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

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Ouachita, Day 2
Day-two weigh-in is about to commence.

2011 Forrest Wood Cup
Lake Ouachita - Hot Springs, Ark.
Opening round, Friday

Co-angler Jeffrey Cummins shows off his 17-pound, 11-ounce sack during the second day of Cup competition.Big movers ... Although the top two spots on the pro leaderboard remained fairly stable after the second day of Forrest Wood Cup action, the story of the day was the dramatic movement of a handful of pros who rocketed up the standings with a series of stellar catches to remain in the hunt for a title. Leading the charge was Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn. Morgan, who entered the day in 35th place, was in desperate need of a good outing to ensure a place in today's top-20 cut. And he got just that. With a day-two catch of 18 pounds, 15 ounces, Morgan rebounded strongly, jumping 31 places to net a fourth-place overall finish heading into Saturday's competition. But there were other anglers who made some significant moves as well. Brent Ehrler, the 2006 Forrest Wood Cup champion, leapt from 25th place to seventh; Andy Montgomery jumped from 20th place to eighth and Cody Meyer, who finished in second place in last year's Cup, moved up from 10th to fifth. But statistically speaking, the biggest move of the day belonged to co-angler Jeffrey Cummins of Marion, Ohio. Heading into day two, Cummins was languishing in 46th place with a total catch of 2 pounds, 6 ounces. However, Cummins pulled in a mammoth day-two catch weighing in at 17 pounds, 11 ounces to vault all the way into fourth place.

Day-two Forrest Wood Cup leader Jason Christie shows off his catch.Christie grabs overall lead ... Bolstered by a two-day catch of 31 pounds, 7 ounces, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leapfrogged from second place to first place overall. However, that being said, Christie acknowledged that fishing Lake Ouachita this time of year isn't for the faint of heart. "I caught a lot more fish today but I never could get that big bite," said Christie. "With a couple of good casts today, I really would have had a good sack. But overall, I really didn't like the conditions we had today. I'd really like to see some more clouds and wind. I fished some deep stuff today but the fish really weren't there so I'm giving that up. For now on, I'm going to live and die fishing shallow. This tournament is all about getting a big bite or two each day. But the fish are really spooky out there this time of year so it's pretty tough fishing." Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., slipped modestly from first place to second with a total catch of 30 pounds, 11 ounces. "I've got a magic spot out there," said Martin. "But the weather changed on us today and I didn't quite make the adjustments quickly enough. I'm ready for tomorrow though. I'm excited. I'm around some really good fish."

2011 BFL All-American champion Jacob Wheeler talks about his amazing ninth-place finish after the second day of Cup competition.BFL All-Americans continue good Cup fortune ... During last year's Forrest Wood Cup, Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Ga., proved that grassroots anglers, given the right opportunities, could compete with the best of the best. Morrow, who won the 2010 BFL All-American, stunned many prognosticators with a fifth-place overall finish during the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup. But was it a fluke? Apparently not. Currently, the 2011 BFL All-American champion Jacob Wheeler sits in ninth place overall with a total catch of 26 pounds, 12 ounces. "It's an awesome opportunity for sure," said the 19-year-old angler. "It's really cool to come in here and be able to fish against the same guys I'm used to watching on television. I've been watching the Forrest Wood Cup since I was 6 years old so I'm so excited right now. It just shows everyone that if you put your time in, you can compete against anybody."

Father and son competitors still alive and kicking ... Ron and Spencer Shuffield, the only father and son combination to qualify for this year's Cup, continue to keep their dueling championship dreams alive. Spencer, who currently sits in second place overall in the Co-angler Division with one more day of fishing remaining, and Ron, who moved up the pro leaderboard from 28th to 12th place, both have a realistic shot at winning the title. If they were to pull it off, it would undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest championship bass-fishing stories in the history of the sport.

Top-20 cut breakdown ... The 2011 Forrest Wood Cup pro contenders (58 total) came from six different tournament trails - 30 anglers from the FLW Tour, 20 from the FLW Series (Eastern and Western Divisions), five from the EverStart Series, the BFL All-American champion, the FLW College National Champion and The Bass Federation National Championship. So how are the respective representatives from each of the tours holding up with the announcement of the top-20 cut? The FLW Tour leads the way with 11 top-20 contenders still remaining, the FLW Series boasts seven anglers, the EverStart Series has one representative and the BFL All-American has one angler as well.

Quick numbers

0: Number of anglers who have won more than one Forrest Wood Cup title.

2: The number of previous FLW Tour Angler of the Year winners who survived today's top-20 cut - David Dudley and Jay Yelas.

National Guard pro Brent Ehrler talks about his day on the water with tournament host Chris Jones.4: The number of anglers who have still have a shot at becoming the first pro to win two Forrest Wood Cup titles - Brent Ehrler, Luke Clausen and David Dudley.

40: The total number of acres in thousands that comprise Lake Ouachita.

58: Total number of anglers comprising each of the pro and co-angler fields in this year's championship.

60: The first-place prize money, in thousands, awaiting the winner of the Co-angler Division during this week's event.

120: Total number of fish caught by co-anglers during the second day of Cup competition.

228: Total number of fish caught by the pros during the second day of Cup competition.

252-3: Total weight in pounds and ounces caught by co-angers during the second day of Forest Wood Cup competition.

508-8: Total weight in pounds and ounces caught by the pros during the second day of Forest Wood Cup competition.

600: The first-place prize money, in thousands, awaiting the winner of the Pro Division during this year's Forrest Wood Cup.

Sound bites

"When you saw the weights yesterday, you never would have known this was a summer tournament. I think everybody was surprised that it took 12 pounds, 5 ounces just to make the top 20 yesterday." - 2011 Forrest Wood Cup tournament host and bass-fishing icon Hank Parker describing the larger-than-expected weights during the opening round of competition.

"It seems that the fishing today was a lot tougher for everybody." - Pro contender Jon Strelic on how the change in weather adversely affected the bite for many pros during today's competition.

"I've been doing this for a long time, but the fish just fooled me today." - Veteran angler Stacey King.

"Anytime you get to fish for a living for 34 years, it's pretty awesome." - Chevy team pro and fishing legend Larry Nixon.

"I'm excited to get out there tomorrow. I'm around a lot of big fish and if I can just figure out how to catch them, it could get ugly." - Pro contender Luke Clausen.

Anglers patiently await their turn onstage."I've finished in second and third place during the last two Forrest Wood Cups, so to get back into contention today is just awesome." - Pro contender Cody Meyer on his fifth-place finish in today's competition.

"I've got to be honest with you. Last night I was fixin' to go home. But today was just unbelievable. Words cannot describe this. I'm speechless." - Co-angler Jeff Cummins, who jumped from 46th place to fourth overall after boating a catch weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces in today's competition.

"It's shaping up to be quite a shootout over these next two days." - Pro Randall Tharp remarking on the tightly packed leaderboard heading into the third day of Forrest Wood Cup action.

Cup competition resumes during Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at Brady Mountain Resort & Marina, located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark., at 6:30 a.m.

Tags: gary-mortenson  quick-bites  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 

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