Georgia Reels in Major Championship Fishing Tournament – 2010 Forrest Wood Cup to be Held on Lake Lanier
Governor Sonny Perdue joined FLW Outdoors Chairman Irwin Jacobs and other state and local officials this afternoon to announce Lake Lanier and Atlanta as the site of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol. This championship fishing tournament, which is scheduled for August 5 – 8, 2010, will draw the top bass anglers in the country as they compete for a $2.5 million purse. The tournament will be staged out of the Go Fish Georgia mega-ramp currently under construction at Laurel Park on Lake Lanier. The weigh-ins are slated for the Georgia Dome, and the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center.
“The Forrest Wood Cup is the largest fishing tournament in the country, and bringing this tournament to Georgia is exactly what I envisioned for the mega-ramps we are building as part of Go Fish,” said Governor Perdue. “This tournament will provide nationally televised exposure for our fishing resources, generate excitement about fishing in Georgia, and provide a positive economic impact on our local communities.”
Go Fish Georgia is designed to establish Georgia as a national fishing destination by improving the quality of fishing in Georgia waters, improving access to lakes and rivers for fishing in Georgia and increasing participation through promotion and marketing of Georgia’s exceptional fishing resources. Plans call for the development of a Go Fish Georgia Visitors Center and Hatchery and an 18-site bass fishing trail with mega-ramps to accommodate large fishing tournaments.
“We are proud to have Atlanta serve as host for Forrest Wood Cup in 2010,” said Irwin Jacobs, Chairman of FLW Outdoors. “The Forrest Wood Cup is not just another tournament and an outdoor show. This is a weeklong event that brings the entire community together. Young anglers showcase their talents in the National Guard Junior World Championship and professional anglers vie for the most prestigious title in bass fishing, Forrest Wood Cup Champion. The Forrest Wood Cup showcases everything that makes bass fishing the greatest sport in the world, including the richest payout in all of fantasy sports, $1 million to the grand prize winner of Fantasy Fishing.”
The Forrest Wood Cup is bass fishing’s crown jewel and the richest tournament in competitive fishing with a total purse of $2.5 million and offers $1 million to the winner. The 78 pro anglers competing for the title qualify through the Walmart FLW Tour, Walmart FLW Series, Stren Series, and includes the champions of the Walmart Bass Fishing League and the National Guard FLW College Series.
In 2008, coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup was broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program that aired Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. “FLW Outdoors” was also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network)and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone, the organization offered more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits.
Fishing is big business in Georgia and has an estimated annual economic impact of $1.9 billion. The Go Fish Georgia Bass Trail alone will provide a sound return on investment in Go Fish Georgia. The state provided $5 million toward the development of the mega-ramp trails which was matched by local communities who wanted to build these ramps to attract large fishing tournaments. Mid-sized tournaments can have an economic impact of up to $5 million; large championship tournaments likethe Forrest Wood Cup can generate upwards of $20 million.
Since 1996 when the first made-for-television tournament aired, the sport has grown rapidly. Fishing now ranks as the fifth most popular sport in the nation. According to the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-associated Recreation, conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Fish and Wildlife Service, about one in every six U.S. residents 16 and older fish. Resident and non-resident anglers in Georgia currently spend $1 billion each year with an estimated $1.9 billion in economic impact.
“We look forward to working with FLW Outdoors and local and city governments to make this a very successful tournament that brings in the
top professional anglers to Georgia,” said Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Noel Holcomb. “Lake Lanier is the perfect venue to accomplish all of these things and we hope that this will bring home to Georgians that fishing can be enjoyed by everyone.”