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Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup
Strrreeeeeetch. Ramie goes long for that keeper.

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita.

Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between.

Here’s a rundown.

 

Catch bass, get a shower - Lake Ouachita provides on many levels.

2. Ramie Colson Jr. – Cadiz, Ky. – 47 pounds, 13 ounces

Keep it simple. That was Ramie Colson Jr.’s approach to Lake Ouachita, and it landed him in the runner-up spot with a four-day total of 47 pounds, 13 ounces.

Colson started and ended the week primarily with one bait: a Zoom Ol’ Monster Texas-rigged with a 5/16-ounce weight and tied to 14-pound-test Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon. His key colors were blue fleck and plum apple.

Colson created fireworks with his simple approach on day two when he showed off the Cup’s biggest limit –17 pounds, 14 ounces – which included the event’s biggest bass, a 5-pound, 14-ounce kicker.

Colson focused his efforts on numerous brush piles in the Crystal Springs area of the lake.

“The whole key was fishing slow,” he says. “In order to get the bites I had to almost dead-stick the worm in the piles.”

Colson might have won the Cup had it not been for a cratering day three when he brought just four fish to the scale for 6 pounds, 8 ounces. He thinks dark skies on that day hurt him the most.

“That bite was much better when it was hot and sunny,” he adds. “When it gets high and bright in that clear water I think those fish really tuck down in that cover. But when it gets dark, they move out and start roaming all over, and I’m afraid that’s what got me that third day.

 

3. Brandon Cobb – Greenwood, S.C. – 47 pounds, 11 ounces

Brandon Cobb made a strong showing in his first Forrest Wood Cup with a third-place finish, checking in 47 pounds, 11 ounces for the event.

Cobb spent much of the week fishing in the back of Big Blakely Creek, but he was not fishing as far back as tournament winner Brad Knight or ninth-place finisher Mark Daniels Jr.

Cobb caught his fish off wood targets on shallow flats on a Knight’s Custom Lures buzzbait with a white or green pumpkin Zoom Horny Toad as a trailer.

“If the water had any chop on it, I went with the buzzbait and toad combination,” he says. “But when it got dead-slick, I’d go to just a Horny Toad to keep it more subtle.”

Cobb also ran some water up in the rivers each day with a Lucky Craft Gunfish, which helped put a few better fish on the scales

 

4. Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind. – 45 pounds, 13 ounces

Jacob Wheeler led days one and three of the Forrest Wood Cup, but his chance to be the first two-time winner of the Cup was dashed on the final day when he brought in just three bass for 4 pounds, 12 ounces.

Wheeler says a massive storm that thrashed his primary areas with thunder, lightning and wind derailed his afternoon topwater bite on the final day.

“Those fish in shallow, clear water don’t like it when all that lighting and thunder is going on above them,” Wheeler says. “The area of the lake I was fishing got hit the hardest with that storm. Some of the guys fishing other areas didn’t get all the weather.”

In the mornings Wheeler hung around schooling areas waiting for fish to pop around him. When the fish would come up he fired at them with a Storm Arashi Top Walker. Once they went down, he rolled an under-spin tipped with a Keitech swimbait through the schools.

Once Wheeler got a few keepers in the well, he would go hunting better quality bream-eating fish in the skinny water with various topwater walkers, including the Top Walker and a smaller size Reaction Innovations Vixen. On days one and three he scored quality bites. On the final day, however, his bigger bites failed to materialize to close out the win.

 

Don't you just love the way the light catches the spray in this shot?

5. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 45 pounds, 4 ounces

Scott Martin, the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup winner on Lake Ouachita, threatened to add another Cup to his mantle last week. But he ended up fifth with a four-day total of 45 pounds, 4 ounces.

Martin ran so many patterns on Ouachita that he could have given Bryan Thrift a run for his money in the junk-fishing department.

Martin’s mad fishing menu included: cranking a Strike King 6XD in the river, running shallow banks with a River2Sea Rover, and throwing a Fish Head Spin and 3-inch Tightlines UV swimbait on a 1/4-ounce head to schoolers.

“Out of all of it, I really felt the schoolers were my best chance at winning,” Martin says. “There were some really big bass in those open-water schools. Using my 7-foot, 11-inch Okuma TCS rod, I could launch that Fish Head Spin so far out there that I couldn’t even see where it landed. If the fish were up feeding, I’d burn the Fish Head just under the surface. If they were down and I could see the school on my Garmin Panoptix, I’d count the Fish Head down to where they were and roll it right through them.

“The Panoptix technology and the Fish Head Spin are the best schooling-fish tools available today,” he adds. “Now I don’t have to wait for fish to come up busting to see where the school is. I can see them way out in front of the boat on the Panoptix. And the Fish Head Spin is so versatile, you can burn it on the surface or slow-roll it down as deep as you want.”

 

6. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 45 pounds

Bryan Thrift has scored yet another top 10 in Forrest Wood Cup competition. Consider that out of the nine Forrest Wood Cups he has qualified for, Thrift has finished in the top 10 seven times.

For his sixth-place finish this time around, Thrift relied on his patented run-and-gun, junk-fishing style. The types of targets he fished included schoolers, bream beds, brush piles and the back ends of creeks. His arsenal of lures featured crankbaits, topwaters, worms, swimbaits and spoons.

A Damiki Backdrop Spoon (20 grams) was Thrift’s primary schooling bait.

“That thing is so awesome for schoolers,” Thrift says. “I can cast it farther than anything else in the box. When the fish come up schooling anywhere, I can reach them with that 20-gram spoon. Once it lands in the school, I just reel it about 6 or 8 inches under the water.”

The first two days he caught numbers of fish on a Damiki DC 300 crankbait off a creek channel bend littered with stumps. Thrift’s best quality fish, however, came from a Damiki Rambler topwater walker fished shallow for wolf packers.

 

Larry Nixon lookin' fly in his floppy hat.

7. Larry Nixon – Bee Branch, Ark. – 44 pounds, 10 ounces

Larry Nixon was one of the few contenders in the Cup who was able to parlay a grass pattern into a top-10 finish, ending up in the seventh spot.

“I focused on grass most of the week,” he says. “I had one grass bed that I was casting a worm to and then other areas where I was pitching to clumps of grass.”

Nixon’s worming water was a point that was 12 to 13 feet deep, which featured sparse, scattered grass. His worm setup was a Yamamato Pro Senko on a 3/16-ounce shaky head cast on Seaguar Smackdown braid tied to a 10-pound-test Tatsu fluorocarbon leader.

His pitching water featured shallower clumps of grass growing around islands in the 6- to 8-foot-deep range. Nixon flipped a Yamamato Flappin Hawg topped with a 3/4-ounce weight on 15-pound-test Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon.

Nixon says about half his fish came from the grass bed he was casting to and the other half came from flipping areas.

“I wasn’t really punching grass, just pitching to visible clumps of it,” he says. “And I had to really pop the bait out of the grass to get them to react. I’d pitch to a clump, hop it really hard and that was the trigger. I actually saw a lot of the fish chase and bite the bait after I had popped it out of the grass.”

Nixon’s grass bite completely died on the final day, and he headed for the bank with a Yamamoto Shibuki Popper to catch 12 pounds for a closing-round effort.

 

Birge picked apart isolated wood cover.

8. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 43 pounds, 11 ounces

Zack Birge spent his week far up the Ouachita River and South Fork combing shallow flats and mud banks for his eighth-place showing in his first Forrest Wood Cup.

“I just fished wide open all week,” Birge says, “trolling motor on high and covering water. There was no rhyme or reason to where I would get a bite. If I came to a little brush top or stump, I’d slow down and throw at it multiple times just to see if I could aggravate one into biting.”

Birge’s shallow-water arsenal featured a Stanley Top Toad on 50-pound-test Sunline braid, a 6th Sense Crush 50X shallow-running crankbait on 12-pound-test Sunline and a Santone 1/4-ounce spinnerbait. 

 

Fish on!

9. Mark Daniels Jr. – Tuskegee, Ala. – 37 pounds, 12 ounces

Mark Daniels Jr. finished his sophomore season on the Walmart FLW Tour with a ninth-place showing in the Forrest Wood Cup.

Daniels found the same productive area as Brad Knight in the very back of Big Blakely Creek. Similar to Knight, Daniels relied mostly on finesse tactics to fool the wary fish.

“I found that place during practice by fan-casting a 1/2-ounce Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap,” Daniels says. “I got a couple bites on the Trap, and then my practice partner [co-angler Stephen Crawley] started pitching a drop-shot to some of the wood in there and got a few bites. That’s when I figured those fish had probably seen too many standard flipping baits on 20-pound-test line.”

For the tournament Daniels scaled down his approach to a drop-shot Roboworm in Aaron’s morning dawn and oxblood red flake. He fished 6-pound-test Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon backed with Smackdown braid. He also caught a few key keepers on a small Reaction Innovations Vixen topwater.

“My bite got better later in the day,” Daniels says. “It seemed like when the sun got up, those fish would really get on those pieces of wood a lot better. But if you plopped a big lure on them, they were wise to it. Pitching that lighter drop-shot to the wood was the whole key. When that worm just appeared out of nowhere, they couldn’t stand it.”

 

Chris Baumgardner has caught more than 12 pounds both days of the qualifying round.

10. Chris Baumgardner – Gastonia, N.C. – 37 pounds, 9 ounces

Chris Baumgardner finished 10th by going “old school” up in the far reaches of the South Fork where the water was stained and shallow. His first bait of choice was a Z-Man ChatterBait on day one. But then he resorted to a 3/4-ounce Hawg Caller spinnerbait with a No. 6 willow blade the following days.

“I was fishing wood targets out in those flats – logs and brush tops that I could see,” Baumgardner says. “The spinnerbait just came through the wood cover better. Plus, the shad up there were pretty big. So as the week went on, I found I could get better bites with that big spinnerbait.”

 

Complete Results

Tags: forrest-wood-cup  lake-ouachita  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-08-20-forrest-wood-cup 

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Matlock Flips Bushes for Title

Tyler Matlock of Omaha, Arkansas, caught 11 pounds, 9 ounces of bass Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Greers Ferry Lake. For his efforts, Matlock took home $3,205. READ MORE »

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Quaintance Makes it Two on Pickwick

Chris Quaintance of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Quaintance netted $4,119 for his victory. READ MORE »

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Title

Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355. READ MORE »

Chico Wins on Clear

Chico Wins on Clear

The Chico State University duo of Carson Leber of Dixon, California, and Chad Sweitzer of Chico, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake presented by Costa Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Sales Earns Top Spot on Cherokee

Hunter Sales of Blaine, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division event on Lake Cherokee. Sales earned $3,455 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Burger Smashes 23-9 on Chesapeake Bay

Jason Burger of Bridgeton, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division opener on the Chesapeake Bay presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Burger pocketed $4,000. READ MORE »

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Boehle Runs Shad Spawn, Points for W

Adam Boehle of Warrenton, Missouri, caught five bass Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Boehle pocketed $4,938 for his win in the event presented by Navionics 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 »

Allman Wins on Wylie

Allman Wins on Wylie

Mike Allman of York, South Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division event on Lake Wylie. Allman earned $2,500 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »