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

Wheeler Lake Day 1 Coverage

Wheeler Lake Day 1 Coverage
Scott Martin

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Tournament details

Day 1 Takeoff Gallery

Day 1 OTW Gallery

 

More About the Cup

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Roster

The Cup at Wheeler Lake – A Preview

Forrest Wood Cup Promo Video:

 

3:15 p.m.: Final update

Check-in time is 4 p.m. for the first flight. Weigh-in begins at 5 p.m. in Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center.

Minus any last-minute heroics, it appears that the consesus estimates from the field were right on: It's going to take in the mid-teens each day to be in the hunt.

By our estimations, a dozen or more anglers are already over the double-digit mark, but estimates are only so accurate, and half the field might crack double-digits.

There are some big-name hammers at the top: Shin, Martin, McMillan, Arey, Rose and Cox. There are also some newcomers up there: Joseph Webster, Brandon Perkins and Jeff Hippert among them.

Tune in to FLW Live at 5 p.m. to see who gets out in front with three long, hot days of fishing left to go.

 

John Cox

2 p.m.: Day 1 Midday Weight Estimates

1. Brandon McMillan - 13.5

2. Joseph Webster - 13

3. Matt Arey - 12.5

3. Shinichi Fukae - 12.5

5. John Cox - 11

6. Jeff Hippert - 10.5

7. Chris Johnston - 10

7. Charlie Weyer - 10

7. Jeremy Lawyer - 10

10. Mark Rose - 9.75

11. Todd Auten - 9.5

11. Shane LeHew - 9.5

11. Darrel Robertson - 9.5

14. Scott Martin - 9.25

14. Bryan Thrift - 9.25

16. Jay Kendrick - 9

16. Dan Morehead - 9

16. Brandon Perkins - 9

19. Cody Meyer - 8.5

20. Jamie Horton - 8

20. Andy Morgan - 8

20. Jeff Sprague - 8

23. Greg Bohannan - 7.5

23. Ray Hanselman - 7.5

23. Troy Morrow - 7.5

23. Michael Neal - 7.5

27. Bill Chapman - 7.25

28. Terry Bolton - 7

29. David Dudley - 6.5

29. Clark Reehm - 6.5

31. Brian Holder - 6.25

32. Stetson Blaylock - 6

32. Scott Suggs - 6

32. Jim Tutt - 6

35. Jacob Wheeler - 5.75

36. Brandon Cobb - 5.5

36. Jeff Gustafson - 5.5

36. Wesley Strader - 5.5

36. Tyler Suddarth - 5.5

40. Denny Brauer - 5

40. Clark Wendlandt - 5

40. Dave Barnes Sr. - 5

43. Brad Knight - 4.25

44. Nick Prvonozac - 3

45. Bryan Schmitt - 2.5

45. Hampton Anderson - 2.5

47. JT Kenney - 1.5

47. Jimmy Reese - 1.5

49. Scott Canterbury - 0

49. Cory Johnston - 0

 

1:50 p.m.: TBF champ chasing the dream

TBF National Champion Joseph Webster qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup as part of TBF's Living the Dream package, which includes paid entry into the FLW Tour and a spot in FLW's championship. Webster is making the most of the Living the Dream opportunity by chasing the dream of being Forrest Wood Cup champion. His early weight estimate is 13 pounds, which puts him less than a pound behind our unofficial tournament leader Brandon McMillan.

We're hunting Webster to learn more about his magical day. Stay tuned in a few minutes for a full report on the 50-angler field.

 

Video update: Shin is power fishing in super-skinny water

 

Ray Hanselman

1 p.m.: Weather changes have produced an afternoon lull

Fishing was as hot as the weather for a few hours on Wheeler Lake, but this thunderstorm has rolled in and seems to have put a damper on the action. Catch up dates have really slowed down.

Still, more than half the field has a limit, and there's a race to catch the pros at the top.

Check back in about an hour and we'll post a full estimated standings for the entire top 50.

 

Matt Arey

12:15 p.m.: Storms and logjams at the top of the standings

A thundestorm has rolled over the western edge of Wheeler Lake, bringing with it rain, wind (much appreciated in this heat) and shady relief from the hot sun. There's a significant logjam at the top in the 11- to 13-pound range. Among those at the top are John Cox, Jeff Hippert, Shin Fukae, Brandon McMillan and Matt Arey. The rest of the field seems to be piled into two groups: guys without a limit and guys in the 8- to 10-pound range.

We'll have to wait and see what the effects of the weather will be. Will the shallow bite turn on, or will the offshore fish school up? Time will tell.

The most significant development in techniques or patterns is the schooling bite, which has turned on in the last hour or so. Most of the baits have stayed the same: soft jerkbaits, topwater, crankbaits and shaky heads.

 

Watch local favorite Jay Kendrick in action

 

Todd Auten chases schoolers on day 1

 

11 a.m.: The unofficial top 10 UPDATED

1. Brandon McMillan - 13 1/2

2. Matt Arey - 12 1/2

3. Shin Fukae - 11

3. John Cox - 11

5. Joseph Webster - 9

6. Cody Meyer - 8 1/2

7. Brandon Perkins - 8

7. Jamie Horton - 8

7. Scott Martin - 8

10. Todd Auten - 7 1/2

 

 

10:40 a.m.: The schoolers are getting active

It's weird how fish seem to turn on at the same time all across the lake. The phenomenon is happening on Wheeler. FLW's marshals and reporters almost simultaneously reported that several anglers had gotten into a group of schoolers, and a lot of the fish they were catching were smallmouths. For sure, Scott Suggs, Jimmy Reese and Matt Arey are in on the schooling bass action.

Elsewhere, the shallow bite has slowed down a little bit, save for a few areas with vast beds of lily pads where a half-dozen pros are mining out their bites. The offshore guys are waiting on some current to ignite their schools. It's hot, but the fish are still biting.

 

Cup Comments

See what Cup Host Byron Velvick thinks will be the five critical factors for this week's Forrest Wood Cup - CLICK HERE

 

Shinichi Fukae

10 a.m.: Shin is charging

Tour veteran Shin Fukae went on a little tear and is nipping at Brandon McMillan's heels with a limit that'll go between 10 and 12 pounds. He's the unofficial runner-up behind McMillan.

Shin's best keeper is a 4 1/2-pounder.

 

OTW Photos

To see the entire On The Water gallery, click on the link above. Here are a few of our favorites so far:

Brandon Cobb

Scott Martin

Matt Arey

Stetson Blaylock

Michael Neal

 

9:40 a.m.: Nine limits so far

Hunt and peck. That's the best way to describe the approach that most anglers are using on day one at the Cup. The Twitter feed has featured a nonstop parade of 1- to 2 1/2-pound fish, with just a few kickers being reported.

Scott Martin has the hot hand lately. He's only up to 8 pounds, but he caught his five keepers pretty quickly. His marshal says that Martin is focused and working hard. The guy's a straight hammer who gets it done in these tough-bite tournaments.

 

Matt Arey

9:10 a.m.: Finesse, cranking and topwater in play early

It's typical late-summer tactics that are in play at the Cup on Wheeler. Finesse baits have produced the most keepers so far, but topwater is working too. The topwater list includes buzzbaits, frogs, toads and walking baits. Soft jerkbaits are working too, and a few pros are cranking.

Target areas range from offshore brush to ledges on the deep side to fishing shade, shallow cover and inflows on the shallow side.

 

9 a.m.: The early top five

Here's the unofficial top five early:

Brandon McMillan - 12 pounds

Jay Kendrick - 8 pounds

Todd Auten - 7 1/2 pounds

Jamie Horton - 7 pounds

Troy Morrow - 6 pounds

 

Jamie Horton

8:40 a.m.: McMillan out in front; Morrow and Horton with limits

Brandon McMillan is the early leader on Wheeler Lake. He's got a limit of about 12 pounds, including one really nice chunk. He's in the shallow crew and stayed mid-lake, but that's about all the info he's willing to reveal.

Most of the pros remain at the lower end of the lake. Frogs and toads are in play already, and the sun's not even all the way up.

Troy Morrow and Jamie Horton are the only other two pros with limits. Scott Martin has a 3 1/2-pounder to go with a 1 1/2. Jeff Hippert's big bass from the previous post is still big fish of the day. The rest of the keepers checked in have all been 2 pounds or lighter, and there have been a lot of them.

 

Jeff Hippert

8:15 a.m.: Topwater and finesse to start the day

Most of the pros have started off the morning either with a spinning rod in hand or throwing topwater. The topwater guys are covering water quickly, looking for an active fish. Topwater will be in play most of the day for schoolers, for bream-eating bass (frog fishing, baby!) or for lone wolves set up under shade.

Jeff Hippert has the first quality keeper in the boat. It's a skinny girl, but looks to be about 5 pounds. He's in the photo above.

 

Cup Fact

No one has ever won the Forrest Wood Cup twice. There are six former champs in the field this week, including Jacob Wheeler. Can he become the first two-time winner on his "namesake" lake?

Here's the full list: Jacob Wheeler, Brad Knight, David Dudley, Scott Martin, Darrel Robertson and Scott Suggs.

Jacob Wheeler

 

7:35 a.m.: Most of the field is focused on the lower end

Out of 50 boats, only three headed upstream toward Guntersville Dam from the Ditto Landing takeoff site. The rest ran downstream. At least 20 ran past the Decatur Flats area toward the far lower end.

Rumor has it that the best quality fish in practice were being caught from deeper water down there. At the least, that's the best place to find a school of fish.

 

7:30 a.m.: The Forrest Wood Cup has begun

It’s hot. It’s muggy. It’s August in the South. It’s the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. And it’s game time.

We’re underway at the year’s biggest event on Wheeler Lake, and in four days someone is going to be crowned the Forrest Wood Cup champion and earn $300,000.

This will be no easy tournament to win. In fact, Wheeler has proved to be quite the challenge this week in practice. Some pros report getting few bites, and quality is tough to find too. But not every pro is singing the blues. A few have managed to tap into schools of fish offshore, or have tracked down a solid shallow bite.

The weather forecast calls for a high temperature of 93 degrees, with the heat index approaching triple digits. Expect a grueling, exhausting tournament – the kind that will produce a worthy champion.

You can follow along with all the action via FLW’s on-the-water Twitter feed here.

 

Conditions - Five-Day Forecast

Temperature at takeoff: 73 degrees

Forecast high: 91 degrees

Sky: hazy at takeoff; clear throughout the day; cloud cover forecast to build late in the day

Precipitation: 40 percent chance, with possible afternoon thunderstorms

Wind: W at 6 mph

 

Tournament Details

Forrest Wood Cup Takeoff Show: 6:30 a.m. CT at Ditto Landing, 293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville, Ala.

Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Ditto Landing

Weigh-in: 5 p.m. CT at Von Braun Center (Propst Arena), 700 Monroe Street SW, Huntsville, Ala.

FLW Expo: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., at the Von Braun Center – More info: Seminars and Celebrities and Giveaways and Contests

Tags: forrest-wood-cup  wheeler-lake  headline-story  2016-08-04-forrest-wood-cup 

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize

Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Laufenberg 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 »

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Butler Runs Brush for Cherokee Win

Boater Josh Butler of Hayden, Alabama, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Cherokee. For his victory, Butler 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 »

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 »