UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

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 

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415. READ MORE »

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boater Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 11 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Boggs earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Daves Wins James River Regional

Daves Wins James River Regional

Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Louisiana’s West Monroe High School duo of Jay Cash and Jackson Lemoine caught four fish Saturday weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Ouachita River Open event in Monroe, Louisiana. READ MORE »

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

The East Texas Baptist University team of Grant Hendrix of Livingston, Texas, and Josh Manuel of Burleson, Texas, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Ouachita River event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces. READ MORE »

Powell Goes Shallow on Eufaula

Powell Goes Shallow on Eufaula

Boater Shane Powell of Dothan, Alabama brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 38 pounds, 15 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bulldog Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. READ MORE »

Pilcher Stays Deep on Grand

Pilcher Stays Deep on Grand

Boater John Pilcher of Kansas, Oklahoma, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Okie Division Super-Tournament at Grand Lake. READ MORE »