The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing, will visit the Red River and Shreveport/Bossier City Aug. 15-18 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2013. Hosted by the Shreveport/Bossier Sports Commission and LouisianaTravel.com, the tournament will feature 46 of the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for the sport’s biggest award – $500,000 cash in the pro division and $50,000 cash in the co-angler division.
“Any time that you can win a half a million dollars for catching 20 bass, it’s pretty exciting,” said Walmart pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., who will be competing in his eighth Forrest Wood Cup. “It’s even more exciting knowing that it’s going to be a real tough tournament. If a guy can get two or three big bites over the course of those four days, that can make all of the difference in the world. Anything can happen.”
Rose said that this tournament will be very different than the last time the FLW Tour visited the Red River, when John Cox of Debary, Florida, used an aluminum boat to access a backwater area via a seemingly impassible culvert.
“The last time that we visited the Red River, we were just coming off of a shad spawn and the fish were keying on those shad in the backwaters and the oxbows,” Rose said. “Now they’ll be more into their summertime patterns. The bass will be seeking out any shade that they can find. You’re going to see a lot of flipping in the hyacinth, lily pads and all of the wood cover that is available.”
Rose said that most of the tournament anglers would either be flipping, throwing topwater baits or shallow-water cranking. Anglers will have no shortage of areas to fish. Although they will launch each day out of Pool 5, Pools 4 and 3 are also viable options for many competitors.
“I think that 50 percent of the field will stay in Pool 5,” Rose continued. “Quite a few will lock down to Pool 4, and a few guys that are living on the edge will lock down to Pool 3. This tournament can be won on any of the three pools, though. We’re going to see a lot of nice 7- to 9-pound averages, but the winner will be the guy that can get over the hump a few days and get into the 13- or 14-pound class.”
Rose predicts that the winning angler will need to bring 50 pounds to the scales throughout the four tournament days to claim the title of Forrest Wood Cup Champion. The defending champion, 22-year-old Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Ind., agrees with him and says that the Red River will produce despite the heat in the dog days of summer.
“I think that the winner is going to bring in a monster 16- or 17-pound bag on the first day and then back it up with solid 10- to 12-pound limits to win the tournament,” Wheeler said. “It really is like a chess match out there. There are so many different decisions and scenarios with the different pools and locks. I think somebody is going to have to utilize multiple pools in order to win the tournament.”
Page 2 of 2 - Wheeler became the youngest Forrest Wood Cup champion in history when he won last year at Lake Lanier in Duluth, Ga. Wheeler said that he is excited for another opportunity to make fishing history.
“The most exciting thing for me is having an opportunity to be the first angler to ever win two (championships),” Wheeler said. “Winning last year was just unbelievable and changed my life. To be the first angler to ever win twice would be a dream come true.
“Shreveport is really an optimal tournament site and will be a perfect host for the Forrest Wood Cup,” Wheeler went on to say. “The facilities are amazing. The Red River South Marina is great. There is plenty of parking for all of the anglers and fans. I can’t wait to get down there. It’s going to make for an amazing show and an awesome Forrest Wood Cup.”
Anglers will take off from Red River South Marina located at 250 Red River South Marina Road in Bossier City at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at the CenturyLink Center located at 2000 CenturyLink Center Drive in Bossier City, beginning at 5 p.m. daily.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Shreveport Convention Center located at 400 Caddo St. in Shreveport on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. 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. On Saturday and Sunday, 500 free rods and reels will be given away each day to the first 500 children 14 years and under who are accompanied by an adult. The rod and reel giveaways are courtesy of 1130 AM The Tiger. Also on Sunday, one lucky fishing fan will win a Ranger Z520C with a Mercury outboard. The Ranger boat giveaway is courtesy of KSLA News 12 and is free to enter, but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC when “FLW” airs Sept. 29 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.