UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 3

Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., was joined onstage by his family and tournament host Charlie Evans shortly after winning the co-angler crown at the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

2010 Forrest Wood Cup
Lake Lanier - Atlanta, Ga.
Semifinals, Saturday

Tom Mann, Jr., of Buford, Ga., proudly displays his catch. Unfortunately for Mann, his three-day catch of 34 pounds, 10 ounces came up short of qualifying for the finals.Heartbreak hotel ... Perhaps nobody in the entire field wanted to win the Forrest Wood Cup more than pre-tournament favorite Tom Mann Jr., of Buford, Ga. Fishing in his backyard in front of a decidedly partisan hometown crowd, Mann gave it his best shot. But unfortunately, in the end, Mann fell just short of making the top-six, final-day cut by an agonizing 7 ounces. By the time weigh-in had concluded, Mann stood in seventh place overall with a total catch of 34 pounds, 10 ounces. Although he fished well and was about as well prepared as anyone in the field, Mann knew that the first day of competition was his downfall. "Nobody wanted to fish tomorrow worse than me," said Mann, who choked up a few times during his final onstage interview. "But I had that little ol' slip on that first day. If I had made (the cut) I really feel like I would have had a shot." In the end, his 9-pound, 6-ounce catch and 21st place finish on day one would ultimately turn out to be the weak link. "Lake Lanier didn't really show itself this week and I'm a little disappointed about that."

Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., proudly displays his first-place trophy after winning the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.Rodgers ecstatic in victory ... One of the most heartwarming moments of the entire day-three weigh-in came at the end when Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., out-dueled California powerhouse J.R. Wright by a grand total of 6 ounces to win the Forrest Wood Cup title in the Co-angler Division and walk away with $65,000. When the final weights were announced, Rodgers - the 2009 FLW Tour co-angler of the year - shot his arms up in victory and was quickly joined onstage by his wife and two children. "It's been a long time coming," said Rodgers of his victory. "When I told my wife that I wanted to become a (tournament angler), she asked me how long it would take (to be successful). I told her, `Give me five years.' Well, that was almost exactly five years ago." While victory was sweet, Rodgers was undoubtedly helped by a little bit of fateful intervention as well. For starters, Rodgers was greatly assisted by Wright's uncharacteristic one-fish catch on day two. How out of character was that? Since beginning his fishing career with FLW Outdoors in 2006, Wright had earned two titles (a 2009 FLW Series event on the Cal Delta and a 2008 American Fishing Series event at Lake Havasu) and scored 15 top-10 finishes in only 38 events total. Wright had also amassed nearly $100,000 in winnings, finished second in the FLW Series Western Division points race in 2008 and 2009 (and is currently in second place in 2010) and finished in the top 10 in the overall standings in the American Fishing Series Western Division from 2007-2009. Throw in the final day snafu of third-place finisher Frank Divis, Sr., who lost a qualify fish at 2:30 p.m. which could have put him over the top and it was clear that the final outcome could have gone either way. But in the end, Rodgers had earned every penny and deserved to be crowned champion.

National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., took over the lead in the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup with a three-day catch of 39 pounds, 3 ounces.Ehrler continues his hot streak ... While Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., grabbed most of the headlines this year for his stellar season, which included one FLW Tour win, four top-10 FLW Tour finishes and a 2010 FLW Tour AOY title, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., continued to quietly put together one of the greatest seasons in recent memory as well. For starters, Ehrler won two FLW Tour titles in 2010, winning at Lake Ouachita and Table Rock Lake while finishing fifth place overall in the FLW Tour AOY race. He also won the FLW Series event on Lake Shasta, placed fourth at the FLW Series event at Lake Mead and is currently in first place overall in the 2010 FLW Series Western Division Angler of the Year race. But clearly Ehrler wasn't content with just those accolades. Bolstered by a three-day catch of 39 pounds, 3 ounces, Ehrler took over the top spot in the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup heading into the final day of competition on Lake Lanier. On the verge of winning two Forrest Wood Cup titles, something no angler has ever done, Ehrler could write one of the most remarkable chapters in bass-fishing history if everything goes his way on Sunday. "I wasn't expecting to catch what I did today. I really didn't," said the National Guard pro in characteristically humble fashion. "I actually kind of struggled today. I'm real fortunate to have caught what I caught."

2010 BFL All-American winner Troy Morrow turned in a surprising performance, qualifying for the finals of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup in sixth place overall.Morrow takes a giant step forward ... Heading into the 2010 BFL All-American, Troy Morrow was a little-known angler from Toccoa, Ga. Sure, he had thrown down 12 top-10 finishes in BFL competition since he began his fishing career with FLW Outdoors in 2002, but otherwise his lifetime achievements were fairly nondescript. However, all that changed when he captured the All-American title this year. Not only did he walk away with a victory in one of the most grueling bass-fishing events in the nation, but he also earned a berth in the prestigious 2010 Forrest Wood Cup. Certainly, he would be happy just to show up, right? "Not really," said Morrow. "There was a lot of pressure on me to do well here since I live so close to Lanier." In any event, while the majority of the bass punditry class considered Morrow little more than an afterthought in this competition, the Georgia native had other ideas. And to his credit, he fulfilled his every expectation - out-gunning 72 of the nation's top pros to gain an improbable spot in the finals of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup. "It really turns your stomach standing up here," said Morrow, clearly excited by the prospect of having a legitimate chance at walking away with the title. "It really proved that I have what it takes to hang with these guys. My goal coming in here was to make the finals and I did that. Now anything that happens, happens." What's happened is that Georgia angler has taken one small step for BFL anglers everywhere and one giant leap in the career of Troy Morrow.

Quick numbers

0: The number of anglers who have won two Forrest Wood Cup titles.

1: The number of pro anglers remaining in 2010 Cup competition (Brent Ehrler) who still has a shot at becoming the first angler in history to win two Cups.

1: Total number of limits caught in the Co-angler Division during today's competition.

2: The number of pro anglers (Cody Meyer and Brian Thrift) who finished in the top 10 in Forrest Wood Cup competition in both 2009 and 2010.

4-2: The amount in pounds and ounces separating the top-six pros heading into the final day of 2010 Forrest Wood Cup competition.

7: The number of ounces separating first-place (Ehrler) and second-place (Cody Meyer) competitors heading into the finals.

12: Total number of limits caught in the Pro Division in today's competition.

100: Amount in thousands that will be awarded to the winning 2010 Forrest Wood Cup pro if they are Ranger Cup qualified.

116-13: Total weight in pounds and ounces caught by co-anglers during today's competition.

236-5: Total weight in pounds and ounces caught by the pros during today's competition.

500: Total first-place prize award in thousands earmarked for the winner of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

Sound bites

"I'm so proud to tell you that Walmart is back. Not only are they back, but they're back bigger and better than before." - FLW Outdoors Chairman Irwin Jacobs announcing onstage that Walmart will be back as a title sponsor of FLW Outdoors for years to come.

"I'm really glad Walmart is getting back into fishing. I'm so proud Walmart is back." - Chevy pro Jay Yelas, echoing Jacobs' sentiments.

"If I jump in this (weigh-in) basket we'll be there." - Pro Jim Moynagh, joking about the extreme measures that it would take for him to qualify for the finals at the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

"Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug." - FLW Tour pro Jacob Powroznik speaking of his disappointing day on the water.

"I still feel like I'm dreaming onstage. I'm just so happy." - Co-angler Hideki Maeda discussion how privileged he felt just to be invited to the Forrest Wood Cup.

"I caught the biggest spotted bass I've ever caught in my life yesterday. I won the (FLW Tour) Angler of the Year title and I've had a good Forrest Wood Cup. So it's been a lot of fun." - FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift commenting on both the joy of competing this week on Lake Lanier and on the FLW Tour throughout the 2010 season.

"I didn't lose any fish the first two days. But I lost four today, including two big ones in the last hour." - Pro Jason Meninger, commenting on his disappointment today in missing the cut after being in a strong position to qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup finals after day-two competition.

"Okay, you hold Charlie and I'll read the scales." - Deareal Rodgers, joking to fellow co-angler J.R. Wright about restraining tournament host Charlie Evans in an effort to finally figure out who had won the co-angler title.

"We're heading to Hot Springs next year for the Cup and Scott Suggs is probably going to win. So this is the last chance I'm going to have to become the first angler to win two Cup titles before he does." Brent Ehrler on the extra motivation he has to take home the 2010 Cup title in Sunday's competition.

Tags: gary-mortenson  quick-bites  2010-08-05-forrest-wood-cup 

/tips/2016-07-23-1000-islands-day-3-midday-update

1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-22-1000-islands-midday-update-day-2

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-19-flw-podcast-126-icast

FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-14-2017-walmart-flw-tour-schedule

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-12-si-se-puede-yes-we-can

Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-5-rookie-lessons-learned

5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-flw-podcast-125-scott-martin

FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-review-lew-s-custom-speed-stick-lite

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-reunited-and-it-feels-so-good

Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-2016-icast-preview

2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-07-flw-canada-kicks-off-at-tri-lakes

FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-tour-pro-cooksey-recovering-after-accident

FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-podcast-124-jeremy-lawyer

FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-29-stetson-blaylock-s-recipe-for-a-wacky-rig

Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-28-morgan-claims-third-flw-tour-angler-of-the-year-title

Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-24-three-things-by-dd-kentucky-lake

Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-23-how-to-catch-smallmouths-with-hair-jigs

How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-22-two-exciting-events-to-look-forward-to

Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-21-tagging-along-with-sprague-in-kentucky

Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-19-waunakee-hs-wins-wi-title

Waunakee HS Wins WI Title

The Waunakee High School duo of Colin Steck and Nathan Lorenz brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Wisconsin State Championship on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Central Conference championship on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on September 23-24. READ MORE »