UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

Canterbury’s Next Challenge
Scott Canterbury

When picking favorites for the Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake, the most common characters are guys like Mark Rose, who have seen stunning success before on Wheeler, or perennial contenders such as Jacob Wheeler, Bryan Thrift and Scott Martin. If you go by the numbers at FantasyFishing.com, Scott Canterbury might well be the favorite, though his $23 fantasy price tag does represent a steep discount from the likes of Andy Morgan ($30). At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things.

In his best year to date, “Hammerbury” finished 12th in the Angler of the Year race on the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour and also earned his first Tour win, an emotional victory at Beaver Lake. Now he’s set to take on the next challenge – getting over the hump at the Forrest Wood Cup.

In seven previous appearances at the Cup, the Springville, Ala., pro has done everything but win, with a pair of runner-up finishes. The first came in 2012 when Jacob Wheeler blew everyone away on Lake Lanier. The second miss was on Lake Murray, when Canterbury only weighed four fish on the first day and lost the winning fish on the final day. This year, the Cup at Wheeler Lake on Aug.4-7 might well line up for his best shot yet at another run for the win.

 

Scott Canterbury

Getting ready

Canterbury lives just over two hours from Wheeler and has had plenty of opportunity to spend some time on the lake before the cutoff.

“I went a couple days before ICAST [July 12-15], but that’s so long in advance that everything will be changed,” says Canterbury. “It’s not like I’ve never been there. I know the lake pretty decent, and it’s not a terrible drive from the house.

“I like it. I’ve just never fished it this time of year,” he adds. “I think it will set up pretty decent. The only thing I’m scared about is somebody finding a mega-school out deep where you can’t catch up. To win, I think you’ll have to catch a few out deep and a few up shallow. I don’t think it’s the caliber of a lake like Guntersville or Pickwick where you can just find a spot or two and catch them every day.”

During our phone call, Canterbury was busy organizing tackle, and the sound of Plano boxes being stacked and latches being clicked shut was audible over the phone. Suffice to say, the man has fishing on the brain even more than a week before show time.

“For the winner, maybe he’s got one or two deep places where he can get one or two a day and then grind the rest out shallow,” says Canterbury. “I think the weights might be a little better than usual in the Cup, but it’s going to be a grind. It’s summertime, and the heat index is gonna be in the triple digits every day.

“There’s not a lot of history there. Nobody has any history there that time of year, so it’s gonna fish pretty much wide open. I don’t think it’ll be won in the river, so that’s another obstacle, because we’re about 50 miles [at the takeoff at Ditto Landing] from where I think you’ll need to fish. I’m looking forward to it, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to be an easy tournament.”

 

Scott Canterbury

A new mindset?

With a guaranteed cash prize of $10,000 down to last place, everyone is swinging for the fences at the Forrest Wood Cup. Canterbury, after his win at Beaver Lake, now has a little more experience at that than he’s had before.

“I fished a little bit differently after Beaver,” says Canterbury. “The one I really fished differently was on Pickwick. I made the cut and missed the top 10 by 3 ounces and only had three on day three. I stuck to my guns a little bit more on that one. Unusually I can run around and fill a limit, but I had a feeling that one would be won out deep. I felt like that was the way to win.”

It turns out that the way to win was to be Buddy Gross, but now having won at the Tour level, Canterbury might have a better chance if and when crunch time comes at the Cup.

“Getting that win, I don’t think it will change how I approach the Cup. It was great. It was exciting. It was the highlight of my career. But, by the time I’d gotten home, I was ready to move on to the next one,” says Canterbury. “I’ve always thought that it [the Cup] is the hardest tournament to make, but the easiest tournament to win every year, because we only have 50 guys in it. I haven’t won, but if you go by numbers it’s the easiest to win if you figure out the fish and do your part.

“This is the tournament you want to win. You’re not fishing for points or anything. You go out and catch everything you can catch in every tournament, but the Cup’s a little bit different. You aren’t fishing for as many bites. You are trying to win. Second place gets you a better paycheck, but it doesn’t get you any recognition like it would for the win.

“The time of year that we fish, the heat that we fish in, everything that goes into the Cup every year, by the end of the third day your body is about at it’s limit. But at the end of it, somebody’s gonna win $300,000 and get that Cup.”

Scott Canterbury

Tags: forrest-wood-cup  scott-canterbury  wheeler-lake  jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-08-04-forrest-wood-cup 

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