Lake Ouachita Site of 2011 Forrest Wood Cup
The 2011 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart will return to Hot Springs, Ark., and Lake Ouachita Aug. 11-14. Hosted by the Hot Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, the world championship of bass fishing will feature 116 of the top bass anglers in the world casting for awards up to $600,000 in the Pro Division and up to $60,000 in the Co-angler Division.
Forrest Wood Cup competition consists of 58 pros and 58 co-anglers who have qualified by various means. This prestigious group includes the top 30 pros and co-anglers from the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Majors, top 10 pros and co-anglers from each of the 2010 FLW Series Eastern and Western Divisions, four divisional winners and champion from the 2010 EverStart Series, the 2011 BFL All-American champion, the 2011 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Champion and the 2011 TBF Champion.
"This one's going to be tough," said Walmart pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn. "Usually in August in the dog days of summer fish don't bite too well. I think there's going to be a lot of suspended fish and hard-to-catch fish."
The 2007 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita played right into the hands of local favorite Folgers pro Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., who used his intimate knowledge of the lake to overcome the tough bite and win the championship title by fishing brush piles. Strader said he thinks this Forrest Wood Cup may play out a bit differently.
"The one problem with the lake's brush piles is they've been beat on for two months by local fishermen," Strader said. "In my opinion, those brush piles don't replenish themselves because that's a fish's sunning spot and once he gets caught out of that brush pile, there's not another one to replace him."
"One thing that will help is the little bit of grass in the lake," Strader added. "Somebody's going to figure something out. The guy that figures out how to catch the suspended fish that are just out there roaming under the bait is going to be the guy who does real well."
National Guard pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., who placed third in the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg's race, said he thinks there may be an early-morning topwater bite, but for the most part the tournament will be focused on deep water and deep-water baits such as 10-inch soft-plastic worms.
"I think if a man got 12 pounds every day he'd be in really good shape," Rose said. "I think we'll see bigger weights, though. And it may not take that much to win.
"You can't ever tell," Rose added. "This time of year you had just better be prepared for it to be hot."
Anglers will take off from Brady Mountain Resort & Marina located at 4120 Brady Mountain Rd. in Royal, Ark., at 6:30 each morning. Daily weigh-ins will also be held at Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center located at 134 Convention Blvd., in Hot Springs beginning at 5 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center prior to the final weigh-ins on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first 1,500 kids 14 and under on Sunday will receive a free Zebco rod and reel combo compliments of US97. Fans can also register to win a fully rigged Ranger Z520 courtesy of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette which will be given away following the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Curb Records recording artist Steve Holy will bring his unique blend of 50s rock/pop/country to Summit Arena on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 4 p.m. to kick off the Forrest Wood Cup's final weigh-in. Described by the Dallas Morning News as "Elvis Presley meets Dwight Yoakam" and "Ricky Nelson meets Chris Isaak," Holy recently completed his third studio album, "Love Don't Run," featuring the single of the same name that was named a Top 5 most added single in the first week of 2011 by Billboard and Country Aircheck.
As part of FLW Outdoors' commitment to community relations, FLW Tour anglers will be participating in a project with Teen Challenge of Arkansas on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Volunteer anglers will work with Teen Challenge to prepare a house for occupancy by a family who receives assistance from Potter's Clay - a womens' and childrens' crisis center.
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