UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Meet the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup contenders II

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 

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live is back for the season finale of the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. The event, which is presented by T-H Marine and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau runs Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

The 2019 FLW Tour season comes to a close later this month on Lake Champlain, a lake that just about guarantees a fun finish and lots of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

In today’s morning story, James Biggs made several predictions for the first day of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Based on what our media team saw this morning, Biggs’ predictions are basically spot on. Two-thirds of the field is fishing up shallow, and there aren't many big bass to speak of. READ MORE »

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

Thanks to Mother Nature, the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division, which was originally scheduled to take place on Grand Lake, will now take place at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Rayburn was supposed to host the division finale, but extreme high water on Grand forced the swap. The tournament, which is presented by Mercury Marine, kicks off on Thursday. READ MORE »

FLW Live for College Championship

FLW Live for College Championship

This week FLW Live is back for the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. The event, which is presented by Lowrance and hosted by The Commissioners of Charles County, Md., and Dept. of Recreation, Parks & Tourism, runs Tuesday, June 4 through Thursday, June 6. READ MORE »

Breaking Down the All-American Field

Breaking Down the All-American Field

When the anglers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American start competition on the Potomac they’ll be up against the absolute cream of the crop of FLW’s grassroots ranks. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 2

Fishing pressure and a cold front have shut down the bite at Table Rock Lake for stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division season. The lake's largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are not coming easy. READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Chickamauga

FLW Live is back for 2019 FLW Tour stop No. 6 on the big-fish waters of Lake Chickamauga. The event, which is presented by Evinrude and hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, runs Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

By the Numbers: Lake Chickamauga

The FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season is Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee. One of the gems of the South for hunting monster bass, the Lake of the Giants promises big fish – and lots of them – and perhaps the best chance of seeing the century mark broken this season. READ MORE »