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

World’s best bass anglers set for 2005 Forrest L. Wood Championship

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Anglers from 32 states, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Italy and Spain have fished the lucrative Wal-Mart FLW Tour all season for the right to compete in bass fishing's biggest event - the $1.5 million Forrest L. Wood Championship, presented by Castrol. Now the time has come for the top 48 pros in the world to square off in head-to-head competition July 13-16 on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs for a shot at the sport's largest award - $500,000 cash. Anglers who qualified for the tour's 10th anniversary championship following the six qualifying events are seeded according to their Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year rankings and No. 1 will compete against No. 48, No. 2 against No. 47, No. 3 against No. 46, etc. This unique format is sure to produce some exciting matches. Championship contenders will take off from Fish Hatchery Ramp, located at 350 Fish Hatchery Road in Hot Springs at 7 a.m. each day, and daily weigh-ins will be held at 5 p.m. in Summit Arena adjacent to the Hot Springs Convention Center. The championship's boat and outdoor show featuring more than 140 exhibits; fishing seminars by Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston, Guido Hibdon, Forrest L. Wood and other bass-fishing legends; and free daily giveaways runs 2 to 8 p.m. July 13 and 14, noon to 9 p.m. July 15, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 16. One lucky fan attending the final weigh-in Saturday, July 16 will win a new Ranger Z20 Comanche bass boat powered by Yamaha courtesy of Allen Tillery Chevrolet. Two qualifiers will be drawn for the boat giveaway during each day's 5 p.m. weigh-in, with the final two qualifiers and the eventual winner drawn Saturday, July 16. You must be present to qualify and win. Admission is free, and entry forms will be available at the outdoor show. Thanks to growing sponsor support and incredible payouts that rival other professional sports like golf, tennis and NASCAR, competitive bass fishing is more popular than ever before. This popularity among the nation's 50 million fishing enthusiasts is expected to produce an economic impact approaching $50 million as thousands of fans, hundreds of sponsor representatives and support personnel, and hundreds of vendors visit the region for this one-of-a-kind event. The Forrest L. Wood Championship will also produce significant worldwide media coverage. Last year's championship in Birmingham, Ala., produced articles with a total circulation exceeding 45 million copies. In terms of advertising dollars, that kind of exposure would cost more than $1.4 million. Hot Springs can expect similar exposure, which will further elevate the region's reputation as a bass-fishing destination. The complete championship field and head-to-head pairings are posted at FLWOutdoors.com. Following the two-day opening round, 24 pros advance to the semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Head-to-head competition continues in the one-day semifinal round, after which 12 pros advance to the final round. The 12 finalists start from zero and compete for one day to determine the winner of the sport's top award - $500,000. Even the pro who finishes 48th earns $15,000 just for qualifying. Forty-eight co-anglers, who are paired with the pros and fish from the back deck, will compete for two days, after which the top 24 anglers based on accumulated weight advance to the third and final day of co-angler competition. Weights are cleared for the co-angler final round, and the winner takes home $25,000. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its eight tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the FLW Tour's title sponsor since 1997. For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament circuits, visit FLWOutdoors.com. To plan your trip to Hot Springs for the $1.5 million Forrest L. Wood Championship and Outdoor Show July 13-16, visit Hotsprings.org. Related links: 2005 FLW Championship details 2005 FLW Championship pro field 2005 FLW Championship co-angler field

Tags: pre-tournament 


River Showdown Looms

The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Oct. 29-31 will be a true test of fishing skill rather than a rehash of past experiences, as it will be decided on a fishery with which few of the contestants are familiar. Though the lower Ohio River has flown under the radar screen of most FLW anglers, competitors in the Walmart Bass Fishing League’s Buckeye, Illini and Hoosier divisions have proved time and again that the river can provide hefty limits of bass. Typically, it’s a question of fashioning three days of milk runs where several patterns and presentations might come into play. READ MORE »


Who's the Best in the West?

They say it’ll be a tough one, by Clear Lake standards anyway, which should make for a fantastic season-finale showdown. But that’s not all that’s at stake Thursday when the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division finale kicks off in California. Someone is going to walk away with a Strike King Angler of the Year prize package, plus the top 40 pros and co-anglers in the season-long standings will earn a place in the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship, which is being held on the Ohio River in Paducah, Ky., at month’s end. With the addition of the Western Division contingent, the Championship field will be complete at 200 pros and 200 co-anglers. READ MORE »


Southeastern Conference Championship set for Pickwick

“I know that Pickwick is traditionally known as a ledge fishery, but that is just not the case right now,” says Walmart FLW Tour pro Jason Lambert. “There is so much grass and hydrilla in this lake right now – the most that I have ever seen. The grass bite is going to be very strong in this tournament." READ MORE »


3 Keys To The Next Cup

It’s almost always too early to preview a fishing tournament. Even this year at the Forrest Wood Cup, Brad Knight probably wouldn’t have told you that he knew the winning spot on Lake Ouachita once practice was over. Fishing is just too hard to predict. READ MORE »


Knight Breaks Foot, But Plans To Fish

The Tennessee pro broke his right foot Thursday evening as he was preparing to fix a flat tire on his boat trailer in preparation for practicing on the lake Friday morning. The rear tire of the tandem rig was flat, and Knight was holding a chunk of wood in place ahead of the front tire when the accident happened. His wife Becky was driving his truck with trailer attached and Knight asked her to pull up so that the front tire would climb the chunk and the flat rear tied would be suspended. The front tire fell off the chunk, however, and onto Knight’s foot. READ MORE »


Smallmouth Slugfest on Tap at Erie

Florida pro Glenn Browne leads the race with 492 points, largely due to his win at the previous divisional event on Lake Champlain. Following well within striking distance are Canadian pro Cory Johnston (484 points) and Louisianan Gerald Spohrer (483), who found his way into the Northern Division quite incidentally. READ MORE »


Boat Tour of Lake Ouachita

The FLW media staff brought a few Rangers over to Lake Ouachita for this week’s festivities, so we decided to take one for a drive around the lake to get a feel for what the anglers will be facing this week. Here is what we found. READ MORE »


Scouting with Stetson

“I don’t know where or how to win it yet, but I know this lake as good as anyone,” says Stetson Blaylock. “I might not be due, but nobody wants to win this as bad as I do.” READ MORE »


Practice with Zack Birge

Zack Birge qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup twice – first by winning the Rayovac FLW Series Championship in the fall of 2014 and subsequently by crushing it in his rookie season on the Walmart FLW Tour. Regardless of how he got here, Birge figures to be a threat on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »


Cup Practice Begins

Welcome to Hot Springs, Ark., and the Forrest Wood Cup. Today, Sunday, marks the start of the official three-day practice period for the 2015 Cup. Right now is when pros start to piece together the puzzle that is summertime fishing on Lake Ouachita. To find out how the pros are preparing for this championship event, I head down to Brady Mountain Resort way too early in the morning to pester a few of them before they back their boats into the lake. I find out that for some pros, this morning is the first time they’ve launched a boat in Lake Ouachita this season – or ever. For others that made pre-practice trips, it’s the first time they’ve seen the lake since it went off limits earlier this month. READ MORE »


Central Division AOY Race Concludes on Dardanelle

Currently, Quaker State pro Matt Arey is in the driver’s seat, but the field behind him is close and pretty stacked. READ MORE »


Ouachita Pre-Practice Report

Lake Ouachita officially went off-limits to all Forrest Wood Cup competitors on Monday, Aug. 3. That means that from now until the official three-day practice period opens on Aug. 16, no Cup competitor can be on the lake and competitors may only gather information about Ouachita from publicly available resources and fellow qualifiers. READ MORE »


FLW to Participate in Benefit Tournament for Servicemen Killed in Terrorist Attack

FLW has partnered with the Chattanooga Bass Association, Fish Dayton and the Hydrilla Hawgs bass club to host the #NoogaStrong Memorial Bass Tournament on Lake Chickamauga out of Dayton, Tenn. All proceeds from the Sept. 12 event will benefit families of the five servicemen who were killed in the Chattanooga Naval Reserve terrorist attacks that occurred in July. READ MORE »


A Country Music Festival at the Cup

It’ll be quite the country music festival atmosphere, complete with an extensive hunting and fishing expo featuring the top tackle and outdoor brands in the country, plus the second annual Bass & BBQ Festival, where fans can sample the wares of the world’s finest low-and-slow cookers. READ MORE »


FLW Anticipating Largest Expo of All Time

Bass fishing history and Arkansas walk hand-in-hand it seems. The Natural State was home to the first bass tournament. It’s where Ranger Boats was founded. And it’s hosted some of FLW’s most noteworthy events. READ MORE »


Previewing Champlain

Year in, year out, Lake Champlain presents a challenge that is almost totally unique. When the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division competition gets under way on Champlain later this week, competitors will have about 100 miles of water to choose from. The win could come from anywhere, and limits will be plentiful. The event, which is presented by Plano, is likely to be an exciting one to follow. READ MORE »


Fishing the Cup for a Cure

n his first year fishing the Walmart FLW Tour, Jason Meninger placed 41st in the standings, earned more than $30,000 and qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup. Oh, yeah, he also found out he had cancer. READ MORE »


College Fishing Rolls to the Mighty Miss

FLW College Fishing is headed to the Mississippi River July 25 for the third and final regular-season tournament in the Central Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Central Conference Championship tournament. READ MORE »


Shane Lehew Gets His Chance

In 2014, Lehew began his Tour pro career by capturing 24th place in the first event of the year on Lake Okeechobee. His performances on the Big O last year and at Lake Toho this spring reflect his preference for fishing shallow water with mixed cover. READ MORE »


Ohio River Event Rescheduled for August

The Walmart BFL tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek slated for July 11 has been rescheduled to August 29 due to extremely high water levels. All takeoff and weigh-in locations and times will remain the same. Anglers will takeoff and weigh-in at the Lawrenceburg City Ramp, located at Tanner’s Creek Drive in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing for top awards of up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively in the one-day event. READ MORE »