UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

(Bream) bedtime stories

(Bream) bedtime stories
A light fog hung over Lake Ouachita at the start of day one, but anglers can expect partly sunny conditions to prevail by mid morning.

ROYAL, Ark. - Like a cowboy camp chef vigorously clanging the dinner bell, the big, bright moon that will hang full tomorrow night has ushered a wave of bass from their cooler deeper haunts into the shallow zone where Forrest Wood Cup anglers will likely find some of the best action of day two.

When the celestial spotlight shines its high beam across the grassy shallows, the panfish will do their best to perpetuate their population while hungry bass do their best to balance the numbers. After a practice week of triple-digit daytime temperatures, shoreline waters are approaching sauna level, but bass will tolerate the uncomfortable warmth for the chance to fill their bellies with hefty Ouachita bream.

Of course, the shallow bite is hardly the only game on Ouachita. Although bait details were oftenNational Guard pro Justin Lucas will devote most of his day to pursuing the shallow bite with topwaters. guarded, some pros and co-anglers reported on day one catching fish in deep and midrange scenarios on drop-shots, jigs and Texas-rigged baits. However, as National Guard pro Justin Lucas noted, the fish he expects to find raiding the bream beds are the ones he wants.

"I want to stay up shallow, because if the fish are up shallow, they're eating bream, and if they're eating bream, they have big mouths," he said. "If I go deep, I'm hoping for pound-and-a-halfers, but if I stay shallow, I know they'll all be over 2 pounds."

The bass have sensed this opportunity for several days, and Lucas said day one presented displays of aggression that demonstrated the burgeoning drama that summer moons incite.

"Yesterday, I saw the bass pushing bream on the bank, and it looked like they were herding cattle," the Guntersville, Ala., pro said. "They came through in big waves.

Kentucky pro Shawn Murphy blanked on day one but he hopes to leverage the shallow bite for a big day-two comeback."I had one yesterday that looked like a shark coming at (the bait). It came from 10 feet away, and I could see its tail out of the water coming towards it. They're aggressive on that topwater, and when they eat it, it's on."

Lucas, who starts the day in sixth place with 14 pounds, 14 ounces, will throw a Heddon Super Spook Jr. with a red front hook and a feathered rear treble. Today's partly sunny conditions - a big change from yesterday's clouds and rain - may offer even greater shallow-water opportunity, he said.

"I started shallow yesterday, and I didn't have a fish until 10:30," Lucas said. "I think in the morning, the shallow bite is not as good as it is in the afternoon. I think once the sun gets up those fish really get up there and start chasing the bream."

At the other end of the standings, Kentucky pro Shawn Murphy zeroed on day one, but he's hoping to stage a big day-two comeback by leveraging the shallow bite. More sun today may allow him to reconnect with his deep bite from practice, but he's planning on going shallow at some point. When he does, he'll try to attract more attention today by throwing a Lucky Craft prop bait. Out deep, he'll throw a big Texas-rigged worm and a Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin with a fluke.

"I'd been catching them good in practice in about 25 to 30 feet, but I needed the sunlight to push themNoisy prop baits will attract plenty of attention when bass are chasing bream in the shallows. deep yesterday," Murphy said. "I needed the fish to group up on some isolated stuff I found in practice, but with no sun out, they just roam.

"I should have changed up. I knew at noon I needed to go shallow, but I just didn't have a backup shallow plan, so I stayed out deep and grinded it out. Today, it looks like it's going to be a little clearer, so I'm going to try deep for a little while, and if I don't get them, I'm going to switch game plans and go shallow."

Florida pro Scott Martin leads the Pro Division with 19-2, followed by Jason Christie with 18-1 and Brandon Coulter just another ounce back at 18-0. Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., holds the co-angler lead with 14-8.

Notable: The 2011 Forrest Wood Cup has a cumulative weight format. The full field will fish for two days and then be cut to the top 20 after day two. After day three, the field will be trimmed to the top 10 pros, who will fish the final day of competition by themselves. Co-angler competition will conclude on Saturday (day three).

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Brady Mountain Resort & Marina located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in FLW host Chris Jones interviews pro leader Scott Martin as top co-angler Spencer Shuffield looks on.Royal, Ark., at 6:30 each morning. Daily weigh-ins will also be held at Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center located at 134 Convention Blvd., in Hot Springs beginning at 5 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center prior to the final weigh-ins on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first 1,500 kids 14 and under on Sunday will receive a free Zebco rod and reel combo compliments of US97. Fans can also register to win a fully rigged Ranger Z520 courtesy of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette which will be given away following the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

Curb Records recording artist Steve Holy will bring his unique blend of 50s rock/pop/country to Summit Arena on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 4 p.m. to kick off the Forrest Wood Cup's final weigh-in. Holy recently completed his third studio album, "Love Don't Run."

On the Web

For those who can't catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an onlineThe Arkansas Army National Guard presents the colors during the national anthem. application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio.

In addition to FLW Live, FLWOutdoors.com is offering real-time updates from the water throughout each day of the Forrest Wood Cup. Simply click on the "On the Water" tab from any of the home pages.

Friday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:30 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 74 degrees
Expected high temperature: 91 degrees
Water temperature: 89-93 degrees
Wind: S at 5-7 mph
Maximum humidity: 61 percent
Day's outlook: partly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 

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