UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

2013 Forrest Wood Cup preview: The contenders

Bass fishing legend Hank Parker introduces Forrest L. Wood to the crowd at Gwinnett Convention Center.

With the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup slated for Aug. 15-18 on the Red River in Shreveport, La., the clock continues to tick toward the start of one of the most prestigious and exciting bass-fishing championships in the nation. In an effort to provide bass-fishing fans with a little more perspective and background on the competition, FLWOutdoors.com is launching a six-part series/overview of each of the 46 qualifying pros - one of whom will walk away with the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion.

With a guaranteed first-place prize of $500,000 on the line, there is clearly plenty at stake this summer in Louisiana. So without further ado, let's meet the contenders.

(Editor's note: Forrest Wood Cup competitors will be featured in alphabetical order. This is the first in a six-part series.)

2013 Forrest Wood Cup contenders

Pro Matt Arey.Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C. - Matt Arey finished the 2013 FLW Tour season ranked 22nd overall, representing his second-highest finish on the FLW Tour to date. Arey currently boasts 14 top-10 finishes in FLW events, which includes five final-day appearances on the FLW Tour alone (two as a pro and three as a co-angler). Arey has one victory to his credit, a first-place finish in the Co-angler Division at the 2006 Forrest Wood Cup on Logan Martin Lake. Arey began fishing FLW events in 2003 and has accumulated more than $333,000 in winnings since that time. Arey ultimately qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Tour and will be making his sixth FWC championship appearance overall.

Pro Adrian Avena. Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J. - Adrian Avena got his start in FLW competition with the National Guard FLW College Fishing circuit. Avena competed in the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championships in 2009 and 2010, finishing in ninth and sixth place respectively. Since then, Avena has competed on the BFL, EverStart and FLW Tour circuits. This season represents his second year as a pro on the FLW Tour. During his sophomore season, Avena continued to impress, improving his overall Tour ranking from 23rd place in 2012 to seventh overall in 2013. Avena, who is making his second trip to the Cup, qualified via the FLW Tour. In addition, Avena has amassed nearly $150,000 in career earnings, eight top-10 finishes and two victories (a 2011 EverStart Series win on Lake Champlain and a 2010 BFL co-angler title on the St. Clair River) since the 2009 season. Avena also scored his first-ever top-10 appearance on the FLW Tour this season on Lake Okeechobee.

Drew Benton.Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla. - Despite coming into the 2013 FLW Tour season as a rookie, Drew Benton demonstrated immediately that he could compete on the highest levels of his sport, winning the very first Tour event of his career on Lake Okeechobee last February. During his very next outing he recorded a top-15 finish on Lewis Smith Lake and then followed that up with a 29th-place finish at Beaver Lake in April. Overall, Benton finished his rookie campaign ranked 18th overall. Benton, who began his FLW fishing career on the EverStart Series trail back 2010, has already amassed nearly $139,000 in career earnings. Benton will be making his very first Forrest Wood Cup appearance in August. The Florida native qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Tour.

Pro Stetson Blaylock.Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark. - Stetson Blaylock has accrued 26 top-10 finishes and amassed nearly $654,000 in winnings over the course of his young FLW career. One of the sport's truly up-and-coming phenoms, Blaylock wasted little time making his FLW mark, cranking out five top-10 finishes in 2006, three in 2007 and six in 2008 before turning pro on the FLW Tour in 2009. Blaylock has five FLW wins to his credit, including an FLW Tour victory on Lake Norman in 2009. The Arkansas native finished the 2013 FLW Tour season ranked second overall, his highest ranking ever, and will be making his eighth Cup appearance, fourth as a pro. Blaylock qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Tour.

Pro Christopher Brasher.Christopher Brasher, Hallsville, Texas - Christopher Brasher finished his sophomore season on the FLW Tour ranked 25th overall. Brasher currently boats a little over $100,000 in career earnings and will be making his very first trip to the Forrest Wood Cup this August. Since he began his FLW career back in 2003, the Texan has recorded two top-10 tallies, including an eighth-place EverStart Series finish on Lake Amistad in 2009 and a 10th-place EverStart Series finish at Falcon Lake in 2010. Brasher qualified for this year's Cup from the FLW Tour.

Scott Canterbury.Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala. - Scott Canterbury began his FLW fishing career in 2003 and since then the Alabama native has racked up over $720,000 in career earnings. Canterbury currently boasts 29 top-10 finishes, including nine on the FLW Tour alone. The Straight Talk pro finished the 2013 FLW Tour season ranked 21st overall and has now qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup five times. Canterbury owns one tournament title, which came during a 2011 EverStart event on Lake Eufaula. Canterbury qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Tour.

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., used a four-day catch of 78 pounds, 1 ounce to win the FLW Tour event on Grand Lake.Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. - With over $945,000 in career FLW earnings, Rayovac team pro Jason Christie is arguably fishing as well as anyone on the FLW Tour right now. In fact, over the last five FLW Tour events, Christie has won two of them (Beaver Lake in April and Grand Lake in June), placed fourth in another (Lewis Smith Lake in March) and 16th during the final regular-season event on the year at Lake Chickamauga. Throw in come-from-behind win at the BASSmaster Elite Series event at Bull Shoals this past April and it's clear that the Oklahoma native is having one of his best all-around seasons as a pro. As a result of his most recent efforts, Christie now boasts 10 tournament titles since he began his FLW career back in 1996. Christie has also recorded an astounding 36 top-10 finishes, including 12 on the FLW Tour alone since the 2008. The Oklahoma native has qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup five years in a row, beginning with the 2009 season, and finished the 2013 FLW Tour season ranked fourth overall. Christie qualified for this year's Cup via the FLW Tour.

Paul Clark, Monroe, La., - Paul Clark qualified for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup after winning the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship on Beaver Lake this past April with the help of his teammate Brett Preuett. Representing the University of Louisiana Monroe at FLW College Fishing events since 2011, Clark has scored third-, sixth- and 10th-place finishes in the Southern Division, a second-place finish during the Southern Conference Championship in 2012 as well as this year's college national championship title. Clark has also netted over $25,000 in scholarships and winnings since the start of his college fishing career.

Related links:

Forrest Wood Cup preview: The contenders II

Pro field set for 2013 Forrest Wood Cup

For more information about the upcoming 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, click here.

To see detailed schedule information for this year's Cup, click here.

Tags: gary-mortenson  article 

/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 »