UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

10 Must-See Attractions at the Forrest Wood Cup

Fishing takes center stage at the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., next week, but fans won’t have to wait until the daily weigh-ins to enjoy all the excitement the event has to offer. The city of Columbia and its environs have lots to see and do, with special events associated with the Cup on tap. Here’s a reminder of some of the attractions waiting for you:

1. The Best Show in Town – The FLW Expo, free to the public, opens its doors in the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center beginning Friday. The show is open from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day through Sunday, with daily weigh-ins and concerts taking place afterward in the adjoining Colonial Life Arena. Sponsor booths set up by such companies as Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Lowrance, Mercury, Plano, Igloo and many others will display the latest equipment and fishing tackle, and sponsors such as Kellogg’s, Bridgford, Repel, George Foreman Grills, Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape, Cheez-It, Jif and others will provide free samples.

Retail booths such as the FLW Tackle Shop will offer hot deals on fishing lures, line and various articles of tackle throughout the weekend. Likewise, the convention center will be surrounded by outside booths that offer special show deals, samples and field-test opportunities. All sorts of children’s attractions – from a trout pond to a casting pool – make it a great opportunity for the entire family to get involved.

2. Autograph Sessions with the Pros – Dozens of FLW pros will be on hand throughout the week, and fans will have the chance to visit with all of them, as well as fishing celebrities such as Forrest L. Wood and Hank Parker.

3. Fishing Seminars – Starting with 3M Scotch Tape and Peltor pro Ray Scheide, a series of free fishing seminars will be staged throughout Expo hours. Among the anglers scheduled to appear are Hank Parker, Chevy pro Larry Nixon, 2014 Bassmaster Classic winner Randy Howell, Chevy pro Dion Hibdon, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan, Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Keystone Light pro Casey Martin, Dingo pro Vic Vatalaro and Livingston Lures pro Byron Velvick.

Bass & BBQ at the Forrest Wood Cup

4. Bass & Barbeque – A special event hosted by The State newspaper in the span between the Colonial Life Arena and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Bass & Barbeque pits 30 of the region’s best grill cooks against each other with the winners getting cash prizes and the public’s favor. Samples of barbequed pork butt can be purchased on Saturday ($5 for five samples), with full meals of pulled pork, ribs or chicken available Sunday. See all the details at thestate.com.

5. Fish-Art Expo – South Carolina hosts the Southeastern Wildlife Art Exposition every February, indicative of the Palmetto State’s admiration for art that depicts fish and wildlife in natural settings. At the Forrest Wood Cup, visitors will get a sneak peek at some of the best wildlife art rendered by the country’s young artists. The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Expo displays award-winning artwork from grades K through 12 from all 50 states plus Ontario. The contest’s “People’s Choice” award ceremony is set for Saturday afternoon in the Colonial Life Arena with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Director Alvin Taylor and FLW President of Marketing Trisha Blake serving as the hosts.

6. TBF Junior World Championship – The Bass Federation’s Junior Club program started in 1994 with only four states participating at first. Now it’s national in scope, and involves representatives of two age groups, 11-14 and 15-18, from every state where there is a Federation chapter. The tournament to decide the championships in each age group begins Friday morning at Clearwater Cove on nearby Lake Wateree. The finalists will fish Saturday, and the winners will be introduced prior to the Forrest Wood Cup weigh-in Saturday afternoon at 4:45 in Colonial Life Arena.

The Forrest Wood Cup will be a rockin' good time with three great country artist set to play on Saturday and Sunday.

7. Concerts Galore – Music, from toe-tapping to foot-stomping, will play a big part in the Cup festivities. Free concerts will be staged beginning Friday evening from 8 to 9:30 with country music performer Jeremy McComb in The Tin Roof restaurant. McComb will also perform Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 at the Outdoor Stage where the Bass & Barbeque festival is taking place. Sunday, country music artist Rodney Atkins will kick off the championship weigh-in show with a concert that runs from 4 until 4:45. The two performers also will be available for autographs and photos with fans at various times.

8. On the Water and Lakeside – Dreher Island State Park, about 45 minutes away from downtown Columbia, will be bustling every morning as the competitors take off for a day of fishing. The Folgers Morning Takeoff, which takes place Thursday through Sunday, welcomes visitors to free coffee and doughnuts from 6 to 7 a.m. before the boats take off. No need to be in a hurry to leave after the last contestant is gone, though, because on-the-water demos of Lowrance electronics take place from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 7:30 to 10 a.m. on Sunday.

9. Cup Insider – If you want to keep one eye on the tournament and the other on FLW Expo attractions, it’s possible with the Cup Insider LIVE updates that take place periodically. Look for the special Cup Insider stage. On-the-water reports provide a running account of what’s happening as anglers vie for tournament fishing’s richest prize of $500,000.

10. Freebies Galore – Rods and reels, sunglasses, lures, and even fishing trips with the pros are some of the goodies that await visitors. Check for updates at the Expo. The biggest prize of all is a fully rigged Ranger Z521 high-performance bass boat with a 250-hp Mercury outboard courtesy of WCOS-FM. Just remember, you have to be there to win.

You will be there, won’t you?

Tags: curtis-niedermier  article 

/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/2016-02-02-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 »

/tips/2016-01-20-bfl-choo-choo-division-postponed

BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-tigerodz-aligns-with-auburn-team

TIGERODZ Aligns With Auburn Team

Custom fishing rod manufacturer TIGERODZ of Scottsboro, Ala., has signed an agreement to become the official rod brand for the Auburn University Bass Sports Club. Scott Dobbins, president of TIGERODZ, is an Auburn alum, and he says the pairing involved a natural progression of involvement. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-becoming-aware-of-your-angler-strengths

Becoming Aware of Your Angler Strengths

The ongoing sentiment among fishermen is that versatility is the key to becoming a successful professional angler. While I’m certain that statement holds some weight, I think there is an alternate perspective that is worth entertaining. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-18-pundits-picks-for-aoy

Pundits Picks for AOY

Winning the Angler of the Year title is a tremendous feat. It can solidify a budding career or affirm a veteran’s status among the best. It also comes with a hefty reward – $100,000 and early entry into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »