Thoughts of Forrest Wood Cup qualification already in motion

The Forrest Wood Cup is officially delivered onstage before the start of day-four competition.

The season has begun and Brett Hite has claimed the first victory of the year at Lake Okeechobee. Anglers are now looking to the next stop at Lake Hartwell. But more importantly, they've got their eye on the Forrest Wood Cup, the Super Bowl of bass fishing, and the sport's largest prize at $500,000, Aug. 14-17 at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. The star-studded field in the FLW Tour makes the competition very difficult. Winning a Tour event isn't easy. Qualifying for the Cup certainly isn't easy. And if you do qualify for it, you have to compete against the absolute best of the best. FLW Tour pro David Dudley said recently that qualifying for the Cup is more difficult now than ever. So how much does an early-season win mean to an angler regarding his chances of making the Forrest Wood Cup? Hite won the season opener in 2008 at Lake Toho. It is his only other Tour win. He followed that up with four tournaments where he placed 118th or lower. The season-ending Detroit River event was his next-best finish of the year at 35th. Yet he qualified for the Cup and finished in 53rd place. Brent Ehrler started out the 2006 season with a 77th-place effort at Lake Okeechobee. The rest of his season wasn't particularly stellar, yet consistency earned him a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup. He went on to win it and $500,000. Randall Tharp started the 2013 season with a solid 15th-place finish at Lake Okeechobee. For the rest of the season he never finished lower than 75th - a very respectable year. Then he won the Forrest Wood Cup and $500,000 at the Red River. A very nice way to cap off his year. The stats show you don't have to win early to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup. But an early win doesn't guarantee a spot, either. In 2003 Pat Fisher dominated the field at the season opener at Lake Okeechobee to win. He followed that up with a 30th-place finish at the Atchafalaya Basin. Next he came in 77th at Lake Murray. Then he posted finishes of 150th, 128th and 146th. He did not qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup. So it seems an early win probably takes a lot of pressure off an angler. He's now had success and can relax a little for the rest of the season. But he can't relax too much. This is the FLW Tour. These guys are good. Do you have a topic you'd like me to discuss? Contact me at cgay@flwoutdoors.com or Twitter at @FLWChadGay.

Tags: blog  chad-gay 

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-29-here-we-go

Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-13-are-you-taking-care-of-business-

Are You Taking Care of Business?

My dad started taking me fishing when I was two. My very first job was at Hi’s Tackle Box and after that I spent a few years working for Fisherman’s Choice. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to spend my life doing what I love and enjoy doing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-30-the-ebb-and-flow-of-sponsorships

The Ebb and Flow of Sponsorships

Many of the readers who follow FLW know me as one of the pros who fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. What many of you don’t know is that I also work in the industry. I get to see what happens behind the scenes more than the average fisherman or fellow fan does. I get to see the sponsor contracts, and the ins and outs of how business works. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-22-ish-monroe-travels-to-china

Ish Monroe Travels to China

Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-12-5-must-have-knots

5 Must-Have Knots

Most anglers, pros included, look for any little edge to increase their catch, and that includes even the knots they tie to attach lures to their lines. With that in mind, picking the best knot to use with all of today’s lines can be a challenge. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-02-offseason-with-the-blaylocks

Offseason with the Blaylocks

READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-24-how-to-approach-a-potential-sponsor

How to Approach a Potential Sponsor

For a lot of FLW anglers, it’s crunch time in regards to sewing up sponsorships for 2015. Whether you’re fishing at the high school or college level, in BFLs, the Rayovac FLW Series or on the Walmart FLW Tour, gaining some form of sponsorship is critical to enabling you to make a profit from competitive fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-06-the-future-of-bass-fishing-is-in-good-hands

The Future of Bass Fishing is in Good Hands

It’s been a couple months since I fished my last FLW event, the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., where I got to watch history in the making. The championship weigh-in was very exciting as it featured the local favorite Anthony Gagliardi taking home the top prize with a 1-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-23-changes-in-the-air

Changes in the Air

Another year gone, and another off-season flying by. I’m still trying to catch up on all the stuff around the house that I let go during the season. Chores like painting the garage or little fix-it-up jobs around the house and yard seem to never end. By the way, I am currently fighting it out with fire ants, and even though they seem to have won most of the battles so far, I guarantee they will not win the war. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-22-when-more-is-better-

When More is Better

Today’s Lowrance sonar/GPS combos are so powerful, even the entry-level units are waaaay more advanced than what was available just a few years ago before we had GPS, SideScan or DownScan. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-10-relaxed-but-reloading

Relaxed, But Reloading

READ MORE »

/tips/2014-09-26-the-realities-of-sponsorships

The Realities of Sponsorships

Right now a lot of tournament fishermen are trying to land sponsor deals for 2015. Consequently, I guess it’s pretty accurate to say that the No. 1 question any long-term pro angler gets asked this time of year is, “How do I get sponsors?” READ MORE »