Professional Bass Fishing’s Forest Wood Cup Set to Visit Wheeler Lake
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for the sport’s biggest award – $300,000 cash.
“I’ve won a lot of tournaments and been really blessed to have a successful career, but the Forrest Wood Cup is a title that is still on my bucket list,” said Walmart pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, who will be among the 50 anglers competing. “To win this tournament would really mean a lot to me and my family.”
“Last year I had nothing on my mind other than first place,” said the reigning 2015 Forrest Wood Cup champion Brad Knight of Lancing, Tennessee. “I’m approaching this tournament the same way – if you ain’t first, you’re last. The most exciting thing about this tournament for me is the opportunity to make history and become the first angler to win it twice.”
Wheeler Lake is setting up to be a bit of a wildcard for the tournament anglers, as competitors believe a variety of patterns will be in play.
“There will definitely be a lot of options,” said Quaker State pro Matt Arey of Shelby, North Carolina. “There will be schooling fish in play, there will be deep fish in play, and there will be shallow fish in play. We’re going to have to cover water fast and efficiently in order to have a shot at the win.”
“Versatility is going to be the key,” Knight added. “I don’t think you’ll be able to win this tournament by fishing exclusively one way. I think you’re going to have to mix it up – find some fish offshore in the brush piles and find some fish on the bank. It won’t be like last year where I was able to find an area and milk it for four straight days. There will be multiple patterns in play.”
Multiple baits and techniques will be featured by competitors – swimbaits, big soft-plastic worms and football-head jigs are expected to play prominent roles for anglers fishing offshore, while topwater and flipping baits will be strong for anglers fishing the bank.
“We’re going to see some pretty big limits come to the scale, but the key will be doing it consistently,” Knight went on to say. “I think a 13 to 14 pound average over the four days will be pretty strong, but we’ll see multiple 16 to 18 pound limits.”
Anglers will take off from the Ditto Landing located at 2963 Ditto Landing Road in Huntsville, at 7 a.m. each morning at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Each day’s weigh-in will be held at the Propst Arena located at 700 Monroe St. SW, in Huntsville, beginning at 5 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at the Von Braun Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes games, activities and giveaways provided by more than 40 FLW sponsors, the opportunity to shop the latest tackle and outdoor gear from more than 100 exhibitors, Ranger boat simulators, a casting pond and a trout pond for children, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with top professional anglers, including Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and Byron Velvick. FLW’s namesake Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, will also be greeting fans.
On Saturday and Sunday the first 500 children 14 and under each day who are accompanied by an adult will receive a voucher to redeem for a free rod and reel combo courtesy of WHNT News 19 after the evening’s weigh-in. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a brand new Ranger Z521C bass boat with a 250-horsepower Mercury outboard motor courtesy of WAFF 48. The Ranger Boat giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, FLW fans will be treated to the Bass & BBQ Festival in conjunction with the FLW Expo. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local Alabama charities.
Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst on Sunday starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in. The concert is presented by WDRM 102.1 radio. Lynch occupies a unique place in today’s country music. Thanks to his classic sensibilities, he’s been heralded as the heir to George Strait’s throne. Yet with one listen to, “Where It’s At” it’s obvious the young Tennessee native knows how to combine his traditional influences with an edgy intensity that places him at the vanguard of today’s contemporary country scene.
The Folger’s Morning Takeoff, FLW Expo, Bass & BBQ event, live concert and weigh-ins are all free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when “FLW” airs October 19 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network 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 a full schedule of events, complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitt