes, but it’s cumbersome, and if they come up busting and you get tangled, you’ll miss them.

“I can throw the single fluke far enough, and I can be accurate with it," he adds. "That’s important because when that fish comes up and busts, you have three seconds max to get a bait there. If you don’t, he’s gone.”

Gagliardi placed seventh on days one and two with 13-2 and 10-3, improved to third on day three with 13-25 (his biggest limit of the tournament), and sealed the deal today with a limit of 13-14.

Blowouts are cool – at least to the winner – and no doubt it feels good to race across the finish line with competitors a distant dust cloud away in the rear-view mirror. But a photo-finish win is a win nonetheless, and often such victories hold the greatest backstories.

“I’m proud of myself for what I overcame this year,” Gagliardi says. “This season has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I’m glad it ended on top. Most roller coasters end at the bottom, but this one ended on top.”

Gagliardi was quick to credit his wife, Kristin, for the support and encouragement that pulled him through a tough season.

“This win started with my wife, who was there from day one encouraging me and telling me I could do it even when I didn’t think I could,” he told the appreciative crowd. “If it wasn’t for her, I couldn’t have done it.”

Top 10 Patterns

Click here to read about the patterns of the top 10 pros at the Forrest Wood Cup.

The Top 10

1: Anthony Gagliardi, 51-2

2: Scott Canterbury, 51-1

3: Brent Ehrler, 50-11

4: Casey Ashley, 50-7

5: Steve Kennedy, 50-7

6: Matt Herren, 48-0

7: Bryan Thrift, 44-6

8: Michael Wooley, 43-4

9: Scott Martin, 35-13

10: Jacob Wheeler, 33-7


For complete results, click here.

Watch Gagliardi's winning day from start to finish.

Tags: headline-story 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »