UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Final Hours will Decide Cup

Straight Talk Wireless pro Scott Canterbury is working on a solid limit on day four.

Day four of the Forrest Wood Cup is crunch time. With the weights heading into today as tightly packed as they have been on a final day of Cup competition in years, the potential for game-changing bites and a final-day charge were high. Lucky for us, and the crowd that is sure to be present at the Colonia Life Arena, it appears that the potential is being fulfilled.

The conditions have thus far been markedly different than day three. Though the sun is high, there is a steady breeze blowing over most of Lake Murray, and the patches of shade feel cooler than they did yesterday. Whether the weather means anything is another matter. The top 10 pros have run a gauntlet of amazing anglers and varied conditions to get here, and each of them has a slightly different opinion on what the ideal catching conditions are.

Word on the water is that day four is just as challenging as the three previous days. Day-three leader Brent Ehrler already has one big spotted bass in the boat, but assuming he completes his limit, he’ll likely need more than one solid fish to hold on to first. Bryan Thrift, Ehrler’s closest competition, appears to be in a similar fix as he was on day two, with only a few small keepers and nothing solid to go with them.

Starting the day in third, many fans pegged Anthony Gagliardi as the one to make a big push for the lead. His local knowledge is unparalleled, and he declared on stage Saturday evening that while he was happy to be there the first three days, he would be fishing for the win on Sunday.  Despite some early morning challenges presented by a local angler fishing his spot, Gags has landed a limit with one solid fish. As it stands, Gagliardi likely needs to add at least one or two kickers to make victory on his home lake inevitable.

The real action is taking place deeper in the field, where Scott Canterbury, who started the day in fourth place, has been building a very solid limit. Canterbury is throwing a buzzbait and a follow-up bait with excellent results. The Straight Talk Wireless pro began the day well within striking distance of the leaders after three consecutive days of increasing limits, and he appears to be taking full advantage of his chance, with three fish in the 2 1/2- to 3-pound range in the boat and a full limit. At this point, the only thing that might stand between him and his first Forrest Wood Cup is failure to execute. Canterbury reportedly lost a 5-pound kicker that could have sealed it. Fishing time is dwindling fast now. He’ll need to drum up some of the magic like he experienced yesterday, when he landed a last-second 3-pounder to rise into contention.

Below Canterbury the results are mixed. Though Casey Ashley has a chance at the lead and plenty of experience on Murray, he has yet to parlay that into much of a bag, with only one solid fish reported by 1 p.m. The same or worse can be said for the rest of the field until you drop down to the pro that was last off the dock in the morning.

Steve Kennedy, who started the day in 10th place, is making a charge for the lead, or at least a dramatic top-five finish. The popular Auburn, Ala., pro has landed two fish that reports put in excess of 5 pounds. Kennedy appears to be fishing free and easy, as he is wont to do, and is absolutely killing it on the final day. 

Kennedy started the day nearly 9 pounds behind Ehrler and slightly more than 6 pounds back of fifth place. He’ll need an absolutely transcendent day to challenge for the lead. If the fish-catching stays as is, it looks like anyone in the top five still has a shot as neither Ehrler nor Thrift has run away with it. The main drama will be how the top guys fill their limits, and fresh updates are coming in all the time. If anyone in the top five can bring in more than one true kicker bass to go with a limit, he will have a great shot at walking away with $500,000 and the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion. 

Tags: article 


Forrest Wood Cup Show Airs Monday

Tune in for the epic finale of the FLW season and watch east Tennessee native Brad Knight earn the win on Arkansas’ Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »


Staff Picks for Holiday Gifts

With Christmas just around the corner, perhaps you could use some help with your shopping. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for an angler or thinking of what to put on your own list for Santa to deliver, Christmas shopping can be a daunting task. Luckily our staff of elves has some pretty good suggestions to cover just about any taste or budget. READ MORE »


An Angler’s Thanksgiving

A number of pros have reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving holiday as they contemplate the season behind them and what they managed to accomplish. Yet there are others who didn’t make quite as many ripples in the tournament waters this year, but nevertheless have cause to celebrate and look to the future. READ MORE »


Black Friday Deals



Fishing 101: Soft-Plastic Swimbaits

While all swimbaits accomplish the same thing – imitating a prey fish swimming through the water – there are now hundreds of baits from which to choose, and there are models for tackling just about any scenario. READ MORE »


Critter Shots of the Year

You see some things when you’re on the water for 10 months covering tournaments from Florida to California. Most of the time our on-the-water team has its cameras trained on the anglers, but every once in a while something from nature intervenes that is just too cool to pass up. READ MORE »


How to Succeed as a Co-angler

Fishing tournaments as a co-angler is a great first step to take toward a more advanced level of competitive bass fishing. Not only do you get more time on the water, you often end up fishing behind some very experienced anglers that can teach you some valuable lessons. READ MORE »


Episode 9 of FLW TV Airs Tonight

Watch as Ontario native Curtis Richardson qualifies for the Forrest Wood Cup and earns the title of Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American Champion on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »


Peek Will Sit Out 2016 Tour

Alabama pro Richard Peek will forego the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season to resolve back problems. Peek, of Centre, Ala., was told by his doctor that he should take off a year from tournament fishing so that surgery or other measures could be performed to correct a spinal deformity and relieve his pain. READ MORE »


2016 BFL All-American Qualifiers

With the completion of the Walmart Bass Fishing League Wild Card at Lake Hartwell – won by Mike Devere – all but The Bass Federation National Championship qualifiers are in place for the 2016 BFL All-American June 8-11 on Lake Barkley presented by the Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism Commission. READ MORE »


Jigging Up Late Fall Smallies

In the North Country, as fall fades and sportsmen settle in for the arrival of winter, many people put the boat away and forsake the water for the woods. For those willing to brave the elements on the lake, however, the reward is some of the best smallmouth bass fishing of the year for some of the biggest fish of the season. READ MORE »


Rayovac FLW Series Registration Opens

This is the week to register for everyone planning on fishing the FLW Series in 2016. Registration has been open for the top 40 pros and co-anglers from each division of the 2015 FLW Series and the top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division of the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League (BFL) for some time. Tuesday is when everyone else can begin to get in on the action. READ MORE »


College Championship Airs Tonight

Tune in for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship to see Patrick Walters and Gettys Brannon of the University of South Carolina capture the title in front of the hometown crowd at Lake Murray. READ MORE »


5 Pros Weigh in on Hanselman

When Ray Hanselman won the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship to cap his season-long dominance of the Texas Division just about everyone tuned in. It wasn’t just the stunning sweep that captivated pros and fans alike; it was how he did it – leading after the second day in every event he fished and winning with stunning margins of 5 pounds, 8 ounces at Amistad, 7-2 at Sam Rayburn, 12 pounds even on Texoma and 8-2 at the Championship. READ MORE »


Episode 7 of FLW TV Airs Tonight

Watch as Shawn Gordon pulls off the win on Grand Lake in Oklahoma and qualifies for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in his home state of Arkansas. READ MORE »


How Hanselmania Happened

In case you’ve been stuck in a tree stand or out of social media range and didn’t already know it, Hanselman won all three regular-season Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournaments in 2015. And at the end of October he topped off his stellar run by winning the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River out of Paducah, Ky. READ MORE »


2014 Cup Wins Sports Tourism Award

The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., was recently named the 2015 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism for the mid- to large market category by Sports Destination Management magazine. READ MORE »


5 Best Smallmouth Destinations

Fall is the time of year to treat yourself to one last fishing excursion before the snowflakes start to fall. And if you’re going to take a fishing road trip amid a backdrop of autumn’s colorful foliage, it might as well be for fat, angry brown bass, right? READ MORE »


College Championship Field Set

Now that the 2015 FLW College Fishing Conference Championships are complete, 58 teams have earned the opportunity to fish in the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »


2016 FLW College Fishing Rules