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/2015-07-03-scott-canterbury-fireworks-fanatic

Scott Canterbury: Fireworks Fanatic

If you’re looking to put together an impressive Independence Day celebration this year, you might seek the consultative advice of Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury. He happens to be a professional when it comes to fireworks. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-martin-earns-first-aoy-title

Martin Earns First AOY Title

Prior to the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season, Scott Martin had banked a total of three top-10 Angler of the Year finishes in his 15-year career as a pro. It was impressive, but not indicative of his greatness. The truth of the matter is that Scott Martin was a winner, always taking risks in search of equal reward. That risky fishing has led Martin to more than $2 million in earnings, a Forrest Wood Cup win and four Tour-level wins. But the gambles burned him often enough that he never earned AOY. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-birge-dominates-roy-race

Birge Dominates ROY Race

Zack Birge isn’t wasting any time filling out his tournament-fishing resume. The Oklahoman won the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake last fall then joined up on the Walmart FLW Tour for 2015 and went on a season-long tear that earned him the Rookie of the Year award. Birge, alongside his wife, Kristina, was presented with his ROY trophy this afternoon on the weigh-in stage at the Potomac River tournament, where he finished in 77th place. He finished 29th overall in the AOY standings to best a group of 18 rookies. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-27-flw-signs-contract-for-south-korean-tournaments

FLW Signs Contract for South Korean Tournaments

At the day-two weigh-in of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River, FLW signed a contract that inked an exclusive licensing agreement with MirooNamoo Media Group from South Korea to begin sanctioning FLW bass fishing tournaments in the Eastern-Asian country. South Korea will run a series of FLW tournaments that advance anglers, who are citizens of the host country, to a new International Division at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship beginning in 2016. Two anglers will compete as pros with FLW providing Ranger boats, and two will compete as co-anglers. The top pro award at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship is $95,000, including a Ranger Z518C if the pro is Ranger Cup qualified, and the top co-angler award is a Ranger Z117. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-26-hunter-captures-co-angler-of-the-year-title

Hunter Captures Co-angler of the Year Title

Things couldn’t have worked out any better for first-year Walmart FLW Tour co-angler John Hunter, who wrapped up a phenomenal season from the back of the boat to win Co-angler of the Year and the Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard that goes with it. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-26-aoy-update-martin-controls-his-destiny-

AOY Update: Martin Controls His Destiny

Scott Martin is on the verge of winning the only major FLW title that has escaped him to this point: Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year. As John Cox and Bryan Thrift stumbled in the Walmart FLW Tour season finale on the Potomac River, Martin steamed ahead and made the top-20 cut in 11th place with 26 pounds, 9 ounces. The way the math checks out, if Martin finishes 19th place or better, he’ll win AOY. If he finishes 20th, he’ll be tied with Cox. The tiebreaker awards AOY to the angler with the most total weight for the season. If he finishes 20th, Martin can still win by bringing at least 11-13 to the scale on day three. Anything less and Cox survives to win. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-25-on-the-bubble-for-the-cup-

On the Bubble for the Cup

By rule, the top 35 anglers in the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings make the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23. However, when a Tour pro pre-qualifies through another of FLW’s tournament circuits and also finishes in the top 35, an additional Cup invitation is extended to the angler in 36th place, and on down the list in the event of additional double qualifications. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-24-a-bass-fisherman-in-need

A Bass Fisherman in Need

Friends of FLW College Fishing angler David Cosner have established a fund to help the Texas fisherman pay medical bills associated with his long battle with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a debilitating disease that gradually destroys the organs. Cosner, who founded the Texas State University Bass Cats and was named to the 2010 FLW College Fishing All-America team, was diagnosed with the rare disease in 2009 when he was 17 and since has had to undergo 215 surgeries. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-22-coy-and-roy-on-the-line

COY and ROY on the Line

FLW is hauling a lot of hardware to Maryland this week for the final stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The world’s largest tournament fishing organization is also going to be writing some fat checks. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-18-father-of-david-dudley-passes

Father of David Dudley Passes

James Dudley, the father of longtime Walmart FLW Tour pro David Dudley, passed away June 17 after a lengthy illness. He was a lifetime resident of Lynchburg, Va., and a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church. Like his son, James Dudley was also a tournament fisherman and competed in 73 FLW events. He finished in the top 10 in eight of them. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-12-is-this-the-new-bass-fishing-capital-of-the-south-

Is this the New Bass Fishing Capital of the South?

Dayton, Tenn., is situated on Richland Creek, a tributary that flows into the western side of Lake Chickamauga, one of the hottest bass fisheries in the country. Local officials with a flair for marketing – and good business sense – believe that Chickamauga can be the sellable “brand” that attracts bass fishermen to come and spend their time and their money in Dayton. They believe that old-fashioned Southern hospitality and small-town charm, plus trophy bass, are just the recipe for turning Dayton into “The New Bass Fishing Capital of the South.” READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-09-bass-bbq-is-back

Bass & BBQ is Back

Bass fishing and barbecue are favorite Southern pastimes, made even better when you spice them up with a little competition. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-bfl-payouts

BFL Payouts

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-01-2015-flw-tv-schedule

2015 FLW TV Schedule

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-01-miss-nina-wins-more-accolades

Miss Nina Wins More Accolades

When the letter that notified Nina Wood that she was being inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame came awhile back, she was a bit surprised. None of the rest of us was. In a sense, it was a restatement of the obvious, another in a long line of awards and recognition earned by the co-founder of Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-missed-opportunities-at-beaver-lake

Missed Opportunities at Beaver Lake

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-strader-maintains-lead-at-halfway-mark

Strader Maintains Lead At Halfway Mark

Midway through the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, Tennessee pro Wes Strader is in first place in the Angler of the Year race, and his prospects for winning it are as good as anyone’s. Two upcoming events, at lakes Eufaula and Chickamauga, “fish” in a way that suits his style, and he has a good track record on the Potomac River, the last Tour stop of 2015. A good finishing kick could earn the veteran his first AOY title. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-10-mother-of-ramie-colson-jr-passes

Mother of Ramie Colson Jr. Passes

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-07-community-outreach-sportsmanship-award-

Community Outreach (Sportsmanship Award)

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-tornadoes-sweep-across-oklahoma

Tornadoes Sweep Across Oklahoma

2014 Rayovac FLW Series Champion Zack Birge, whose appears in the Central Division Tournament on Kentucky Lake was cut short by tornados at his home town in Oklahoma, characterized the damage to his house as “a near miss.” READ MORE »