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: article 

/tips/2015-04-25-keenom-yates-grab-high-school-lead

Keenom, Yates Grab High School Lead

Oklahoma’s Trevor Yates and Jacob Keenom sacked a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to top the leaderboard on day one of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on Grand Lake. Kristopher Queen and Tyler Black are hot on their heels in second with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-25-a-high-school-fishing-grand-finale

A High School Fishing Grand Finale

Adrenaline and optimism were running high among the 19 young guns gathered at Wolf Creek Park as they anxiously awaited takeoff on day one of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on Grand Lake. Set for April 25-26 on the legendary Sooner impoundment, the championship pits the nation’s top 10 two-person high school teams in an all-out bass battle for the national title and a $10,000 college scholarship. One contestant, Cameron Pappan, is fishing solo. The road to the finals began in 2014, with state and open championships leading to one of five conference finals, then ultimately to Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-weekend-wrap-up-april-21-2015

Weekend Wrap-Up – April 21, 2015

With the College Fishing National Championship and the kickoff of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division going on, this past weekend was pretty hotly anticipated. Lucky for fishing fans, it sure lived up to the billing. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-18-grand-lake-midday-update-day-3

Grand Lake Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-17-grand-lake-midday-update

Grand Lake Midday Update

As the second day of competition in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake draws on, the sight-fishing bite is still strong, but day-one leader Todd Castledine has been unable to capitalize thus far. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-16-grand-lake-day-1-midday-update

Grand Lake Day 1 Midday Update

GROVE, Okla. – After the fog delay stalled action on day one of the Central Division opener on Grand Lake the anglers are now enjoying perfect weather for sight-fishing. Lingering light fog and clouds gave way to calm, sunny conditions this afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-16-20-questions-with-ray-hanselman

20 Questions with Ray Hanselman

Ray Hanselman is on fire. The Del Rio, Texas, pro won back-to-back Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournaments to start the 2015 season. His first win was in February on Lake Amistad, which is Hanselman’s home lake and where he runs a guide service. His second win came last week on Sam Rayburn. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-15-weekend-wrap-up-april-13-2015

Weekend Wrap-up – April 13, 2015

The week after the Easter break turned out to be pretty spectacular. We saw incredible feats at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn and the FLW College Fishing event on Table Rock. Plus, BFL competition was hot across the country. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-top-5-patterns-from-sam-rayburn-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 2

Two limits of more than 20 pounds have pushed Del Rio, Texas, pro Ray Hanselman atop the leaderboard at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Hanselman is flipping and pitching plastics to flooded brush and trees, with careful consideration to the spots that allow him the best targeting efficiency. The lake level remains at a 15-year high, so anglers are chasing scattered bass in areas the fish rarely see. Overcast skies dominated the day, and isolated showers popped up throughout competition. Overall, productivity was lower than that of day one, with fewer fish and limits caught, and overall weights down. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-08-the-bucket-list

The Bucket List

Gleaned from my various fishing travels over the years, here are 10 places ­– in no particular order – that I’ve fished that I believe should definitely be on your bass fishing “bucket list.” Some are fantastic winter getaways, but other will require you to wait until warmer weather arrives. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-08-college-fishing-takes-on-table-rock

College Fishing Takes on Table Rock

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Table Rock Lake April 11 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Central Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Central Conference Championship tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-08-walmart-bfl-tournament-preview

Walmart BFL Tournament Preview

The 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League season will continue with six tournaments on Saturday, April 11. The Arkie Division will take on Lake Dardanelle, the Bama Division stops on Lake Martin, the LBL Division heads to Kentucky Lake, the Ozark Division competes on Lake of the Ozarks, the Piedmont Division opens their season on Kerr Lake and the Savannah River Division continues on Lake Hartwell. Up to 400 boaters and co-anglers will be competing for top awards of up to $8,000 and $3,000 respectively in the one-day events. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-06-hibdons-suspend-tournament-careers

Hibdons Suspend Tournament Careers

Veteran Missouri pro Guido Hibdon and his grandson, Payden, have decided to leave the ranks of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, but hope to resume their tournament careers in the future. Like several other pros, the Hibdons, of Sunrise Beach, Mo., were victims of cutbacks in sponsor dollars that began last fall and left many anglers scrambling for financial support just before the 2015 tournament season opened. Dion Hibdon, Guido’s son and Payden’s father, lost a major sponsorship when Chevy pulled out as an FLW backer and dissolved the Chevy fishing team to which Dion belonged. However, the Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion will continue to fish the Tour. He’ll travel to tournaments with his younger son, Lawson, 18, who will fish as a co-angler. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-06-tour-talk

Tour Talk

We’re fresh off stop No. 2 of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season on Smith Lake, and there’s plenty to talk about in this installment of FLW’s Tour Talk, where our pundits weigh in on what’s happening along the Tour trail. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-03-strader-leads-the-aoy-pack

Strader Leads the AOY Pack

Things are starting to take shape in the Angler of the Year race too, and while another pair of veterans is atop the standings, there are some new faces emerging as well. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-01-kids-get-to-wet-a-line-during-lewis-smith-event

Kids Get to Wet a Line During Lewis Smith Event

The children and their families had plenty of room to spread out around the Smith Lake Dam cove, which proved to be a good place to fish as it was also the site where the FLW release boat unloaded fish caught by the pros during Friday’s round. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-30-high-school-anglers-fish-for-their-future

High School Anglers Fish for Their Future

High school anglers from across the Midwest braved chilly weather at Kentucky Lake Saturday in hopes of finding hot spots that would help advance them to the High School Fishing Southeastern Conference Championship on Lake Lanier this fall as well as help fund their college education. The 150 high school anglers and their coaches awoke to an unusually cold spring morning to compete in the 2015 Murray State High School Fishing Open. Frost-covered decks, gear and tackle, frozen livewells and outboards reluctant to start were among the first challenges those aboard the 75 boats had to deal with at Kentucky Dam Marina. The event honored the memory of Murray State University’s Dr. Jim Carter, one of the earliest proponents of fishing as a state-sanctioned high school sport. Teams competed for a grand prize of $4,000 in scholarships to Murray State. The scholarships were provided by Independence Bank of Murray and FLW in partnership with the Murray State Bass Anglers. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-21-guntersville-midday-update

Guntersville Midday Update

With numerous local boats on the water, a number of the top 10 pros have been unable to fully capitalize – Cameron Gautley didn’t have a limit at noon and Trevor Fitzgerald, Jay Kendrick and Rob Digh had yet to complete theirs as well. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-21-college-open-day-2-midday-update

College Open Day 2 Midday Update

The sun is shining, the weather is warmer and the bass aren’t biting, at least not for most of the first-round leaders here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open. As the second and final day of competition unfolds, the leaders are struggling to maintain their positions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-19-day-one-midday-update-from-guntersville

Day One Midday Update From Guntersville

With cooler weather blowing in, patches of mist and rain whisking over the lake, and whitecaps in the main channel, day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Mercury on Lake Guntersville is proving to be a challenge for the field. READ MORE »