UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Norman

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Unstable conditions

Day three of Forrest Wood Cup tournament action commences on Lake Ouachita.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - As the top-20 pros and co-anglers departed Brady Mountain Resort Marina shortly after 6:30 a.m. to kick off the third day of Forrest Wood Cup competition on Lake Ouachita, the field undoubtedly faced a decidedly uncertain outlook. With the remaining Cup contenders tightly bunched up across the leaderboard and a cloudy and stormy forecast on the horizon, there is no telling how things will shake out during Saturday's all-important round of competition.

With a little more than 5 pounds total separating the top-10 pros and co-anglers on the leaderboard, one of the most prestigious titles in all of professional bass fishing is still largely up for grabs. Throw in additional factors such as the ever-changing weather patterns (which shifted from cloudy and stormy conditions on day one to bluebird skies on day two and back to scattered thunderstorms on day three) as well as a highly fickle bass bite and it's fairly obvious that the remaining field will have plenty of work to do if they are to achieve their ultimate goal of taking home the title of 2011 Forrest Wood Cup champion.

"This has definitely been one of the most stressful tournaments I've ever been in," said day-two pro leader Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla. "You can go three hours without a bite and then, suddenly, catch three fish in a row. For me, I'm just going to run a bunch of water and try to make some good decisions. My goal is to finish the day and still have a chance at the title."

Christie, who boasts a total catch of 31 pounds, 7 ounces, said he's been fishing - almost literally - by the seat of his pants all week.

"After practice, I didn't know if I was even going to be able to catch a fish this week," he said. "I've really been scrambling around a lot out there. I pretty much gave up on my deep bite and will be concentrating on shallow water going forward so we'll just have to see how it goes. With the (storms coming in) I think Lake Ouachita should fish a lot like it did during the first day. On that day, I didn't have as many bites as (day two) but the bites I did get were bigger. But it's a real grind out there. I'll tell you what, whoever wins this tournament is going to sleep for a week."

After finishing the last two Forrest Wood Cups in third and second place respectively, fifth-place pro Cody Meyer now finds himself in a familiar position once again.

"It's amazing to be back in contention again," said Meyer, who has recorded a total, two-day catch of 27 pounds, 3 ounces. "Because that's what you work for all year. Just to have an opportunity to win this tournament is amazing. I'm just going to go out there, fish hard and see what happens."

Like the other top contenders, Meyer acknowledges that Lake Ouachita is not an easy place to figure out this time of year - especially given the recent bout of crazy weather.

"My game plan coming in was to find some deep brush piles and standing timber but I haven't been able to find that pattern yet," he said. "So I started throwing topwaters and the fish just kept eating it so that's what I'm going with. I've pretty much fished shallow the entire time and to be honest, I'm pretty surprised by that. Right now I'm getting about six keeper bites each day so it's a real grind out there no matter how you look at it."

For co-anglers, there is even more stress during today's competition as there is only one day of tournament action remaining before a champion is crowned. Currently, Mike Helton of Jeffersonville, Ind., has the overall lead with a total catch of 21 pounds, 11 ounces. Helton is followed by 2011 FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year Spencer Shuffield who boasts 21 pounds, 4 ounces. Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss., rounds out the top three co-anglers with a total catch of 20 pounds, 9 ounces.

Tourney format

The top-20 contenders await the start of the third day of Forrest Wood Cup action on Lake Ouachita.During FLW Tour competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. After Saturday's weigh-in, the co-angler champion will be crowned based on the field's three-day accumulated weight. Also on Saturday, the pro field will be cut down to the top 10 pros. The remaining pro field will then compete during Sunday's final round of tournament action. The pro winner ultimately will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

During Forrest Wood Cup competition this week, daily takeoff ceremonies will be held at Brady Mountain Resort & Marina, located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark., at 6:30 each morning. Daily weigh-ins will be held at Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center, located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs beginning at 5 p.m.

Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $600,000 and co-anglers will cast for a first-place prize of $60,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

Bass-fishing fans take note

The third day of Forres Wood Cup action is under way.Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center prior to the final weigh-ins 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.

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. Described by the Dallas Morning News as "Elvis Presley meets Dwight Yoakam" and "Ricky Nelson meets Chris Isaak," Holy recently completed his third studio album, "Love Don't Run," featuring the single of the same name that was named a Top 5 most added single in the first week of 2011 by Billboard and Country Aircheck.

All activities are free and open to the public.

The top-20 boaters race to their prime fishing locations to kick of fhe start of the third day of Forrest Wood Cup competition on Lake Ouachita.Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 5 p.m. Central Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

Daily on-the-water coverage will also be available online at FLWOutdoors.com. To see up-to-the-minute tournament updates, click here.

Coverage of the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors" will air Sept. 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.

Forrest Wood Cup action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. CDT at the Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center, located at 134 Convention Boulevard.

Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 6:31 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 71 degrees
Water temperature: 88-92
Expected high temperature: 88 degrees
Wind: From the west-southwest at 6-8 mph
Humidity: 67 percent
Day's outlook: Mixed clouds with chance of scattered thunderstorms

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Amistad is one of south Texas’ most famous reservoirs – the other being Falcon. Though it’s not the juggernaut that it was in the not too distant past, Amistad is still an incredible tournament fishery, with room to spread out and plenty of grass and rocky structure to target for big giant wintertime bass. READ MORE »

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Mother Nature will deliver a big part of the story this week as the 2018 Costa FLW Series season comes to a close on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, will wrap up the Central Division and finalize the field for the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

It’s kind of a good news-bad news deal on the California Delta this week as anglers take on this vast and storied fishery for the final event of the Costa FLW Series Western Division. READ MORE »

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

It has been the year of the smallmouth in the Northern Division of the Costa FLW Series this season and the third and final event on the 1000 Islands will certainly showcase that. The event, which is presented by Navionics and hosted by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, is expected to have big weights especially due to the recent results of the Bassmaster Elite Series event and the Renegade Bass Tour Thousand Islands Open held back in early August. No doubt it’ll take over 20 pounds a day to win, however, conditions aren’t as ideal as anticipated for a major smallie smackdown to happen. READ MORE »

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Stop two in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division got underway under clear skies this morning on Lake Erie out of Buffalo. The event, which drew 169 boats, is presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. The field features some of the top smallmouth sticks in the Northeast. The big question at game time was not whether anglers would catch plenty of fish, but how many and of what size. READ MORE »

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Andrew Suggs of Cunningham, Tennessee, caught five bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces, to win Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his win, Suggs took home $3,945. READ MORE »

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

At 43,100 surface acres, Pickwick Lake offers lots of fishing area, but when the 2018 TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals, sends 384 teams into competition, even this Tennessee River powerhouse might seem rather small. READ MORE »

Test article

Test article READ MORE »

Game Day on Champlain

Game Day on Champlain

Kicking the season off at Lake Champlain worked great last year, and this year the Costa FLW Series Northern Division is once again getting things rolling on the big Northern lake. Again, there’s a new record field size for the Northern Division with a total of 205 boats. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, should treat anglers and fans to an impressive parade of big smallmouth bass for the next three days. READ MORE »

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Bass anglers of every stripe smile when they think of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the sprawling twin reservoirs that, respectively, mark the lower impoundments on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. All bass anglers, including the field of pros and co-anglers who have converged on Lake Barkley State Park for the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism and presented by T-H Marine today through Saturday, know what the big lakes can do. READ MORE »

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

The gem of northern California is set to shine as anglers do their best to unlock Clear Lake’s treasure during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event powered by Evinrude and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. With warm and mostly sunny conditions on tap, we’re expecting a diverse event with all spring phases in play. READ MORE »

Central Division Starts on Table Rock

Central Division Starts on Table Rock

Anglers hitting Table Rock for day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance will roll out into somewhat atypical conditions. Stained water held over from high water in the winter and a cool spring have the fish acting differently than they usually do in late April on the White River impoundment. READ MORE »

Bring ’em Big or Bust at Santee Cooper

Bring ’em Big or Bust at Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division wraps up its season this week on Santee Cooper. READ MORE »

Warm-up Promises Good Things at Grand

Warm-up Promises Good Things at Grand

Widely regarded as Oklahoma’s premier bass fishery, Grand Lake will present plenty of opportunity for anglers fishing this week’s Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Ranger and hosted by the City of Grove. The tournament kicked off this morning out of Wolf Creek Park, as 169 pros compete for a top prize that includes a five-figure payday and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-hp Evinrude outboard. Co-anglers will cast for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-hp Evinrude outboard and an additional $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

Hackemack Smashes 29-8 on Kentucky

Hackemack Smashes 29-8 on Kentucky

Kane Hackemack of Georgetown, Indiana, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces, to take top honors at the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division opener on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Hackemack earned $4,915 for his win. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Adjusting to the week’s weather conditions was the foundational element of Chase Serafin and Cody Batterson’s game plan, as the Adrian College duo grabbed the day-one lead at the Yeti College Fishing Open on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes and then raced across the finish line on day two with a dominant winning weight of 50 pounds, 3 ounces. READ MORE »

High Water Challenges College Open Field

High Water Challenges College Open Field

This week’s YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake could see fish dispersed by flood conditions that have expanded the playing field. When 216 teams from around the country take to this massive Tennessee River reservoir, theirs will be a complicated task with equal measures of great potential and great challenge. READ MORE »

Finally Game Day on Seminole

Finally Game Day on Seminole

After waiting out a canceled day one, the competitors are ready to get the second Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event of the season underway. Taking place on Lake Seminole and presented by T-H Marine, the event is now a two-day shootout, with the full field fishing Friday and Saturday. READ MORE »

Big times at Sam Rayburn

Big times at Sam Rayburn

The first event of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division on Lake Sam Rayburn presented by YETI and hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce kicked off this morning out of the Umphrey Family Pavilion Park. READ MORE »