UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

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/2016-02-12-fishing-the-all-american

Fishing the All-American

My wish is that everyone who competes in BFL tournaments will get to experience the All-American. It truly is an amazing experience, and a goal that everyone who competes on the weekends should strive to achieve. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-eric-jackson-q-a

Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-flw-podcast-111-bradley-hallman

FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-03-flw-podcast-110-jt-kenney-and-kyle-monti

FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »