World’s best bass anglers heading to Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Thousands of anglers from more than 40 states, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy and Spain have been casting for more than a year to earn a trip to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol - bass fishing's biggest event - in Hot Springs, Ark., and for the top 81 professionals and 81 co-anglers in the world, that dream will come true Aug. 2-5 when the sport's biggest names compete for a $1 million top award. Already qualified for the Cup are Arkansas natives George Cochran and Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Mark Davis of Mount Ida, and Danny Pierce of Greenbrier. These anglers are among the pros who qualified through the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series. Once in Hot Springs, they will face qualifiers from the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, which wraps up qualifying competition July 15 in Detroit. They will also face qualifiers from the 2007 Wal-Mart BFL All-American, 2007 TBF National Championship and 2006 Stren Series Championship. Cochran won the 2005 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs in front of a record crowd that topped more than 40,000 spectators over the four-day event. In 2007, Cochran will no doubt be looking to repeat his success in front of his hometown crowd. This time, however, he will be fishing Lake Ouachita instead of Lake Hamilton, where he won $500,000 in 2005. The stakes are higher, too, as Cochran stands to win $1 million this year. Forrest Wood Cup contenders will launch at 7 each morning from Brady Mountain Resort located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark., and daily weigh-ins will be held at Summit Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs each afternoon at 5. The Forrest Wood Cup Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show - featuring more than 140 exhibits, fishing seminars by Forrest L. Wood and other bass-fishing legends, and free daily giveaways - runs 2 to 8 p.m. Aug. 2-3, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 4-5 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The first 500 fans 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show Aug. 2 will receive free Berkley fishing line. On Aug. 3, the first 500 fans 14 and under will receive a free tackle kit. On Aug. 4, the first 750 fans 14 and under will receive a free pair of Solar Bat sunglasses. On Aug. 5, the first 1,500 fans 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel. One lucky fan over 18 attending the final weigh-in Sunday, Aug. 5, will even win a new $53,000 Ranger Z-Comanche bass boat powered by Yamaha. Admission is free, and participants in the Ranger boat drawing must be present during the Aug. 5 weigh-in to win. All other giveaways may be picked up at the main entrances following each day's weigh-in. The complete Forrest Wood Cup field will be posted at FLWOutdoors.com following the final 2007 regular-season FLW Tour event - the $1.5 million Chevy Open on the Detroit River - July 12-15. A complete schedule of events for the Forrest Wood Cup, including details on a free country music concert and taping of the "Best Damn Sport Show Period," will be released following the July Fourth holiday. Every pro competing in the no-entry-fee Forrest Wood Cup will receive at least $1,000. Pro awards of $10,000 extend through 40th place, with the winner receiving $500,000 guaranteed plus a $500,000 bonus if the winner owns a qualified Ranger boat. The top co-angler award is $50,000, which includes $25,000 guaranteed plus a $25,000 bonus if the winner owns a qualified Ranger boat. Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007. Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. To plan your trip to Hot Springs for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup Aug. 2-5, visit Hotsprings.org.

Tags: pre-tournament 

/news/2015-03-25-5-pros-to-watch-at-lewis-smith

5 Pros to Watch at Lewis Smith

The second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour season rolls to Lewis Smith Lake – or “Smith” as most refer to it – which is located in northern Alabama. It offers a stark contrast to the first event held on Toho, as the fishery is a clear, deep impoundment with little grass to speak of. Traditionally spotted bass have dominated this tournament due to their abundance and better average size. That will likely be the case again this week, however, largemouth may surprise some people since water temperatures are prime for them to swarm the bank. Smith Lake is often overshadowed by its neighboring lakes of Guntersville and Wheeler but has pumped out several world-class spotted bass over the years. In fact, back in the 1970s and 1980s several world record spots were produced in Smith, and the current 8-pound, 15-ounce Alabama state record was caught from here. READ MORE »

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Lewis Smith: 4 Factors to Consider

The Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lewis Smith Lake will give the 154 pros in the field the first multi-species test of the season. Though the pros who made the top 10 at the opener on Lake Toho showcased a wide variety of techniques, everyone was looking for largemouth. READ MORE »

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Spotted Bass Reign Supreme at Smith

When the Walmart FLW Tour visited Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake in March 2013, Brent Ehrler dominated wire-to-wire by amassing a hefty 60 pound, 9 ounces over four days and besting runner-up Jacob Powroznik by more than 7 pounds. Catching 60 pounds over four days is a pretty stout performance on most bodies of water, but the fact that Ehrler was targeting spotted bass more or less exclusively makes it truly special. In general, spotted bass are a whole lot of fun to catch, but usually don’t grow shoulders thick enough to produce tournament stringers that can rival their cousins, largemouth bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-23-last-time-at-lewis-smith

Last Time at Lewis Smith

It’s been two seasons since the Walmart FLW Tour visited Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, Ala. Now that the Tour has rolled back into town for the start of official practice on “Smith,” as most pros prefer to call this deep, clear reservoir, there’s an important change that could have a real impact on the tournament’s outcome: The umbrella rig is no longer allowed in Tour competition. Last time, a number of top pros relied on the multi-lure rig for the bulk of their catches, and winner Brent Ehrler caught a key kicker with one on the final day. This year’s event will be held a couple of weeks later in the month, which could mean the fish will be a little farther along in their prespawn-to-spawn transition and shallower patterns could be in play (possibly bed-fishing among them; see 2008: Spawners and Spots below). Still, the 2013 event is the best, most current preview of what we can expect to see this week, so we dug a little deeper into the most productive patterns from the last bout on Smith. READ MORE »

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College Open will be a Record-Setter

When the first FLW College Fishing Open tournament gets underway out of Moor’s Resort on Kentucky Lake Friday morning, it will make history as the largest college event ever staged. Typically, college tournaments are staged as divisional events where only teams from a particular geographical region can participate, but the Open marks the first time any eligible college team can compete. The response to the new format has been overwhelming. According to FLW College Fishing Tournament Director Kevin Hunt, 184 teams representing colleges and universities from coast to coast are entered (as of this morning), and more might be en route. Teams have until Thursday evening at 6 to register at the rules meeting. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-17-guntersville-setting-up-to-be-a-slugfest

Guntersville Setting Up to be a Slugfest

With the water warming rapidly from the 40s, that side of the big-bass equation seems to be taken care of. However, grass content and water clarity are other matters. Known as a grass lake, Guntersville was obviously grassy until quite recently. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-04-toho-5-factors-to-consider

Toho: 5 Factors to Consider

The Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Mercury on Lake Toho will give the 154 pros in the field a taste of a lake that is relatively unfamiliar compared to places like Lake Chickamauga or homey Okeechobee, where the Tour has made recent or frequent stops. Naturally, many factors will affect the outcome. We singled out five factors that we believe will have the greatest impact on anyone who fishes the Kissimmee Chain this week, from veterans such as Andy Morgan and Cody Meyer to rookies such as William Kemp and Braxton Setzer. READ MORE »

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Toho’s Mojo

Rob Newell breaks down the Kissimmee Chain lake by lake for a complete preview of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-27-5-to-watch-at-toho

5 to Watch at Toho

If you haven’t finalized your FLW Fantasy Fishing team, keep these anglers in mind when you head over to FantasyFishing.com and make your picks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-24-tour-opener-timed-right-for-florida-spawn-fireworks

Tour Opener Timed Right for Florida Spawn Fireworks

It’s always nice to kick off a new season with the proverbial bang, but the Walmart FLW Tour might very well mark its 20th anniversary with a Boom. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-23-toho-s-place-in-tour-history

Toho’s Place In Tour History

The start of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Toho is less than two weeks away. Official practice starts in just six days (kind of makes you wish you lived in Florida, huh?). READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-28-rayovac-flw-series-championship-pros-to-watch

Rayovac FLW Series Championship Pros to Watch

Keystone Light pro Casey Martin isn’t fishing in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship this week on Wheeler Lake, but he was still more than capable of breaking down how the lake should fish. Perhaps more than anything, Martin emphasizes that this Tennessee River impoundment doesn’t fish much like the legendary bodies of water that bookend it. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-27-2014-rayovac-championship-preview

2014 Rayovac Championship Preview

Two weeks make a big difference in the life of a bass lake. In early October, it seemed that north Alabama’s Lake Wheeler would present more of a challenge than most contestants in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship that begins Thursday might have preferred. Now, however, the 68,000-acre impoundment is laying a generous table for the 140 pros and their co-anglers who’ll participate in the three-day event. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-02-the-tennessee-river-grand-finale-begins

The Tennessee River grand finale begins

By this time of the season, reality has set in on the Walmart FLW Tour. The 167 pros still in the chase know the score: Most of them will be fishing for checks at Pickwick this weekend and at Kentucky Lake June 26-29. Only a handful will be fishing for a ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in August. Of this latter group, some already have a fairly good idea that their future travel plans include a summer trip to Columbia, S.C. Several more on the cusp will be disappointed, and a few will be happy. One of them might be the guy the confetti gets dumped on at the final weigh-in of the Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-02-4-keys-to-tailrace-success

4 Keys to tailrace success

If you ask Walmart FLW Tour pro Jonathan Newton where the best tailraces are in the country, he’ll tell you the tailraces of lakes Pickwick and Wilson. If you look at the tournament schedule for June, you’ll see the fifth 2014 FLW Tour event and the Walmart BFL All-American will be held at Pickwick and Wilson, respectively. READ MORE »

/news/2012-04-13-low-water-levels-playing-field

Low water levels playing field

RED WING, Minn. – With the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour preparing to kick the 2012 season off on the mighty Mississippi River there is one noticeable difference. What happened to all of the water? With the surprising lack of snow and ice throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin it has left water levels below average for this time of year. READ MORE »

/news/2011-09-22-everstart-series-heads-to-potomac-river

EverStart Series heads to Potomac River

MARBURY, Md. – The EverStart Series is headed to the Potomac River Sept. 29-Oct. 1 for the last of four stops in the Northern Division. READ MORE »

/news/2011-09-16-flw-college-fishing-western-division-headed-to-clear-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Division headed to Clear Lake

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – National Guard FLW College Fishing is headed to Clear Lake Sept. 24 for the fourth and final stop of the Western Division qualifying tournaments. Forty college teams will be competing for a top award of $10,000 to be split between the school and bass fishing club; $7,500 for bass club and $2,500 for their school. READ MORE »

/news/2011-09-16-everstart-series-western-division-to-host-clear-lake-event

EverStart Series Western Division to host Clear Lake event

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The EverStart Series is headed to Clear Lake Sept. 22-24 for the fourth and final stop in the 2011 Western Division series. The tournament will feature as many as 300 pros and co-anglers competing for top awards up to $35,000 plus a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard for the pro and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus $5,000 for the co-angler. READ MORE »

/news/2011-08-09-ouachita-locals-lay-out-the-lake

Ouachita locals lay out the lake

Many bass fishing fans remember the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita as a stingy, yet historic tournament. In suffocating summertime heat, Scott Suggs took home the top prize despite catching only two keepers the final day. While the weather will once again be oppressive, most signs point to heavier weights this year. Here to explain why are Suggs and fellow Arkansan Mike Wurm, both of whom call Ouachita home. READ MORE »