UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

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 

Day Three on Erie with Gelles

Day Three on Erie with Gelles

Hailing from Pingree, Idaho, Kyle Gelles is about to wrap up his first season on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. Currently, he sits 56th in the Angler of the Year standings, and with a solid finish this week could punch his ticket to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay in a few weeks. READ MORE »

Cruising Erie with Wall

Cruising Erie with Wall

In his second year as a professional on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Jacob Wall finds himself in a position he never thought possible with one event left in the regular season. This week, Wall will not only have a chance to win the final Pro Circuit Super Tournament of the year on Lake Erie, but he’ll also be competing for one of the most coveted titles in the sport as he sits second in the Pro Circuit points race – Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

Pro Circuit Heads to Sandusky

Pro Circuit Heads to Sandusky

The season finale of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit will take place on Lake Erie, out of Sandusky, Ohio, on August 11-14. The third of three special Super Tournaments, over 200 pros from FLW and Major League Fishing (MLF) will fish in the event. The winner will take home $125,000 and the event will decide who wins the Angler of the Year title, the Polaris Rookie of the Year title and which Pro Circuit anglers qualify for the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

As promised, Wheeler Lake turned out to be the stingiest of the two stops on the Toyota Series Southeastern Division so far this season. The dog days of summer put the kibosh on the main-lake bite, leaving Wheeler’s many shallow creeks and tributaries to supply the pounds and ounces at weigh-in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less. READ MORE »

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Culpepper Captures Co-Angler Win

Cal Culpepper of Hamilton, Ga., won the co-angler side of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake in impressive fashion. In three days of a tough tournament, Culpepper sacked up limits of 11-11, 5-11 and 11-7 from the back of the boat for a three-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. For his win, he takes home a fully rigged Phoenix bass boat. READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Fishing creek ends continued to be the theme on day two of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Although the current was not running as much in the creeks as yesterday, the cooler shadier waters in the back of creeks were still producing for top anglers once again.  READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake has turned out to be beyond stingy to the anglers fishing the second event in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division today. After visiting with some 20 pros this morning, the most fish reported caught by a pro was just two keepers. The rest either had just one bass or an empty livewell. READ MORE »

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

Dog days at Wheeler Lake

The second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division is off and running this morning on Wheeler Lake out of Ingalls Harbor. Many pros fishing the Southeastern Division this season agree that Wheeler will be the most challenging of the three events in 2020 due to the timing of the tournament. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Practice with Buck

Mississippi River Practice with Buck

In his fourth year on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Grae Buck has really come into his own. A standout collegiate angler at Penn State, he’s now in the thick of the Angler of the Year race and cruising toward qualification for the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota. READ MORE »

Scouting Pool 8 with Ormond

Scouting Pool 8 with Ormond

For Jake Ormond, this is his first time fishing north of Tennessee, and thus his first time fishing the upper Mississippi. He’s not the only one lacking Mississippi River experience in the field, but considering many of the Major League Fishing (MLF) anglers that are part of the Super Tournament field have competed on the river a number of times, he’s got his work cut out for him. READ MORE »

Summertime Shootout on Tap at Wheeler

Summertime Shootout on Tap at Wheeler

Summertime on the Tennessee River may not be the prime time to hit the water, but the second stop of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division on Wheeler Lake will certainly showcase how diverse of a fishery it can be when the tournament takes place July 30 - Aug. 1. READ MORE »

Looking Ahead to the Mississippi River 

Looking Ahead to the Mississippi River 

With just two events left in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season, it’s time to turn attention to the northern part of the country. Presented by OPTIMA Batteries, the Pro Circuit Super Tournament on the Mississippi River out of Stoddard, Wis., will not only crown a winner with a $125,000 payday but also shape the Angler of the Year race. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Tap at Pickwick

Big Bags on Tap at Pickwick

After a four-month hiatus, it’s almost time for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division to get back after it. The season resumes on July 18 and July 19 with back-to-back tournaments on Pickwick Lake. While each tournament may fish a bit like a two-day event, each day of competition is a standalone tournament with a winner crowned after each day. READ MORE »

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

There’s nothing better than clear water and big smallmouths, and that’s exactly what the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Michigan Division plans to deliver this year. The division, which is presented by ARE, is set to open the season July 18 on Lake St. Clair in what should be a heavyweight showdown of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Piedmont Division Heads to Kerr

Piedmont Division Heads to Kerr

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division continues its season with back-to-back tournaments on Kerr Lake on July 18 and 19. READ MORE »