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 

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Practice with Clayton Batts

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AOY Showdown Looming in Texas

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Spawn Looming at Beaver Lake

As the pros who fish the Walmart FLW Tour begin practice on Beaver Lake, this jewel of northwestern Arkansas could be setting up for another spring spawn showdown. READ MORE »

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The Spawn is on at Grand Lake

When the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division competitors arrived in Grove, Okla., to start practice for the 2015 opener on Grand Lake this week, they didn’t have to look far to figure out the predominant pattern. READ MORE »

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College Championship Preview

Anthony Gagliardi won the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray last August with a combination of patterns that included fishing soft-plastic jerkbaits and topwaters for schooling bass. A variation of that theme is likely to work this week when the 50 teams that qualified for the FLW College Fishing National Championship convene on Murray to contest the 2015 title. READ MORE »

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High-Water Rayburn

When the Rayovac FLW Series hits Sam Rayburn April 9-11 for the second stop of the Texas Division, the story won’t be solely based on the giants that the lake is known for – it will also be about the extremely high water level. For the first time in years, Rayburn is topping her banks in a big way. Currently, the lake is about 5 feet above full pool, which is even more remarkable when you consider that the lake has been well below full pool most of the last few years. READ MORE »

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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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Spotted Bass Reign Supreme at Smith

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Toho’s Mojo

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