UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Cup Bites: Lake Ouachita, Day 3

Cup Bites: Lake Ouachita, Day 3
David Dudley is tops on the FLW Outdoors all-time money list, and he is joined in the final round this week by the No. 2 and No. 3 anglers on that list - Darrel Robertson and Clark Wendlandt.

2007 Forrest Wood Cup
Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, Ark.
Semifinal round, Saturday

Best of the best ... One thing is for certain, someone is going to walk out of here tomorrow $1 million richer. With the sport's richest payout ever on the line, it is ironic that FLW Outdoors' three biggest moneymakers are in the top 10, and those three are the only anglers whose combined career earnings have exceeded the $1 million mark. David Dudley is first on the FLW Outdoors all-time money list with earnings in excess of $2 million, and he will head out on the final day of the Forrest Wood Cup tomorrow in boat No. 3. Darrel Robertson is behind Dudley on both the money list and today's leaderboard, as today's No. 4 pro has career earnings of more than $1.4 million. Clark Wendlandt ended today's competition in seventh and is third on the FLW Outdoors all-time money list with earnings of more than $1.2 million. "It's awesome to know that I've got a chance to win a million and I only have to beat nine people," Dudley said. Robertson concurred, saying, "I'd like to cross another million-dollar line. That's the reason I worked so hard to get here." ... In contrast, leader Scott Suggs has earned only $182,180 in his FLW career, so if he wins the million tomorrow, he still won't topple Dudley, Robertson or Wendlandt on the money list. Of the top-10 finalists, Jack Wade has the smallest career-earnings total at $72,056.

TodayWorking for a million ... To say the tough bite got tougher today on Lake Ouachita would be a laughable understatement. Zero five-bass limits were caught on the co-angler side and only one was brought in by a pro, and that was by Suggs. The local pro was also the only angler to hit the double-digit mark in weight, as his 11-pound day-three stringer tops his nearest competition by 4 pounds, 1 ounce. One pro and one co-angler failed to bring in any fish at all. "This was one of the toughest days I've ever fished," said No. 9 Anthony Gagliardi. Yesterday's leader Wade was the lone pro who went belly-up today, and he said on stage, "Everybody that fishes a lot knows what a humbling sport this is." With $1 million on the line and with such a solid lead by a local, does anyone have what it takes to topple Suggs? Joked No. 2 Greg Pugh, "Scott Suggs told me this morning to take it easy on him, so I held back a little bit." Pugh caught a pair of bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces to land in second. On day one, that weight would have had him halfway down the field in 42nd. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Friendly fire ... Of the 81 pros who qualified for this event, it's a mighty coincidence that both Wendlandt and Mike Surman made it to the top 10. After all, they're often roommates on the road, their families are close and they are super-tight themselves. With $1 million on the line, how awkward is it to compete against your best friend? After all, Surman and Wendlandt don't have a Craig Powers/Koby Kreiger-type arrangement to split all earnings down the middle. "It makes me excited," Surman said. "He gave me a bait this week that helped me, and I gave him a bait that's helping him. He's already wanting some of his baits back, but he needs more of mine." Responded Wendlandt, "I don't want my baits back." All joking aside, there is no doubt the two have each other to thank for making it to the final rounds. "We've kind of helped each other," Wendlandt said. "It's been good. If I don't win, I hope he does, but I want to win."

Anthony Gagliardi celebrated his 30th birthday today.Birthday boys ... Co-angler champ Pete Bridges celebrated his 66th birthday today and got one of the best gifts ever - a $25,000 check. That sure beats a necktie. Also celebrating today is Gagliardi, who turned 30 today. It must be something to hit a milestone the same week you find yourself among the 10 people who are competing for the sport's first $1 million prize. "Everybody says 30 is over the hill, but they didn't tell me how steep it was on the other side," Gagliardi quipped. As for Bridges, his big birthday payday isn't likely to be going toward new stuff for himself. In a sweet gesture, he said he wanted to give it all to his wife. "My real trophy's at home, and that's my wife," he said. All together now: awwwww.

The co-angler top 10 featured two small-town mayors - Doug Caldwell, left, the mayor of Kane, Pa., and Pete Bridges, far right, the mayor of Tallapoosa, Ga.A pair of mayors ... Though Bridges may be $25,000 richer after his Forrest Wood Cup co-angler win, that money may be just pocket change to him. After all, he's now retired after a successful - and reportedly lucrative - career manufacturing golf clubs. "I started the business in 1983, manufacturing golf clubs and distributing them for different companies," he said. "My son runs it now. I'm too old to run it. I'd rather fish." ... In addition to fishing, Bridges is also the mayor of Tallapoosa, Ga., and in a weird coincidence, he was joined in the co-angler final round by another small-town mayor, Doug Caldwell, the mayor of Kane, Pa., and this week's No. 4 co-angler. "There are probably more people here than there are in my town," deadpanned Caldwell of the big and boisterous crowd that populated Summit Arena this afternoon. Said Bridges of the double-mayor final-round, "Isn't that amazing? We must not do anything." Caldwell joked that he put his town on autopilot in his absence; Bridges left his in the capable hands of his mayor pro tem and city manager.

Girl power ... Tomorrow's million-dollar winner won't be the only competitor making history this week. With a ninth-place finish on the co-angler side, Karyn Sanchez wrote her name in the books as the first woman ever to make the final round at the Forrest Wood Cup. She is also the only female who qualified this year at all. Bass fishing has seen a remarkable upswing in diversity over the past few years, and Sanchez realized the dream of many female anglers when she made it to the prestigious Forrest Wood Cup finals. "Wal-Mart and FLW Outdoors have made it open to everyone," said Sanchez, who is a member of the Wal-Mart fishing team. "There are a lot of women on tour, and there will be more in years to come. I'm glad to be here representing those ladies." Sanchez added that she plans to return next season as a co-angler.

Competitors from todayThe next generation ... Seventy youth anglers stood on the big stage today in Summit Arena at the close of the first day of The Bass Federation's National Guard Junior World Championship. There are two age brackets - 11 to 14 and 15 to 18 - and one representative from each bracket went out in a boat today on Lake Hamilton with a Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro. Six anglers from each age division advanced to tomorrow's final day, when they will again go out with a tour pro in search of scholarships and sponsorship prizes. While today's weigh-in was held at the Fish Hatchery on Lake Hamilton, the lucky 12 finalists will enjoy the experience of weighing in their fish tomorrow in front of the big arena crowds. Thirty-five states are represented, and the states that the 12 finalists call home will receive grants from the National Guard for their TBF youth program. Currently, Shane Lehew of North Carolina leads the 15 to 18 age bracket, and Dylan Peppers is tops in the 11 to 14 group with one day of competition remaining.

Quick numbers:

David Hudson congratulates Pete Bridges on winning the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup.6,250: Value, in dollars, of each of the four bass brought in by Bridges on today's final co-angler day.

15: Ounces separating Bridges from No. 2 co-angler Dino Caporuscio.

5: Final finish of David Hudson, who dominated the co-angler field the first two days.

23: Number of bass brought in by the 10 pros today.

22: Number of bass brought in by the 10 co-anglers.


Sound bites:

Mike Surman talks about the hot and tiresome day on Lake Ouachita."After seven or eight days of daylight-to-dark (fishing), we're worn out, but when you're fishing for a million ... we'll sleep next week." - Surman, putting in perspective the long hours spent in the August heat in pursuit of the big bucks.

"He's going downhill every day." - Bridges, when told of incoming leader Hudson's day-one and day-two weights, which totaled 11-9 and 6-14, respectively.

"You've got a lot of boat traffic and a lot of people spectating, which is a good thing, because it's the only way to learn." - Dudley, offering a rare positive spin on the boat traffic chasing anglers, particularly Suggs, today.

"I told her if she didn't put me on fish, I was going to throw her overboard. I was begging her to help me." - Surman, on trying to milk his day-three co-angler partner Sanchez for anything that would help him find fish. He caught two today and she caught one.

The final takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. CST tomorrow from Brady Mountain Resort, located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  quick-bites  2007-08-02-forrest-wood-cup 

Breaking Down the Cup Field

Breaking Down the Cup Field

The 2018 FLW Cup field includes 56 of the best bass pros in the world who qualified over the course of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. On Aug. 10-12 at Lake Ouachita they’ll compete for their share of the $1,097,500 prize purse, which includes the $300,000 first-place prize. READ MORE »

Studio Notes: Smith Lake

Studio Notes: Smith Lake

The fun of Studio Notes is going back in hindsight and looking at an FLW Tour event with 20/20 vision to see what happened and what could be learned. After all, when a bunch of the nation’s best bass anglers fish a lake for a week, there are a lot of observations to be made that make for some interesting theories. READ MORE »

Size Limit Lifted at Cumberland

Size Limit Lifted at Cumberland

As part of a program to determine the impact of tournaments on the fishery, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has temporarily imposed a 12-inch minimum size limit on largemouths and smallmouths during the Lake Cumberland event. Since 2001, the minimum size limit for largemouths there has been 15 inches, and 18 inches for smallmouths. The five-fish daily limit remains the same. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Cumberland

FLW Live coverage picks up again this week at stop No. 4 of the 2018 FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Ky. The event, which is presented by General Tire and hosted by Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission, runs Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 4

In 2011, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., thought he had fished the perfect Forrest Wood Cup only to lose out at the very end to FLW Tour pro Scott Martin on Lake Ouachita. Although Tharp walked away from that tournament $100,000 richer, he couldn’t help but think of what might have been. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 3

A change at the top … For two straight days, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., had led the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. Well today that all changed … just barely. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 2

By the start of day two, the new conventional wisdom was that the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup was now simply a two-man duel between Tharp and Thrift. While that narrative made perfect sense at the time, multiple-day, high-stakes bass-fishing tournaments sometimes have a tendency to veer off from a carefully written script. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 1

Heading into today’s competition, the conventional wisdom was that it would take anywhere from 11 to 12 pounds a day to win the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. However, apparently EverStart team pro Randall Tharp and Chevy team pro Bryan Thrift weren’t listening. READ MORE »

Big Mac attack

Big Mac attack

BENTON, Ky. – It took three days, thirteen rods, at least five different kinds of lures, and countless miles and gallons of gas for Curt McGuire to claim the EverStart Series Central Division title on Kentucky Lake, and he claimed it in decisive fashion, leading the event wire to wire before closing the deal today with a 7-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

Ralls reels 'em in

Ralls reels 'em in

BENTON, Ky. – After jumping from 30th to first yesterday, Steve Ralls of Buncombe, Ill., caught a whopping 20 pounds, 4 ounces from the back of Curt McGuire’s boat today to retain his status as the No. 1 co-angler at the EverStart Series Central Division event on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

McGuire maintains mojo

McGuire maintains mojo

HARDIN, Ky. – The top three slots on the leaderboard remained unchanged after two days of EverStart Series Central Division competition on Kentucky Lake, as Curt McGuire continues to lead David Gnewikow and Clent Davis in his quest to score another win on his home lake. READ MORE »

Man vs. nature

Man vs. nature

HARDIN, Ky. – As predicted, strong winds shook, smacked and stomped EverStart Series Central Division competitors up and down Kentucky Lake today, leaving more than one angler to mourn his blown-away hot spot with a tube of Bengay and a pack of ice. READ MORE »

Blowin’ in the wind on Kentucky/Barkley

Blowin’ in the wind on Kentucky/Barkley

HARDIN, Ky. – A deceptively gentle breeze swayed the boats on the first morning of EverStart Series Central Division competition on Kentucky Lake today, and the inhabitants of many of those boats will spend the day making a long run. What felt like a gentle, cooling wind is actually the beginning of a lake wind advisory that could complicate the plans of anglers who plan to make the fabled long run to New Johnsonville, Tenn. READ MORE »

Not just a swamp person

Not just a swamp person

Perhaps the fiercest resident of the bayous of Texas and Louisiana is the alligator, that prehistoric predator so perfectly camouflaged in its swampy terrain. Many a man and gator have tangled, but none as famously as the cast of “Swamp People,” the History Channel’s popular program that follows hunters as they trap and kill monster-sized gators during Louisiana’s short alligator-hunting season. READ MORE »

On the Mark

On the Mark

It seems like everything’s coming up roses for Mark Rose. Earlier this month, the National Guard pro from West Memphis, Ark., became the first-ever recipient of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award presented by Goodwill. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 4

In the end, the 21-year-old upstart from Indianapolis, Ind., was just too much for the rest of the field. Bolstered by an 11-pound, 15-ounce catch on the final day of competition, FLW Tour rookie Jacob Wheeler blew away four former Forrest Wood Cup champions, three FLW Tour Angler of the Year title holders as well as the rest of the top-10 field to claim the most prestigious title in bass fishing. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 3

After three grueling days of Forrest Wood Cup competition, the top-10 pro qualifiers have been determined and will now get a chance to fish Sunday for the sport’s ultimate prize. The lineup includes: Fatheadz pro Jacob Wheeler (first), Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury (second), Chevy pro Bryan Thrift (third), National Guard pro and defending Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin (fourth), Chevy pro Jay Yelas (fifth), Chevy pro Luke Clausen (sixth), Evinrude pro Andy Morgan (seventh), Troy Morrow (eighth), Castrol pro David Dudley (ninth) and Chevy pro Dion Hibdon (10th). READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 2

After stunning the field and electrifying bass-fishing fans everywhere with his amazing 21-pound, 15-ounce stringer during the opening round of 2012 Forrest Wood Cup competition, 21-year-old Jacob Wheeler found the going a lot tougher during Friday’s action. READ MORE »

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 1

With six returning Forrest Wood Cup champions, multiple FLW Tour Angler of the Year winners and a lethal group of veteran pros comprising the 46-member field, the day-one leader at the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup turned out to be none other than a 21-year-old rookie upstart named Jacob Wheeler. READ MORE »

Le victor

Le victor

MURRAY, Ky. – Dave Lefebre left them biting on Kentucky Lake on day three, and they did not let him down today, as the Kellogg’s pro once again hauled in the day’s heaviest stringer to claim the Walmart FLW Tour victory with 6 ½ pounds to spare. READ MORE »