UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Martin digs deep for Ouachita win

Martin digs deep for Ouachita win
Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin holds up his two biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Despite having three Walmart FLW Tour wins, it was easy to recognize Scott Martin as the son of legendary angler Roland Martin. But after claiming the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, it's clear Martin has stepped out of his father's shadow and is carving his own remarkable career.

With his fourth victory in hand, Martin trails only David Fritts in terms of FLW Tour wins. Even more impressive is that the Clewiston, Fla., native has won on a natural lake (Champlain twice), a river (Pascagoula) and an impoundment (Ouachita). After cashing a $600,000 check, his career earnings of nearly $2 million rank second only to David Dudley in FLW Outdoors history. The accolades are striking, but Martin had to work for his Ouachita win.

After alternating between shallow and deep during practice, Martin became convinced he could catch quality largemouths offshore. When it became obvious most of the field was fishing shallow, it only cemented his decision to stay off the bank.
Pro winner Scott Martin
While he had several areas, one 150-yard stretch northwest of Bird Island proved to be the most productive. The key to the area, Martin said, was the presence of large shad, which were pushed in Scott Martineach day by the wind. He followed these balls of shad in 23 to 27 feet of water by looking at his graph. When he'd see a bass, he'd immediately release a drop-shot and Roboworm to the bottom of the lake. But most of his big bites this week came on a 1/2-ounce Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin, which he tipped with a Yamamoto swimbait body. He also mixed in a 10-inch Texas-rigged ribbontail worm (plum color), which accounted for most of his final-day fish. All three baits were tied to Segaur Invizx fluorocarbon line - 10-pound-test for the drop-shot and Fish Head Spin, 12-pound for the worm.

"Right off the bat the first morning, I caught three good ones, and I told my partner, `I can win the tournament in this spot,'" Martin recalled. "Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. It didn't look like much on the graph, but it kept on reloading because of the bait."
Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin poses for photos with Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats.
The National Guard pro started fast out of the gate with a 19-pound, 2-ounce limit as the largemouths roamed and ambushed the shad. But on the second day, he struggled with only 11-9 while his co-angler partner sacked 17-11. Expecting adversity during the course of the week, Martin bounced back with a resilient 16-pound, 1-ounce limit Saturday. On the final day, he discovered that the fish were holding tighter to the brush in the clear conditions. Once he put down the swimbait and switched to the worm, he started getting bit and eventually finished with 14-5.

"The key today was I dropped markers down on specific brush piles so I could pick them apart thoroughly. I suspect that's what happened the second day too. Looking back, what happened that day was unfortunate, but at least I learned something from it."

For winning the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, Florida pro Scott Martin earned $600,000.If there was any question about this being Martin's tournament, it was answered when he moved shallow for the first time all week and immediately caught a keeper off a bream bed. Then on his very last cast of the day, he caught another keeper out deep. Neither fish likely mattered in the outcome, but they were indicative of Martin's mojo.

For a three-day total of 61 pounds, 1 ounce, he earned $600,000.

"I remember as a kid going to all the championships and wishing that someday I'd win one. I've dreamed of this all my life. For my family and everyone that supports me, this is special."

Tharp's shallow pattern comes up short

Despite catching 16 pounds on day one, Randall Tharp was visibly upset after missing several big fish. He repeatedly mentioned that to win the Forrest Wood Cup, he'd need to capitalize on all of his big bites. And as it turned out, he was right.

"I dumped a 20-pound stringer the first day, and I dumped a 5-pounder today," he said. "But you're going to lose them fishing that way; that's part of it."

The Gardendale, Ala., pro fished wolfpack bass over shallow bluegill beds all week. The bluegills would spawn both on the sides of points and in the timber-laden pockets. He had four productive areas EverStart pro Randall Tharp finished second with a four-day total of 56 pounds, 7 ounces.located in the Crystal Springs area of the lake, which he'd rotate through two or three times per day.

Tharp's main bait this week was a Brian's Bees Prop 3, which he threw under calm conditions. When there was a chop on the lake, he'd opt for a Lucky Craft Sammy or Gunfish. But the Prop 3 accounted for the lion's share of his fish. He'd throw these baits with 30-pound braided line and a 6-pound monofilament leader.

"I was making long casts, because if they saw you, you wouldn't catch them."

Toward the end of the week, Tharp was becoming proficient at popping the bait and making a loud noise without moving it much from the precise strike zones.

"I gave it 100 percent every day, and I have no regrets. But it's not every day you have a chance to win the world championship of bass fishing."

Tharp now has two second-place finishes in 2011. Ironically, he finished runner-up to two Lake Okeechobee locals in Martin (this week) and Brandon McMillan (at the Big O in February). His consolation prize at the Cup is a $100,000 check.

Rose finishes third

Third-place pro Mark Rose holds up his biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.Mark Rose tried to win an endurance race this week at Lake Ouachita, but the cool, cloudy weather experienced on days one and three put him behind the 8-ball. Although he steadily climbed the leaderboard each day, Rose ultimately finished third with a total weight of 50 pounds, 15 ounces. The Marion, Ark., pro's final-day stringer weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rose fished offshore points and channel swings near the intersection of the main lake and the river and said most of his fish came from about 17 feet. Like Martin, the presence of big shad was key for the National Guard pro.

While Martin caught several 4- and 5-pounders, getting big bites was tougher for Rose. In fact, his biggest bass Sunday came from shallow water and fell prey to a Strike King Pro Model buzzbait.

When he was offshore, the Pickwick Lake champion employed a variety of offshore lures including crankbaits, spoons, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and drop-shots. He said his key to the bigger fish was the Strike King Shadalicious swimbait, which he rigged with a 1/2-ounce jighead.

"I was fishing my strengths, so I'm content," he said. "If we would have had different conditions, it might have made a difference."

Rose claimed $60,000 for third and finished the year with four consecutive top-10s.

"Momentum is everything in this sport, and I'm just comfortable and confident out there right now."

Clausen falls to fourth

Chevy pro Luke Clausen threw topwaters en route to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.Chevy pro Luke Clausen had the opportunity today to become the first pro to claim two Forrest Wood Cup titles. Ultimately, he finished fourth with a total weight of 48 pounds, 10 ounces, earning $55,000. Clausen caught only three bass Sunday, which weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces after a dead-fish penalty.

"I'm disappointed with the day I had, but I wouldn't have done anything different," he said. "The topwater bite was OK early, but went downhill quickly."

Clausen fished bluegill beds on flat drains located in the midlake region. He had one particular 300-yard stretch of water he would revisit multiple times with the hopes of reconnecting with the wolfpacks.

When it was choppy, the 2004 Forrest Wood Cup champion would throw a Megabass Giant Dog-X. When it was raining and still, he'd opt for the Brian's Bees Prop 2. He would also occasionally mix in a Reactions Innovations Vixen.

"I still saw tons of 3- and 4-pounders out there today. I didn't lose that many; they just wouldn't bite."

Morgan rises to fifth

Fifth-place pro Andy Morgan holds up his biggest bass from day four on Lake Ouachita.Andy Morgan caught a limit worth 10-2 on day four and unexpectedly rose from 10th to fifth. The Dayton, Tenn., native finished the tournament with a four-day cumulative weight of 47 pounds, 5 ounces worth $50,000.

"I wasn't as dialed in on the bluegill pattern as most of the guys, so I had to fish faster and cover more water," he said.

Morgan's performance is impressive considering he spent only four hours practicing shallow, instead opting to work the deep grass. Once the tournament commenced, he fished the Crystal Springs area with a Reaction Innovations Vixen. By the end of the week, nearly all the paint had worn off it from innumerable blow-ups.

"It has been an absolute grind. But for a highland impoundment in August, the bite has been exceptional."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita:

6th: Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., 46-2, $45,000
7th: Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., 44-7, $40,000
8th: Andy Montgomery of Grover, N.C., 42-11, $35,000
9th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., 42-7, $30,000
10th: Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., 42-3, $25,000

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2011-08-11-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita 

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Elrod Runs Tide, Wood on James River

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on the James River after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Elrod took home $3,637. READ MORE »

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Mittlestat Tops at St. Clair

Dan Mittlestat of Woodhaven, Michigan, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair presented by Navionics Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces. Mittlestat netted $6,552 for his win. READ MORE »

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

Schmitt Takes Champlain Title

FLW Tour pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Champlain presented by Navionics after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. For his win, Schmitt earned $7,209 and 250 points in the Northeast Division presented by Gajo Baits standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Peter T and Crew Win ICAST Cup

Representing Lew’s, the team of John Carman, Peter Thliveros and Matthew Mattingly won the 2019 ICAST Cup at Lake Toho this morning with a five-bass limit that weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces. It’s the first time in the ICAST kickoff event’s five-year history that a team has won two titles, and they come back-to-back – though this time it was an outright win.  READ MORE »

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Kilgore on Top at Neely Henry

Andy Kilgore of Kingston, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Neely Henry. Kilgore pocketed $4,426 for his win in the event and earned 250 points in the Bama Division Angler of the Year (AOY) standings. The winner of the division’s AOY title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Experience Carries Siggers

Experience Carries Siggers

Dennis Siggers of Danville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Siggers earned $2,585 for his victory. READ MORE »

Melton Wins on Rough River

Melton Wins on Rough River

John Melton of Corydon, Indiana, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake Saturday after catching five bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Melton netted $4,838 for his win. READ MORE »

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Jenkel Flips Bushes on Rend

Derek Jenkel of Pinckneyville, Illinois, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Jenkel earned $4,384 for his victory. READ MORE »

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Campbell Gets a Hat Trick

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the rescheduled T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Hoosier Division tournament on Rough River Lake presented by Navionics Sunday after catching four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Campbell earned $5,703 for his win. READ MORE »

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Harlin Sacks 24 for Ozark W

Michael Harlin of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Harlin pocketed $4,463 for his win in the event and 250 points in the Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob standings. The winner of the division’s Angler of the Year title after five tournaments will win $3,000. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 4 Coverage

Yesterday saw the crowning of the FLW Tour 2019 Angler of the Year (David Dudley) and Polaris Rookie of the Year (Ron Nelson). Today, there's nothing left to do but crown a champion for the Tour's last stop of the season. READ MORE »

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Scanlon Wins it at Ti

Running south to Ticonderoga each day, Casey Scanlon weighed 19 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain. With a total of 76-2, Scanlon earned the win in the final event of the season and pocketed $102,700 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Nelson Wins ROY

Nelson Wins ROY

Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Taking to the second to last day of the 2019 FLW Tour season, David Dudley finally did it again, triumphing over John Cox to win a historic fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year title. Winning his first AOY in 2008, and then going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, Dudley is now the only pro with four titles to their credit, surpassing both Clark Wendlandt and Andy Morgan. READ MORE »

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

Ticonderoga Showdown Looms

After three days of the FLW Tour event presented by T-H Marine on Lake Champlain, all but one of the top five pros are turning south from Plattsburgh to chase largemouths at Ticonderoga. In the lead, Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., bagged up another 18 pounds, 5 ounces to boost his total to 58-6. In second and just 1-14 behind, Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark., Mo., weighed 18-13 on day three for a 56-8 total. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

Lake Champlain Day 3 Coverage

We're down to 30 anglers in the FLW Tour's last stop of the 2019 season. The Angler of the Year and Polaris Rookie of the Year races are still up for grabs, and second-year pro Tyler Stewart is haflway to his first win on Tour. There will be storylines apletny today. READ MORE »

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

A Three-Angler Race for AOY

By making the top-30 cut, John Cox, David Dudley and Joseph Webster are all still in the 2019 FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. Scott Martin, who also made the cut and started the week in fourth place in the standings, cannot mathematically earn enough points to win AOY. READ MORE »