UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Meet the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup contenders II

Forrest Wood Cup winner Kevin Hawk celebrates his victory.

With the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup slated for Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark., the clock continues to tick toward the start of one of the most prestigious and exciting bass-fishing championships in the nation. In an effort to provide bass-fishing fans with a little more perspective and background on the competition, FLWOutdoors.com is launching a six-part series/overview of each of the 58 qualifying pros - one of whom will walk away with the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion.

With a guaranteed first-place prize of $500,000 on the line (as well as another $100,000 if the winning pro is Ranger Cup qualified), there is clearly plenty at stake at this year's Cup. So without further ado, let's meet the contenders.

(Editor's note: Forrest Wood Cup competitors will be featured in alphabetical order. This is the second in a six-part series. Read Part I.)

Fifth-place pro Jason Christie holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Kentucky Lake.Jason Christie - Christie is arguably one of the hottest pros fishing the FLW Tour today; he picked up his first Tour win at Lake Hartwell before finishing the 2011 Majors season ranked No. 4, which easily ushered him into the Cup for his third appearance in as many years. Since beginning his career with FLW Outdoors in 1996, the Park Hill, Okla., native has earned over $519,000 while stringing together an impressive 31 top-10 finishes punctuated by eight wins (in addition to this year's Tour triumph at Hartwell, he has notched an EverStart win at Lake of the Ozarks in 2007 along with six more BFL wins, five of them on Grand Lake, over the years).

Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., shows off his first-place stringer shortly before capturing the tournament title at the FLW Tour Potomac River event.Luke Clausen - Clausen has already proven himself to be a Cup contender of the highest caliber, having won the event on Logan Martin Lake in 2004 (he's also a member of an exclusive club of pros to have won both the Cup and the Bassmaster Classic). The Spokane, Wash., pro will fish in his seventh Cup this year, having qualified via the FLW Tour Majors. He has amassed nearly $1.3 million in earnings since beginning his FLW career in 2003 along with a dozen top-10 finishes and three wins (in addition to his Cup win, he picked up a Tour win this year at the Potomac River and has an 2003 EverStart win on Clear Lake to his credit).

Pro Brandon Coulter stands in eighth place overall at the FLW Tour Lake Ouachita event.Brandon Coulter - Coulter will make his third Cup appearance this year after qualifying through the FLW Tour Majors. The Knoxville, Tenn., pro has earned nearly $192,000 plus four top-10 finishes (three on Tour) since beginning his career with FLW Outdoors in 2002.

Pro John Cox of DeBary, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces Sunday to lead wire to wire and win $100,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour on the Red River with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 48-8.John Cox - Having qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup by finishing in the top 10 of the 2010 FLW Series Eastern points, Cox didn't rest on his laurels this year, notching his first FLW Tour win on the Red River in May. The Debary, Fla., native has now amassed a dozen top-10 tournament finishes, including two more wins in the BFL, and over $201,000 in earnings in FLW Outdoors competition. 2011 marks Cox's first year as a pro on Tour as well as his first Cup appearance.

On the strength of an 18-pound, 14-ounce catch during the third day of competition, Robbie Dodson of Harrison, Ark., leapfrogged from fifth place to second overall heading into the finals.Robbie Dodson - Dodson will make his professional debut at the Cup this year (qualified as a co-angler in 2007) after a strong finish to the FLW Tour Majors season at Pickwick Lake, where he placed third. In total, the Harrison, Ark., pro has earned over $205,000 and a half-dozen top-10 finishes, including a 2008 EverStart win on Norfork Lake, since he began fishing FLW Outdoors events in 2007.

Current FLW Tour Angler of the Year leader David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., finished the first day of Pickwick Lake competition in 10th place.David Dudley - Just last week Dudley became only the third FLW Tour pro with multiple Angler of the Year titles - joining the likes of Jay Yelas and Clark Wendlandt. Outside of AOY, Dudley has five tournament wins, three of them coming on the FLW Tour. Dudley is also one of only four anglers with the chance to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion. His $2.6 million in career earnings ranks first in FLW Outdoors history.

Using a healthy catch of 19 pounds, 9 ounces, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., managed to finish the day in fifth placeBrent Ehrler - Unquestionably one of the top anglers in the sport, Ehrler arrives in Hot Springs with extra motivation after narrowly missing the FLW Tour Angler of the Year award for the fourth consecutive season. Ehrler, who won the Cup in 2006, qualified for the 2011 Cup through the 2010 FLW Series Western Division, where he won Angler of the Year. In his young career, the National Guard pro has already accumulated over $1.7 million in career earnings.

Shinichi Fukae used an 18-pound, 8-ounce catch in today's competition to shoot up the leaderboard and grab fifth place overall with a total catch of 31 pounds, 13 ounces. Fukae also landed the day's Shinichi Fukae - A mainstay on the FLW Tour, Fukae has qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup each of the past six seasons. In 2011, he clinched his birth by finishing 13th in the Angler of the Year race. Besides qualifying for the Cup, the highlight of his 2011 season was a second-place finish at the Lake Chickamauga qualifier. In his career, the Japan native has won three tour-level events and has accumulated over $1 million in earnings.

Day-two leader Jake Gipson of the University of Florida spends a few quiet moments reflecting on the day ahead.Jake Gipson - This young bass angler from Niceville, Fla., already has two championship titles on his resume, having made history by winning the National Guard FLW College Fishing Championship in back-to-back years (2010 and 2011) as the boater half of his two-man University of Florida team. Gipson is no stranger to big-league bass tourneys: 2011 marks his second Cup appearance, and he has notched three wins along with three more top-10 finishes to add to the championship titles on the college circuit.

Pro Bret Gouvea of Redding, Calif., took 10th place after the first day of FLW Series competition on Lake Roosevelt.Bret Gouvea - The Redding, Calif., native is making his first Forrest Wood Cup appearance, qualifying through the FLW Series Western Division. While Gouvea's consistent 2010 season placed him ninth in the FLW Series points race, his lone top-10 finish (Lake Shasta) took place in 2008 in the EverStart Series. While Gouvea is considered a long shot, his finesse skills will suit him well on Lake Ouachita.

Read Part I.

Tags: pre-tournament  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 


Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »


Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »


A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »


Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Florida is a familiar place for FLW competition, and Lake Okeechobee is probably the best-known fishery the Sunshine State has to offer. So there shouldn’t be many surprises when the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division kicks off the season Jan. 31–Feb. 2 on the Big O with an event presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »


By the Numbers: Lake Toho

The FLW Tour season opener on Sam Rayburn was a slugfest for sure. Fortunately for fans and anglers alike, the second stop of the season could be just as good, as the Tour heads to Central Florida and Lake Toho and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Kissimmee, Fla., on February 7. READ MORE »


2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »


Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Live seasons kicks off on the big bass factory of Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Watch your favorite stars such as Scott Martin and Bryan Thrift weigh-in at the FLW Tour season opener, and then follow the weekend action live with the top pros. READ MORE »


Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »


Practice Starts at Rayburn

Day one of practice for the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn started this morning. We hung around takeoff to see friends we haven't seen in months and to get the season underway.  READ MORE »


Childs Holds on for Co-angler Win

Jay Childs caught two giant largemouths on day one, along with a smaller keeper, to take the early lead at Lake Amistad. Then he survived today for the win with a pair of keepers that included one smallmouth. READ MORE »


High Water will Factor at Rayburn

Typical winter fishing on Sam Rayburn would call for a lot of lipless crankbaits, Carolina rigs and a focus on offshore structure and submerged grass. However, for the FLW Tour opener January 10-13 a lot of that may be out the window – or at least a lot different than many of the Rayburn sticks in the field are used to. Sam Rayburn has risen steadily since December 10th, and as of January 3, the lake is at 171.43 feet, which is 7 feet over full pool of 164.4 feet. READ MORE »


By the Numbers: Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Tour takes to the waters of Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jan. 10-13 for the opening event of the new season. Rayburn can produce some absolute giants in January, and if the weather cooperates, there’s potential for an abundance of massive bags. READ MORE »


Big Bass Expected at Opener on Amistad

Lake Amistad might not kick out quite as many massive stringers of largemouth bass as it used to, but the legendary south Texas border reservoir is still a factory for big fish. According to local guide and always tournament favorite Ray “Hanselmania” Hanselman, there are some real giants to be caught at Amistad, but they’ll be at a premium when the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division rolls into Del Rio to kick off the 2019 season on Jan. 3 READ MORE »


Guntersville Lake Tour

Winding through Tennessee, north Alabama and Kentucky, the Tennessee River is studded with some of the most legendary reservoirs in bass-fishing history. Many would argue that Lake Guntersville is the best of the bunch, and though that is up for debate on any given year, Guntersville’s place in fishing history is undeniable. This week, the lake is under heavy pressure from a local championship event, anglers out to have fun and the 198 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Here’s a look at what they’ll encounter on the water. READ MORE »


Guntersville Showing Out for Costa Finale

Few things are certainties in life, but you can certainly count on anglers catching a ton of huge fish when the Costa FLW Series Championship rolls into Guntersville this week. With bass settled into fall patterns and gobs of vegetation still giving plenty of cover to fish feeding in the shallows, there’s a good chance the lake produces 20-plus-pound limits early and often in the championship event. READ MORE »


Costa Championship Fact Sheet

Up to 430 of the world’s best bass anglers will descend on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville Nov. 1-3 for the no-entry-fee 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Dock Talk All About Docks at Ozarks

Greg Bohannan, the 2017 Central Division Angler of the Year, believes the warmer-than-usual weather as of late will make the topwater bite a secondary tactic. In his opinion, it’s going to be docks that deliver the winning fish this year. READ MORE »


Question Marks Abound at Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson Lake has the quality and quantity of fish to churn out massive bags nearly all year long, but finding those fish might be harder now than it’s been all year. That’s not great news for anglers ahead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division tournament on Oct. 4. READ MORE »