UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Lake Erie

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Newell Predicts the Forrest Wood Cup

Newell Predicts the Forrest Wood Cup
Rob Newell headshot

Every FLW season I come to this bridge: picking the winner of the Forrest Wood Cup. I try not to get caught up in making such predictions, but it’s only human nature in a tournament as big as the Cup to venture into the shaky realm of bass fishing prognostications. Since the words, “Well, who do you think is going to win?” will be uttered a hundred thousand times over the next few days, I better come up with a likely candidate.

This year I have gone with a very scientific method for making my pick. I considered five categories of potential winners, and for each category I made a few picks. Quite simply, the pro who gets named in the most categories will be my “official” pick. Here goes.

 

Anthony Gagliardi

Going local

In the history of the Cup, four pros have won on their home lakes: Scott Suggs, George Cochran, Anthony Gagliardi and Kevin Hawk, who I consider a local since he lived at Lake Lanier for nearly a year before winning the Cup.

For Murray, I’m calling a “local” anyone who lives within 70 miles of the lake, and that would include Anthony Gagliardi (Prosperity, S.C.), Brandon Cobb (Greenwood, S.C.) and Bradford Beavers (Ridgeville, S.C.).

 

Terry Bolton

The 14-Pound-Plus Club

I went through the results from the last two times the Cup visited Murray (2008 and 2014) and collected the names of currently qualified pros who have caught 14 pounds or better during a previous Cup competition day. Those pros include Terry Bolton, Mark Rose, Scott Canterbury, Bryan Thrift, Michael Wooley, Cody Meyer and David Dudley. The 14-pound mark is a quality bag on Murray in August, and anyone capable of catching that kind of weight has a shot.

 

Roy Hawk

Dark horses

For my dark horse picks I’m going with three former FLW Tour pros who no longer fish the Tour but qualified for the Cup through the Costa FLW Series: Roy Hawk, Joel Richardson and Pat Fisher. Richardson and Fisher are actually previous Tour winners.

 

Bryan Thrift

Overdue notice

When it comes to winning the Forrest Wood Cup, the elephant in the room is the fact that there are several pros greatly overdue for a Cup win. Bryan Thrift is a front-runner in this category with a total of eight top-10 finishes out of 10 Cup tries, including two third-place showings. Others who have come close on multiple occasions include Scott Canterbury, who has a pair of second-place finishes; Clark Wendlandt, with a pair of third-place finishes; and Cody Meyer, who has wound up second and third.

 

Zack Birge

Baby power

Speaking of being due, the final category involves due dates – as in having babies. I don’t claim to understand this phenomenon, but I can say that newborns and big wins in pro fishing are closely related. For that reason, I’ve got to mention a few pros who have baby power on their side in 2017. Matt Arey and his wife, Emily, enjoyed the birth of their second child in May. Zack Birge and his wife, Kristina, welcomed their first child into the world in June. And finally, Cody Meyer and his wife, Kari, are due to have their second child on Aug. 20.

 

Cody Meyer

Breaking it down

Now that I’ve mentioned about half the field in my category picks, the standout pick is Cody Meyer. The California pro is overdue for a Cup win, has bagged a 14-pound limit on Murray in Cup competition before and has baby power on his side.

Tags: rob-newell  pre-tournament  2017-08-11-forrest-wood-cup 

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Capt. Blake Smith was presented with the 2019 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship & Community Leadership Award by the award’s namesake, Forrest Wood, at the 2019 FLW Cup pre-tournament banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. Smith, of Lakeland, Fla., has fished the FLW Tour since 2015. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Two terrible tournaments to end the season cost Miles Burghoff his shot at the Polaris Rookie of the Year title. This week at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, he's hoping to apply the lessons learned at the end of the season to his preparation for the championship event. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

In a Ranger Z520L with a 250-hp Evinrude G2, it takes about 15 minutes to run from Carpenter Dam, which impounds Lake Hamilton, to the Blakely Mountain Dam that separates Hamilton from Lake Ouachita. If you stop and chat with 11 pros along the way, however, you’ll need most of the morning, but you’ll also wind up with a pretty sound idea of what’s going on at Hamilton for this week’s FLW Cup. READ MORE »

The First Morning with B. Lat

The First Morning with B. Lat

You won’t hear Brian Latimer complain about hot weather and tough fishing in Arkansas during this week’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. For B. Lat, sweating it out on the water is vastly better than working in the heat installing landscaping and mowing lawns for a living, which is what he was doing just a few years ago. A lot’s changed since those days. Now, Latimer is an FLW Tour champion, with a growing fishing media company and his first shot at a Cup title. READ MORE »

FLW Cup Schedule of Events

FLW Cup Schedule of Events

The FLW Cup goes down August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. As the crowning event of the FLW Tour season, there’s naturally a lot that goes with it, from takeoffs, the FLW Expo, a Trace Adkins concert and of course the weigh-ins at the Bank OZK Arena. Below you’ll find everything you’ll need to follow or attend the Cup, from the times to each event and seminar to each giveaway going on. Keep in mind, everything is free to attend and all times are Central. READ MORE »

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

For some, preparation has been in the form of map study and online research, while others have made the trek to Lake Hamilton to get eyes on the playing field, which went off limits July 22. READ MORE »

The FLW Cup Playing Field

The FLW Cup Playing Field

It’s been 14 seasons since the FLW Cup has been held at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. In the years since, FLW fans have likely developed some familiarity with nearby Lake Ouachita, which has been a frequent destination for the Cup and, in fact, hosted last year’s championship event. Hamilton is less-known because it hasn’t gotten the nod to host the finale since July 2005, when George Cochran won his third bass-fishing world championship . READ MORE »

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live is back for the season finale of the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. The event, which is presented by T-H Marine and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau runs Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Get to Know Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a giant of a lake. It stretches 100-plus miles from its beginning down south at Whitehall, N.Y., and runs all the way up to the Canadian border between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. Though the competitors aren’t allowed to venture into Canada, there is still plenty for anglers to break down for the final event of the 2019 FLW Tour season. READ MORE »

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

Top High Schoolers Headed for Pickwick

This week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir touching Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama pulls double duty for a joint production of the High School Fishing National Championship (Wednesday-Friday) and the 10th annual Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals (Wednesday-Saturday). READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

By the Numbers: Lake Champlain

The 2019 FLW Tour season comes to a close later this month on Lake Champlain, a lake that just about guarantees a fun finish and lots of smallmouths. READ MORE »